Presentation on theme: "The Pennsylvania Audubon Society’s Bird Town Program."— Presentation transcript:
The Pennsylvania Audubon Society’s Bird Town Program
What is the Bird Town Program? Partnership between the PA Audubon Society and municipalities throughout the state … … to promote conservation and community-based actions to create a healthier, more sustainable environment for both birds and people.
“A Culture of Conservation …” A Bird Town makes efforts to create a culture of conservation where everyone is a potential steward of nature in their own backyard.
Bird Town Program Goals: Encourage residents to learn about and use more native plants on their properties. Restore natural habitat and native plant communities for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.
Why Native Plants? Better adapted to local environment. More resistant to drought, pests, and disease. Require less maintenance (less water, fertilizer, and pesticides). More valuable to birds, butterflies, and other pollinators.
Additional Program Goals Create healthier yards, parks, and schools. Increase community pride and awareness. Reduce stormwater runoff. Save money through creation of more sustainable habitat. Encourage stewardship and appreciation of the natural world.
Benefits to Being a Bird Town Improved, more sustainable, and healthier environment. Community pride & cohesion. Increased marketability. A safer, more rewarding place to live, work, and play. Economic development and increased property values. Cooperation between community officials, residents, & businesses.
New Britain is Now a Bird Town Pennsylvania’s 23 rd Bird Town. 8th in Bucks County: Newtown Township Lower Makefield Doylestown Borough Doylestown Township Solebury Township Falls Township Springfield Township New Britain Borough
Our Borough’s Qualifying Criteria: Adoption of Bird Town resolution (August 2013) Existing park system with natural habitat for birds. Park planning seeks to improve bird habitat. Regular planting of new native trees in parks and public lands. Planting of demonstration garden on public property.
Borough Initiatives to Date Wilma Quinlan Nature Preserve Installation of 25 bird houses. Planting of native wildflower meadow. Planting of native trees and shrubs. Plans for significant habitat restoration projects.
Borough Initiatives to Date Wilma Quinlan Nature Preserve
The Borough’s Basic Commitment: Application and annual fee ($450). Fee includes: Five Bird Town street signs. Plaque for town hall. 250 brochures. Quarterly newsletter content. Usage of Audubon Bird Town logo.
Basic Commitment (cont.) Promote Bird Town status: “Welcome to Bird Town” article in local newsletter. Bird Town web page on borough website. Five Bird Town street signs. Outreach materials available to public. Demonstration of annual growth and participation to retain Bird Town status.
Our Initial Goals: Promote the Borough’s Bird Town status. Form Bird Town Committee. Educate residents about the Bird Town program. Encourage residents to take the “Healthy Yard” Pledge. Encourage residents to register their properties in the Bird Habitat Recognition Program.
The “Healthy Yard” Pledge The power of Bird Town comes from residents taking actions on their own landscape.
The “Healthy Yard” Pledge Yes, I want a healthy yard! I pledge to: Consider using native plants in the landscape. Remove invasive plant species. Aim to reduce stormwater runoff. Eliminate the use of pesticides on the property. Provide for birds and protect those that show up!
How to Provide for Birds… Plant diversity of native plants for food, cover, and nesting sites. Remove alien, invasive plant species. Stop using pesticides. Install nest boxes and bird feeders. Provide fresh water.
Audubon at Home Bird Habitat Recognition Program Property owners (Homes, schools, businesses, parks, or public land) who create bird habitat are encouraged to register their properties with the PA Audubon Society.
Audubon at Home Bird Habitat Recognition Program Simple application is available online that can be printed out and mailed to PA Audubon. $20.00 annual fee. Yard signs and discount cards for businesses around the state provided by Audubon.
Audubon at Home Bird Habitat Recognition Program “ Audubon Pennsylvania recognizes that the people who care for this property pledge to provide healthy habitat that supports birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. “
Our Longer-term Goals: Improvement of bird and pollinator habitat in all the Borough’s open spaces and parks: Nature Preserve Covered Bridge Park Orchard Park
Additional Long-term Goals: Workshops and educational programs for residents. Demonstration garden on public property. School program at Pine Run Elementary. Programs with Scouts and summer camp. Collaboration with Del Val University. Collaboration with other local Bird Towns. Incorporation of Bird Town program goals into Borough’s Comprehensive Plan. Possible adoption of native plant ordinance.
Native Plant Ordinance: Pioneered by Lower Makefield. Adopted by other Bird Towns. New commercial development is required to use native plants for landscape plantings. Does not apply to homeowners. Developers provided with plant list. No issues with developers.
Community-wide Coordination and Effort Required: Borough Residents Borough Council Bird Town Committee Nature Preserve Parks & Recreation Civic Association Planning Commission Local businesses Schools/Youth groups
Annual Bird on a Wire Awards ($) Best performing Bird Town. Most backyard habitat registrations. Most residents trained in backyard conservation design. Best school program. Best demonstration of community stewardship. Award for protection of reparian buffers.
“Designing with Natives” Workshop Workshop on backyard conservation design. Bucks County Audubon Society headquarters at Honey Hollow Environmental Center. Saturday, April 4 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM $55.00 per person.
For more information about Bird Town program: http://pa.audubon.org/bird-town