Fifth Grader Riley Morris is pairing seniors with bird feeders and seed as part of his passion project at school. (Submitted)

Fifth Grader Riley Morris is pairing seniors with bird feeders and seed as part of his passion project at school. (Submitted)

Cowichan Grade 5 student’s bird feeders for seniors a wild success

Grade 5 passion project yields positive results

When Lake Cowichan’s Riley Morris put out the call asking the community to help him raise funds for his fifth grade Passion Project through Drinkwater Elementary, the community stepped up.

“His fundraising effort was a huge success, raising almost $1,400,” said his mom Kristy Morris. “He has now moved into the phase of distributing bird feeders and has already distributed some to local seniors in Lake Cowichan and some care homes in Duncan and Chemainus.”

SEE RELATED: Grade 5 student looking for help to bring birds to seniors

Interested seniors can email Morris at birdfeedersforseniors@hotmail.com to request one.

The Drinkwater Elementary-based Inquisitive Design and Technology Program student said the bird feeder project has multiple benefits.

“The first is that it can help seniors’ mental health. Seniors can suffer from loneliness and isolation, especially now during COVID-19,” he said. “Providing them with a bird feeder to put up outside their window will give them something to look forward to on a daily basis to see the different birds that will come and visit. Watching and listening to birds can be very calming and enjoyable.”

The project would also help the birds, he added, “especially in the winter, because there is a shortage of food for them.”

There’s been just one hiccup in his project, though.

The BC SPCA has recently asked that people take their feeders down to help stifle a salmonella outbreak.

“The BC SPCA is asking the public to keep their bird feeders down until April-May to help stop the spread of this deadly outbreak,” said the BC SPCA report. “Hummingbird feeders are not at risk at this point in time, but this is a good reminder to regularly change and clean hummingbird feeders to prevent deadly fungal outbreaks.”

To combat this, Morris has opted to distribute hummingbird feeders, which can be used all summer, or regular feeders, which would need to be held onto until the SPCA says it’s safe to use them again, while supplies last.

“I would like to thank everyone who donated to my project. I am excited to deliver more feeders to seniors soon!” Morris said. “Send me an email if you would like one.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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