Local Scout Sasha Carr created birdhouses to donate to the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. These unique birdhouses are now for sale in PEEC’s online gift shop. Photo Courtesy PEEC
Unique birdhouse made by Sasha Carr for the PEEC online gift shop. Photo Courtesy PEEC
When you’re a Scout charged with doing community service, but it’s 2020 and a pandemic, how do you accomplish this? For local Scout Sasha Carr, the answer was to make birdhouses and donate them to the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) for sale in their online gift shop.
“My father was a very active member of the community,” says Carr, “and had many tools so I felt as if it was a perfect opportunity to use some power tools.” Carr’s father passed away in 2016. “At first me and my mom struggled a bit. It probably took an hour or two just to cut out the pieces for the first one and we struggled greatly putting them together. We became much more efficient cutting out the pieces. After cutting out about 12 bird houses and assembling around 10 of them, we continued on to my favorite part, decorating. They weren’t perfect, but I loved them.”
Most of the birdhouses are brightly painted, with themes from a popular TikTok meme to a rustic cabin look. Carr also donated a few do-it-yourself birdhouse kits, for those who want to assemble and paint their own. All of the birdhouses are currently for sale at PEEC’s online store, with all proceeds going to support this local nonprofit’s efforts to connect people with nature during the pandemic. A link to the store is on PEEC’s webpage at www.peecnature.org and birdhouses can be purchased for curbside pickup at the nature center for $15 – $30. PEEC members also receive a 10% discount on gift shop purchases.
“If I was to buy a birdhouse,” says Carr, “I’d rather buy one that was built with a whole lot of effort and definitely a whole lot of blood, sweat and tears, over one that was cranked out in a factory.”
Carr’s community service paid off in other ways, too: she was able to earn the Pulaski Award from James Kuropatwinski, the Scoutmaster of Troop 22, for service and activities undertaken during the pandemic.
PEEC was founded in 2000 to serve the community of Los Alamos. It offers people of all ages a way to enrich their lives by strengthening their connections to our canyons, mesas, mountains and skies. PEEC operates the Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road, holds regular programs and events and hosts a number of interest groups from birding to hiking to butterfly watching. The Los Alamos Nature Center is currently closed due to COVID-19, but there are many ways to learn about nature and interact with PEEC online. PEEC activities are open to everyone; however, members receive exclusive benefits such as discounts on programs and merchandise. Annual memberships start at $35. To learn more, visit www.peecnature.org.