If you wanted to live and study in Sweden for a year, how would you raise the money for the trip?
Anna Steckel of Crawford came up with an innovative idea that will serve the community with natural insect control and provide her with the funds she needs.
Anna is building 300 bat and bluebird houses. Bats and bluebirds eat thousands of insects and are a safe alternative to pesticides. Bats love to eat mosquitoes.
A sophomore at Hotchkiss High School, Anna applied and was accepted by American Field Service (AFS) to spend her junior year with a host family in Sweden. She learned she was accepted two weeks ago. She'll find out who her host family will be in July.
Anna leaves for Sweden in August and will return 11 months later. Instead of Spanish class at Hotchkiss High School she has been doing self-study of Swedish online.She'll return home just in time for her senior year at Hotchkiss. She'll have to make up some credits for subjects like American history which are not taught in Sweden.
Anna wanted to go to Sweden because of her parents. "I've heard a lot about it since I was little because both my parents lived there for a year," Anna said. "My dad went there to study glass blowing." Her mother's family is originally from Sweden. Her parents are Rick and Kathy Steckel of K Dahl Glass Studios.
Anna is building the bluebird houses and bat houses in her family's workshop at home.
Each bat house can accommodate one or two bat families. The bluebird house has a door on the side, so the owner can remove the old nest and another bluebird can build her own nest.
The bluebird and bat houses are in natural wood for a better grip. They should be placed away from the home, especially the bat house. The bluebirds like facing north over fields, if possible. The bat house should be 15 feet above the ground and have eight hours of sunlight so the bats will stay warm.
Anna is selling the bluebird houses and bat houses right up until she leaves for Sweden. The total foreign student exchange program costs $13,000. She has received a scholarship for $2,000 and will apply for another grant. Her parents and brother are helping her with the project. Family and friends of her family are helping with donations. Todd Enterprises donated the lumber so Anna could make over 250 houses.
Anna is raising $9,000 herself by selling 300 bluebird and bat houses.
Either house is just $25.
The houses can be purchased at DC Hawkins at Third and Grand in Paonia, Backcountry Goods Trading at 158 East Main Street in Hotchkiss, First State Bank of Colorado Crawford Branch in Crawford or from Anna Steckel who can be reached at 921-6160.blog comments powered by Disqus