Children's Nest Egg at Westwood Hills Nature Center, viewed from north

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Children's Nest Egg Featured in St. Louis Park Magazine

St. Louis Park Magazine, June 2014 Issue, includes an article, "The Art of Community" by Maggie Soucheray Sonnek about public art in St. Louis Park. The article is a nice tour illustrating the city's commitment to the arts and giving a little background about each featured project and its artist/designer.

Children's Nest Egg is one of the projects featured and I enjoyed talking with Maggie about the community engagement that was involved in both creating and renewing the nest.

I've always been so impressed with the St. Louis Park Arts and Culture program, and was honored to be part of it.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Another Nest Renewal!

A big thank you to the youth volunteers and their group leaders from Faith Point Lutheran Church, who volunteered to renew the nest of Children's Nest Egg on Wednesday June 5th.

Rebuilding the nest wall is an opportunity for volunteer groups to express values of care and renewal of nature and the earth. The nest wall is made of branches and naturally bio-degrades over time, shrinking as the bottom layers disintegrate into the soil. Volunteers learn to rebuild new layers of the nest wall on top of the old. 

This year's nest renewal had a new twist. Mark Zembryki, of Westwood Hills Nature Center gave an introduction about the harmful influence of the invasive Buckthorn plant and provided snippers for volunteers to gather the invasive plant from the nature center. (Gathering of plant material from the Nature Center, is only allowed under guidance from the Nature Center Staff.) Volunteers then gathered Buckthorn and used it to build new layers on the nest wall. I then showed them how to weave the layers together using basket weaving techniques, manilla rope as thread, and a giant wooden needle. 

This new twist of using Buckthorn solved two problems at once (removal of invasive plants, and raw material for the nest) but it was also the first time fresh-cut branches were used in building the nest, with green leaves still attached. Although this fresh-cut appearance of the nest was fleeting (the leaves dried and fell over several weeks) it was also delightful.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nest Renewal - October 22, 2010

Girl Scout troop #12279's Corrine, Kota, Juliana, and Elena renew the nest wall, sewing the new branches in with giant wooden needles and manilla rope.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

View from Entry

Capping the Wing Bench

Metal strips were wrapped around wood blocks and mounted over the top ridge of the bench to "thicken" the top, just as a wing is thicker at the top where there is more bone and muscle.

Pictures from the Dedication

Children's Nest Egg Dedication Tuesday September 23, 2008

You are invited to a dedication and opening for the Children's Nest Egg project at Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park On Tuesday, September 23, 5:30 pm -6:30 pm, followed by a Bronze Award Ceremony of the Girlscout Troop who volunteered at the prior Nest-Raising Event.Where: Westwood Hills Nature Center8300 West Franklin Avenue / St. Louis Park, MN 55426(952) 924-2544 (Westwood Hills Main Phone) The Westwood Nature Center is located in the northwest corner of St. Louis Park, just south of I-394 and east of Highway 169. Parking and admission are free. Go to the Westwood Hills Nature Center web page for directions.The Children’s Nest Egg is a public environmental art project, designed by Full Spring Studio, LLC’s with Fabrication by Swainhart Construction Services, LLC and with many contributions and volunteer hours from others including staff of the City of St.Louis Park, Westwood Hills Nature Center staff, Girl Scout Troop 10297, Author: Daniel J. Philippon, U of MN Raptor Center’s Gail Buhl, STS Crew, and many others. Generous funding for this project is by the Arts & Culture Grant Program, a collaborative program between the City of St. Louis Park, the Friends of the Arts, and the St. Louis Park Community Foundation. For more information: You can ask questions or comment and see pictures and watch for updates at Or Email: or call 651-895-7834. Click here to download the flyer for the event.