At the Tuesday, January 25, 2011 meeting of the township’s Environmental Advisory Council, Schuylkill Township officially began the process of becoming an Audubon Bird Town, the first in Chester County and only the second in the state following Upper Moreland in Montgomery County. Bird Town is a joint project of Audubon Pennsylvania and municipalities across the state that recognizes townships for their commitment to stewardship. Though a resolution was passed on October 6, 2010 to adopt initiatives to become a Bird Town, this latest meeting with the EAC began the official process. “We’re excited about this partnership,” said EAC Chair Marlou Gregory. “We’re ready to lead the way to a healthier community that restores natural systems with sustainable landscapes.”
The Schuylkill Township EAC will work with Audubon to reduce the township’s ecological footprint while aiming to save costs through better stormwater management, increased use of native plants in the landscape, and better habitat management. Residents will be encouraged to get to know the birds of their backyard, and attend the township’s spring nature festival that will celebrate their newfound status. “Birds are cheerful indicators of ecological health,” says Steven Saffier who manages the Bird Town program for Audubon Pennsylvania. “Small steps in a backyard can increase the diversity of birds and help stabilize common bird populations which are always at risk due to sprawl. Through Bird Town, individuals will be empowered to do conservation.”
The first event residents are encouraged to explore is the annual Great Backyard Bird Count which takes place this year from February 18 - 21, 2011. Information on the count can be found at www.birdcount.org. Information on Bird Town can be found at the here. Information on Schuylkill Township can be found at here.
Audubon Pennsylvania’s mission is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity in Pennsylvania.