Our birds are in good hands
September Volunteer Spotlight
Joshua Siedl is enrolled in the Community Transitions program at Monroe County Community School Corporation (MCCSC). Students 18-22 who need to continue gaining functional skills (and wish to do so outside of the traditional school setting) have an opportunity to volunteer at local area businesses and non-profits to gain real-life experience as they work towards independence. The focus is on creating a realistic day that the individual can continue when they exit the school system.
Joshua has volunteered at the Hoosier Hills Food bank and Upland Brewing Company for over a year. Jennifer Robinson, Community Transitions Coordinator, reached out to Sycamore Land Trust at the beginning of the fall semester to see if we might have a job for Joshua, who is an avid bird and nature lover. We were delighted to have Joshua join our team of dedicated volunteers!
He visits our Cedar Crest office weekly. Josh makes fresh nectar for our hummingbirds, who are currently fattening themselves up for their long migration south. He also fills our seed feeders with black oil sunflower and Nyger seed (thistle) and keeps our many woodpeckers happy by providing suet cakes.
When Joshua first began, he was hesitant and wondered if he could do these new tasks, like making fresh nectar on the stove and funneling seed into the tube feeders. He said, “I can’t do it” the first day—but not once since then! He shows up weekly with big smiles and performs his duties like a pro. He often stays for a while after he completes his duties to enthusiastically watch and identify the birds he is feeding. He truly is a naturalist in the making!
The busy staff at Sycamore is deeply indebted to Joshua and MaryEllen Thomas, the Community Transitions Employment Specialist who accompanies him each week, for keeping our feathered friends happy (and a few furry ones as well).
Photos by Jaime Sweany.