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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

June 16, 2008 12:00 AM
Missouri Rest Areas Going to the Birds

JEFFERSON CITY - Rest areas throughout Missouri have gone to the birds. Thanks to a private donation, each of the 19 rest areas along Missouri interstate highways were provided with purple martin houses and bluebird houses, and most of the rest areas already have them installed.

"We're very excited to get these birdhouses at all our rest areas, especially at no cost to the taxpayers," said Jim Carney, Missouri Department of Transportation state maintenance engineer. "Besides being graced with the natural beauty of the birds themselves, the more than 24 million travelers who stop at our rest areas will benefit from fewer flying insects at these sites."

S&K Manufacturing, Inc., a company located in O'Fallon, donated the purple martin and bluebird houses for each Missouri rest area.

"We are happy to donate our products," said S&K President David McClaskey. "Purple martins depend on humans for housing, and this is one more way to give them homes in our state."

McClaskey said each purple martin consumes several thousand flying insects each day, including mosquitoes. Purple martins inhabit Missouri from late April until late September each year, before migrating to South America.

"The addition of martins and bluebirds at these stops will help showcase what Missouri has to offer," Carney said. "Bluebirds are simply beautiful and adults and children love viewing them."

Editor's note: For locations and other details on Missouri's interstate rest areas, visit http://www.modot.org/services/travel/restarea/index.htm.

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