Volunteer Feature: Rachel Liming

05-09-13 0 By: Shelly Sutley

When thinking back to 2007, when my Bluebird Experience truly began, I think of Rachel Liming and her gifts, and it brings a smile to my face.  She has such a heart for valuing and caring for her community. Working with the Bluebird Restoration Project, as well as Regis High School Biology Teacher, Dr. Geraghty, Rachel organized student volunteers to pilot a new curriculum between Regis Catholic Schools and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York.  Rachel Liming and her volunteer students were able to provide measured data from our Bluebird trails in Eau Claire, to scientists at Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Her dedication to teaching children how to use technology effectively, provides Cornell’s scientists an opportunity to study the health of our community!

Throughout the growth of the Bluebird Restoration Project, Rachel was always by my side while developing curriculum.  She was teaching me, by bringing out the magic and beauty of encouragement and collaboration.

While witnessing the inspirational growth of Bluebirds in our community, is it Rachel I am grateful for! As you can imagine, I am so excited and honored to share with you Rachel Liming’s ‘Bluebird Experience!’

My Bluebird Experience

By Rachel Liming

Seven years ago, I joined the Bluebird Restoration Project and began my own personal Bluebird Experience. I have learned so much during my experience, facts about the bluebird, other native bird species, and invasive species, technology, and life lessons. I learned what a bluebird looks like, how many eggs it has, the stages of development, and how to build and monitor a nest box.
We built nest boxes, monitored them, and collected the data to input into the computer. We were able to see the bluebirds grow before our eyes. We had the opportunity to experience the rebuilding of a precious family.

The bluebird population was decreasing in Wisconsin. Concerned people in the Eau Claire area began a project to restore the bluebirds to their rightful natural habitat. I am proud to say that I was a part of that movement that continues to grow today. Without volunteers and people who care about the environment and nature, the bluebird population would still be declining. I have learned that the environment is a precious gift from God that we must conserve. God gave humans dominion over the land and animals. We must use our dominion for the good of all, including the environment and its inhabitants.

The Bluebird Experience has allowed me to grow as an individual as well as contribute to an overall group effort. It continues to give adults, children, teens, and families the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than themselves.

I will always remember my Bluebird Experience as it has made an impact on my life and has guided me in the right direction. As I head off to college, I am reminded that even though we encounter adversity, we will find a way to make it through with the help of others.

Henry David Thoreau said, “The bluebird carries the sky on its back.” This can be interpreted literally or figuratively. The bluebird is blue which is the color of the sky. But there is a deeper meaning. The bluebird bears the sky on its shoulders. The bluebird also represents happiness. It does not complain or falter with the weight on its back, but rather chooses happiness.

A bird does not sing because he has an answer. He sings because he has a song.
– Joan Walsh Anglund, A Cup of Sun, 1967

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