Our 7th Year: Collaboration

04-05-13 0 By: Shelly Sutley

Breathe, believe, be…just be…7 years later, I realize how blessed I am.

 

April 5th, 2007

  

Discovering Nature

April 5th, 2013

On April 5th, 2007, I received a wink from God, a guiding message, a sense of hope. “Do something with the gifts that I gave you.” This message from God came at a time of complete emotional hardship, as I had just said goodbye to my dear friend who told me, “My time will come when the bluebird arrives.” As I walked outside to greet the kids coming home from school, my heart, soul, and mind were racing.  It was time to check the Bluebird boxes that we had recently put-up, and I was also being interviewed by Dave Carlson and his crew, with Northland Adventures. As you can imagine, my emotions were intense.  To my complete surprise, I opened up a box, and witnessed my first bluebird nest.  It was a truly magical experience and sign from God, as my friend had just passed “when the bluebird arrived.”

Now, as the City of Eau Claire approaches the 7th anniversary of Bluebird Restoration efforts, it is such an honor to witness the growth and excitement of involving children and nature, all while helping Mother Nature.  I have always believed, but could never imagine that the efforts and collaboration of the Eau Claire community would have come this far. Nature is a gift, and sharing nature with a child is like opening the gift.  We hold the key, and the people of Eau Claire are witnessing the opening of the gift with that key.

Though things are beginning to change for me, as my body is tired, I am honored and excited to see the project living on, through the efforts and collaboration of others, especially the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.  They have allowed my ideas and visions to become reality, and I have learned so much.  Working with and learning from the faculty and students has created a wonderful outlet to show them some of my ideas, and learn from them, whether they are upper class to toddler and school age. Beaver Creek Reserve has also taken the responsibility of continuing the bluebird restoration efforts at the golf courses and reserve.  I am grateful for their excitement and commitment! Again, this is all pure magic of the growth in collaboration.

The growth, or should I say the blossoming, of habitat, restoration, and sustainability is a gift, not just for me, but for all involved.  The seventh year of bluebird restoration represents creative growth in collaboration.  When we do our best, and ask for help, with good intentions, powerful things happen.  We hold the keys, to Eau Claire’s Bluebird Nest Boxes, caring and monitoring nest boxes is up to you and I.

Sharing the gift of nature to even more children and members of the Eau Claire community is something I am looking forward to.  Please share your “Bluebird Experience” this year, by commenting and posting the magic you discovered in restoring Wisconsin’s songbirds.  This is what I call, “Creative Collaboration!”

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