This year a new school isn’t the only addition to Fairview Elementary. The students also welcomed a new tower for the school’s summer residents.
As the old school comes down so does the old smokestack that is the home to Chimney Swifts during the summer. “When the Chimney Swifts come back we want them to have a home, because the old chimney is going to be knocked down,” said 3rd grade Fairview Elementary student, Dawnye Smith.
The community expressed concern for the Swifts well being, so an information campaign began through the Audubon Society and funds were raised by donations to build a brand new 32-foot stand-alone tower.
Fairview Elementary teacher Jeremy Brown said, “We are grateful to the community for providing this to the classroom and the students it has really helped our curriculum.” The 3rd grade team worked to contribute artwork for the plaques that are on the tower. They researched the birds and drew pictures of the chimney swifts and the school so that future students may remember why the tower is there.
At this time both the towers are still standing, however, in a few weeks the old smokestack will be knocked down forcing the chimney swifts to find their new home which can take a few years.
“The birds are going to be looking around for a place to live so there will be a high interest in kids coming to see if they are roosting in there and nesting; and if they are actually using the chimney, because they know that it is a process and that they can’t just move right away,” said Fairview Elementary teacher Karen Streib.
The community is now raising funds for the final step to the tower which includes the installation of video cameras to further study the birds.
As for now, the plaques and the tower made by the community and students are a gift to the new school, the future students, and especially the chimney swifts.