Robbins Island bluebird trail honors local couple
WILLMAR -- How better to celebrate two people's love for the outdoors than helping make possible a conservation success story in their honor? That's exactly what was on the minds of the children of Melvin and Violet Werder of Willmar. The eight s...
WILLMAR -- How better to celebrate two people's love for the outdoors than helping make possible a conservation success story in their honor?
That's exactly what was on the minds of the children of Melvin and Violet Werder of Willmar. The eight siblings and a grandson joined last Saturday to install bluebird houses along the Robbins Island walking trail in Willmar.
The newly-installed bluebird trail is in honor of the couple. They recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary. It also happened to be Melvin's 90th birthday, said his son Jerry Werder.
Jerry and his siblings built 10 cedar bluebird houses and installed them on poles previously erected by Ron Gilbertson and his City of Willmar public works department crew. Along with building and installing the houses, the Werder children volunteered to take on the annual housekeeping chores of cleaning and maintaining them.
Jerry Werder said the family put the bluebird trail together as a way to honor their parents. Melvin and Violet Werder have enjoyed the outdoors through all of their married lives together. Both are avid bird watchers as well.
Their son said that a bluebird trail seemed like the best possible way to honor the two for reasons that go beyond their love of the outdoors. The trail can help with the on-going restoration of the Eastern bluebird, as well as share the joy brought by the colorful song birds with all of those who use the walking trail, he explained.
Melvin and Violet watched the project on Saturday and there was no hiding their excitement, said their son.
The population of Eastern bluebirds in North America declined dramatically due to habitat destruction and competition during the last century. Efforts to restore the bluebird population by installing houses like these are credited with helping make the Eastern bluebird recovery a Minnesota success story, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.