About Henderson Feathers
Henderson Feathers (HF) is best described as a volunteer service organization. It began as a birding information service providing bird sighting information on a 24 -7 telephone line. Reports of avian activity including the what, where, and when were gathered, then disseminated via phone, on the website and in the information center located in a Main Street building where owners provided unused space.
It wasn't long before a program called Nature's Neighbors, long provided by volunteers Art and Barb Straub moved into some of that unused Main Street space and became the first branch of the HF tree. The program provides summer-long environmental education sessions for children 7 to 11 years of age.
Next came a series of services aimed at adults interested in the out-of-doors such as the Back Yard Bird Count, Eagle Alert and Photo Displays. Working closely with organizations such as Audubon Minnesota and Minnesota Ornithologists' Union activities including tours of the Minnesota River Valley were arranged and provided by HF.
Along the way came the community-wide celebration known as Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah (HHH). An annual August happening, HHH is a multifaceted event involving over 75 volunteers who bring a region-wide gathering together to celebrate the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Over 2000 people come to Henderson to enjoy the events including the banding of those hummingbirds as they prepare for the southern migration.
Two major permanent asset installations were added to the community with the HF creation of the Mini-Birding Science Museum and the Henderson Hummingbird Community Garden. Both serve as educational assets that provide the public unique opportunities for environmental education and observation.
Youth for the Arts is an attempt to augment the environmental educational opportunities available for schools across Minnesota. It is a full curriculum-based program provided FREE of charge to any school, both public or private wishing to include environmental eduction as part of their offerings.
The most recent branch added to the HF tree was the creation of the Henderson Feathers Refuge Friends (HFRF). Created as a "Friends" group to support the expansion of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge system in the Minnesota River Valley, HFRF will serve as an army of volunteers to help the goals and objectives of the Federal Refuge Program.
For many years before and along the years of HF's existence, the Straub's have provided programming to school classrooms and nursing homes across southern Minnesota. As retired educators, they have brought a special level of volunteer service to the community. HF is proud to have them as facilitators of HF environmental education programs. Serving on theHF Board of Directors, the Straubs, along with Arlene Busse, Ron Windingstad, David Kolter and Dolores Hagen provide the leadership that attempts to makes Henderson Feathers an organization the entire community can be proud of.