Bown gives back with newfound woodworking skills

Over the winter, Guy Bown made four blue bird houses, four wood duck houses and one wren house, along with wooden wall coat racks (seen behind him) and boot driers for the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre. (Photo by Audrey Posten)


By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor


The birds living around the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre in Marquette will have some new housing options this spring. 


Thanks to Guy Bown, a Luster Heights resident who helps the city of Marquette, the Wetlands Centre now has four blue bird houses, four wood duck houses and a wren house.


New to woodworking, Bown said he began experimenting this winter in order to stay busy.


“I just winged it. I made a pattern and cut them out,” he explained, noting that the houses took just two weeks to complete. He made wooden wall coat racks and boot driers for the Wetlands Centre as well.


Although his time is nearly complete, Bown said he hopes to finish another project—a welcome sign under the bridge.


Bown said he is grateful for his time in Marquette, as the community has been trusting and appreciative of his work.


“I love the small community,” he said. “People tell you thanks and trust you a bit. I actually get to do things. One day I’ll be cleaning and another day I’m sawing and cutting.”


Bown said he hopes to use his newfound skills in the future.


“Hopefully I can pass this on,” he said. “I’ve been taking for a long time, so this is a way to start giving back.”


“He’s certainly left his mark here,” said Katrina Moyna, Wetlands Centre director and business and tourism coordinator for the city of Marquette. “We couldn’t have done it without Guy.”


The Wetlands Centre has tentatively planned to have community members help paint the bird houses before they are placed outside.

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