A bird box building workshop was held at the A Rocha Buck Creek Hatchery and Nature Centre on April 2, in honour of the late John Franken.
Franken, who passed away on Dec. 29, 2021, was a long time resident of the Bulkley Valley having been the principle and a teacher at Houston Christian School and running Chickedee Acres Bed and Breakfast in the Smithers area.
He and his wife Sandy established a bluebird trail in the Smithers area of around 100 boxes that he cleaned, monitored and recorded information about every year for 30 years.
“Before leaving Smithers, John handed the care of the bluebird boxes to Janine Pittman who is a local biologist and naturalist and is on the board of the Bulkley Valley Naturalists. She has been caring for the boxes for the past thre years. John was on the advisory team for the Nature Centre no cap in Houston and a member of the Bulkley Valley Naturalists,” said A Rocha Northern B.C. Project Coordinator Cindy Verbeek.
“When John passed away in December, the family asked that in lieu of flowers donations be sent to A Rocha Canada or the Bulkley Valley Naturalists to go towards the bluebird box project that John and Sandy started. We decided that supplies for a bluebird box building workshop would be a great way to use the money,” she continued.
A total of 14 kids and 16 adults attended the workshop.
“We honoured his life and legacy by building 35 bluebird boxes on Saturday. Many of the participants had been taught and/or inspired by John over his many years in the valley and several people expressed appreciation for a fun and meaningful way to honor him,” said Verbeek.
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