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The Bird Sanctuary Bird Sanctuary (click to enlarge map at left)
Council Fire Dancers

The Council Fire dancers at the ring in the Bird Sanctuary, early 1970s.

Bird Sanctuary - 1930s

Another shot of the Bird Sanctuary from the 1930s, with a camper near one of the signs. Wildlife observation in the sanctuary was much more prevalent in those days, and a number of wild animals, including bear, were imported to the woods for viewing. From Maj. Dick Zimmerman's History of the Woodcraft Camp, available full-text online here.

Bird Sanctuary Article 01 Bird Sanctuary Article 02 Bird Sanctuary Article 03

Above: three photos with brief articles from the 1931 Culver Citizen newspaper, announcing developments and improvements in the Bird Sanctuary, which had just opened in 1930. The structures in the above photos are apparently no longer existent in the sanctuary.

From the Oct. 1, 1930 Culver Citizen newspaper:


William C. Vogt, Noted Nature Lover., Starts Work Under Sponsorship of E. R. Culver.

   William C. Vogt, the international angler and nature lover, is at the academy, engaged in constructing an extensive bird and small game sanctuary, under the sponsorship of Mr. E. R. Culver, one of the trustees of the school.

   This sanctuary will, when completed, occupy 200 acres of the present woods and fields, north of the Arenal road. It will extend northeast from the Arsenal a mile, varying in width from one eighth to one-fourth mile.

   By degrees during the next three years, Mr. Vogt and his assistants will change the present tangled condition of the site into a well-ordered system of fields, woods, streams, and swamps, each fitted for a particular branch of animal life, but preserving as much as possible the natural aspect of the wilderness, and eliminating man-made works.

Bird Sanctuary - 1931

A 1931 photo of the Bird Sanctuary, recently added to the Woodcraft Camp. From Maj. Dick Zimmerman's History of the Woodcraft Camp, available full-text online here.

Beaver Pond 01 Beaver Pond 02 Beaver Pond 03 Beaver Pond 04

Above: Four shots of the "Beaver Pond" in the Bird Sanctuary. Built in the 1970s, the man-made "lake" or pond occupied a large section of the sanctuary's valley, beginning near the southeast entrance to the forest and fed by the stream which still runs east to west through the Sanctuary.

David Burns (top picture), former fire chief of Culver and well-known stone mason in the Culver and Lake Maxinkuckee area, built the dam that made the beaver pond (as some called it due to the proliferation of beavers, whose dams occupied the eastern end of the stream) possible. The dam burst during a particularly severe rainstorm that led to flooding in the area, during the mid-1980s, draining the pond, which remains only a marshy valley today. The photos above are from Burns' personal collection, courtesy Judi Burns, whose Culver history website here has more information.

Maj. Dick Zimmerman's page on the creation of and history of the Bird Sanctuary from his 75th Anniversary Woodcraft Book, click here.

In a short time, Mr. Culver is going to import from the West, prairie dogs, rabbis, marmots, and beavers, and from the North porcupines, raccoons, woodchucks, snowshoe rabbits, black squirrels, and many other species of animals.    During the short period that he has been here, Mr. Vogt has progressed rapidly ‹ already 500 bird houses are under construction; numerous brush and log piles have been built; and many birds, rabbits and chipmunks have been enticed to food at regular hours.    Mr. Vogt states that of his many construction project in this line all over the country, this will undoubtedly be the finest and best equipped because of the admirable location and nature conditions. And to hear this from a man of Mr. Vogt¹s experience is indeed a tribute to Culver. 10,500 Blue Gills Added To Lake Maxinkuckee    Fishermen will rejoice to learn that 21 cans of blue gills have been added to Lake Maxinkuckee, which should add to the zest of fishing next year. These fish came from the Bass Lake Hatchery and totaled 10,500. I G. Fisher was instrumental in securing them.    Fishing has been unusually good on Lake Maxinkuckee this year, and local enthusiasts give most of the credit to the destroying of far, carp and other destructive fish last year by the State Department of Conservation. The wish has been expressed that the department renew this activity next year.

1947 Calendar 43  

Other Woodcraft Links:

Photos of the Camp Grounds and Facilities

Woodcraft Camp Activities

Woodcraft Camp Council Fire

The Bird Sanctuary

The Summer School Naval Program: Boats

Related Links:

The Black Horse Troop of Culver

Black Horse of Culver by Helen Orr Watson

Complete Books, Catalogs, and other Writings

Woodcraft Camp - the catalog from the 1960s

A Summer Naval School Catalog, 1918

Culver Woodcraft Camp 75th Anniversary History Book by Maj. Dick Zimmerman (the complete book online)

The Summer School of Horsemanship Catalog online (1960s)

A Summer at Culver Woodcraft Camp - promotional book and catalog advertising the benefits of Culver's summer programs, probably from the 1960s.

Culver Summer Naval School Catalog, 1960s online