Memorial Day 2011
If you notice something different at the Fannin County Multipurpose Complex, slow down and look again. Twenty-five Bluebird houses were erected by the Bois d’Arc Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists on Memorial Day in a trail named for the man who inspired so many to love bluebirds in Fannin County Texas. The “Jack Phillips Bluebird Trail” will be dedicated in the fall 2011. As was her practice with Jack, Frieda Phillips participated in the effort.
Jack Phillips constructed over 2500 bluebird houses during his lifetime. He taught others to share his passion for bluebirds. If you have seen a bluebird house on a fence post in Fannin County or in someone’s yard, you know Jack Phillips had a hand in it when you see his distinctive “JP” brand burned into the side panel. The brand was created by his lifelong friend Harris Myers. Another comrade, Claude Lewis was instrumental in retrofitting the Phillips’ workshop into a bluebird house production assembly line.
Last fall when local Master Natural enthusiasts were organizing efforts to create a local chapter, Jack Phillips was a regular participant and supporter of the Bois d’Arc chapter. He introduced many people to bluebirds in hope that others would share his passion for the beautiful blue bird. His efforts paid-off.
In March 2011 ten members of the Bois d’Arc Master Naturalists met at Frieda Phillips’ home to use Jack’s workshop to build the bluebird houses for the “Jack Phillips Bluebird Trail.” The Fannin County Multipurpose Complex Board approved implementation of the memorial trail around the grounds so visitors can enjoy the bright blue bird in its habitat.
A dedication of the trail will occur in the fall of 2011 after signage is created and installed. The members of the Bois d’Arc Chapter Texas Master Naturalists are committed to maintaining the Jack Phillips Bluebird Trail, and other bluebird trails around Fannin County established by Jack Phillips. Bois d’Arc chapter member Michael Evans serves as committee Chairman for the project.
(Article provided by Christine Miller)