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Purple Martins and Bronze Awards

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In pursuit of a Bronze Award, cadettes in Bluffton Girl Scout Troop 21165 have built Purple Martin nesting boxes for Lauer Historical Farm, 800 Roush Rd. Lima, a Johnny Appleseed Metro Park. After talking with naturalist Beth Theisen, the girls developed their project by doing research on the internet and watching videos.

Working from a printed design, the scouts worked with lumber and power tools, making the boxes from scratch. When the Icon visited a recent meeting, the nine girls were finishing the boxes, painting and making sure there was no bare wood exposed.

One of the boxes was displayed at the Allen County Fair.

Area businesses that made donations towards the project are Vetter Lumber, Lowe's and Do It Best Hardware of Bluffton.

According to the National Audubon Society, Purple Martin populations are declining in the eastern part of the United States. A type of large swallow, purple martins forage for insects while flying through the air. The society notes, “Almost all Purple Martins in the east now nest in birdhouses put up especially for them.”

To receive a Bronze Award, the scouts must meet four requirements: 1) that the issue affects your community, 2) that it can lead to a lasting change, 3) that the plan is put into motion 4) that you share and celebrate your story.

Troop leader Kelly Honse noted that earlier troop projects have included making bat and bee boxes for the Village Park and Community Gardens.

For more information on Girl Scout troops in the area, visit Girl Scouts of Western Ohio at


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