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15th Annual Purple Martin Workshop/Seminar to be held next month in Kalona

Wilbur Erhart checks one of his purple martin colonies in Solon. The house is an older metal style he has had for several years, and was made in Griggsville, Ill., known as “the Purple Martin Capitol of the World.”

KALONA– A workshop/seminar on attracting purple martins will be held Saturday, March 21, beginning at 9 a.m., at the CAM Iowa Clothing Center, located at 1005 Nutmeg Ave., 1.8 miles north of Kalona, and one mile east off Highway 1.
Presenters include:
• Carolyn Murphy, from Iowa City, will talk on "Monarchs and More"- Murphy is an Iowa Master Gardener and longtime monarch butterfly enthusiast. She has visited the wintering grounds of monarchs in Mexico and been involved in their conservation for many years.
• Rick Hollis, from Iowa City, will speak on "Lots of Birds Gone"- Hollis is a research scientist with the University of Iowa and long-time member of the Iowa City Bird Club. He'll be focusing on the decades-long declining bird populations in Iowa and the country.
• Ben Rowold, from Iowa City, who is an Iowa Master Naturalist, has been in charge of the Kent Park Bluebird Trail for the past four years. He'll be speaking on the expansion of the trail and the great results they had last year.
The afternoon martin program will feature:
• Tim Gedler, from West Des Moines, speaking on "Purple Martins for the People." Gedler is soon to retire after 33 years of working as a park manager for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
A panel of experts will then answer questions, followed by door prizes and an auction.
A well-maintained martin colony brings joy to any neighborhood. Establishing a new colony is now a realistic possibility for many people. Anyone wanting to start or re-establish a purple martin colony, or in need of assistance in maintaining a colony, will benefit from attending this program.
There will be a $3 registration fee (ages 10 and under free). Lunch will be available at the site. Vendors are being encouraged to set up displays of interest to program attendees.
For more information or if you would like to have a booth, contact Evan Gingerich at 2282 Johnson-Washington Rd. SW, Kalona, IA 52247, by phone at 319-656-3629 (voice mail) or Jim Walters at 319-466-1134.