To the editor:
Tom Rodhouse, who died on Jan. 11, is the man who had the idea of establishing a bluebird restoration project at Clinton State Park. In 1976, when the Eastern bluebird population in the United States was very low, Tom invited Wes Seyler to help him with this project. These two men visited with managers of the Corps of Engineers and Clinton State Park and received approval to proceed. Tom had some experience with bluebird trails when he worked for the Corps of Engineers before he and Mrs. Rodhouse moved to Lawrence.
The project began slowly. Wes says he did not see a bluebird for two or three years. But Tom and Wes persisted and learned about the Eastern bluebird as they studied and experimented with different nesting boxes and different placement of boxes. The rest is history.
Last summer 374 Eastern bluebirds were fledged from 65 nesting boxes at Clinton State Park and 100 were fledged from 20 boxes at Eagle Bend Golf Course. In the past seven years 2,513 Eastern bluebirds and many tree swallows fledged from these two trails.
Persons who enjoy seeing the bluebirds at Corps of Engineers property, Eagle Bend Golf Course, and Clinton State Park can thank the memory of Tom Rodhouse for the idea he had 25 years ago and for the work he did, with Wes Seyler, to establish these successful bluebird trails.
Gene Van Hoesen, president,
Kaw Valley Bluebird Assn.,