Unencumbered by Humanity Bird-Blind Construction a Study in Symbiosis, Education

Article excerpt

Byline: Eric Peterson Daily Herald Staff Writer

What could a nature center in South Barrington and a manufacturing class in Arlington Heights possibly have to do with each other?

The two recently came together to demonstrate the principles of symbiosis at work.

Hersey High School teacher Dave Wietrzak's class provided the design and construction of a bird-blind - a small wooden hut for people to watch local wildlife while unobserved by it - for visitors at the Stillman Nature Center.

The students recently spent several hours at the nature center putting together the pieces they had already prefabricated back at school.

Wietrzak said it was a rare opportunity for his students to apply their skills to a real-world project while also helping out a not-for-profit organization. He hopes to do more of it.

Hersey science teacher Jim Kaltsas was the glue that brought the two parties together. He is a member on the Stillman Center board.

Mark Spreyer, naturalist at the Stillman Center, said the blind can hold about 15 people at a time. It can be used both for its primary purpose of watching animals through its windowless observation ports or as a more controlled location for environmentalists to test water samples from the nearby marsh. …