Great Circle in St. James Installs Bluebird Monitoring Trail

Missouri’s state bird plays role in therapy to strengthen children

Great Circle in St. James Installs Bluebird Monitoring Trail

(St. James, April 27, 2016) Great Circle has created a bluebird monitoring trail on its St. James campus, 13160 County Road 3610. The half-mile trail features 11 bluebird houses, built and decorated by children receiving on-campus services. The children will regularly monitor activity in the birdhouses as part of their therapy.

The project is the brainchild of Richard Crane, maintenance services manager on the St. James campus, based on his personal interest in the Eastern bluebird (Missouri’s state bird). He and his staff guided the children through the birdhouse construction phase. The children then painted and decorated the houses, including personal affirmations. From a therapeutic standpoint, the project enabled the children to develop pride in their abilities to build the birdhouses and continues to promote greater awareness of nature as they regularly monitor the birds’ use of the houses.

On hand as part of the trail opening celebration were Mike Doyen and Dr. Louise Wilkinson, of the Ozark Rivers Audubon Society. They also provided a short talk to the children about the bluebird and other native Missouri birds.

Great Circle is a statewide nonprofit that focuses on strengthening children and families struggling with behavioral and emotional challenges. Through its 18 locations across Missouri, Great Circle provides specialized behavioral health services, 24-hour care, respite programs, and education and day treatment programs, including for children on the autism spectrum, plus a broad spectrum of community-based services, including parental support programs, foster/adoptive care, assessments, crisis management and family stabilization.

Great Circle staff uses a variety of ways to provide therapeutic treatments with clients, including using the natural environment to help children discover their own strengths and build self-worth.