Bird Town is a working partnership between Audubon and municipalities in Pennsylvania to promote conservation and community-based actions to create a healthy, more sustainable environment for birds and people.
Audubon provides the tools for the municipality to engage their residents, schools and businesses in making more ecologically-friendly decisions, conserving energy and in the process, saving money. A Bird Town makes efforts to restore valuable ecosystem services to create a culture of conservation where everyone is a potential steward of nature in their backyard and beyond.
At the Board of Commissioners meeting on January 7, 2013, the Commissioners voted to adopt initiatives to be recognized as an Audubon Bird Town. Now, the Radnor Conservancy and the Environmental Action Committee are working with Audubon PA to promote the Bird Town program in Radnor Township.
The premise of the program is to recognize that our native birds are indicators of our community’s environmental quality. Loss of habitat and degradation of habitat quality has resulted in Audubon focusing on backyards and other human-influenced landscapes as sanctuaries for birds.
Bird Town’s mission is to work in partnership to inspire and promote community-based actions that create a culture of conservation and healthy living through awareness programs, education, environmental projects, birding activities, citizen science (making a difference for science and bird conservation) and innovate grassroots involvement. It’s aim is to introduce Radnor residents to the incredible natural wonders that can be found in one’s own backyard or schoolyard.
Our goals include:
• To increase awareness of birds as indicators of environmental health.
• To increase awareness of water, air, nutrient, pesticide and habitat improvements
• To encourage residents, schools, businesses and government to join us in this effort and initiate their own projects such as residential backyard design and stewardship, educational programs in the schools, park management and invasive plant management.
• To connect more people to nature through birding activities such as bird watching in public locations, backyard bird counts, bird reporting and bird feeding.
• To demonstrate the connection between increased bird populations and diversity through habitat improvement projects.
The first activity we are promoting is the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC)
The GBBC is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of winter bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes (or as long as they wish) on one or more days of the event and report their sightings online at www.birdcount.org. Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers, to experts, and you can now participate from anywhere in the world!
The 16th annual GBBC will be held Friday, February 15, through Monday, February 18, 2013. Please visit the official website at www.birdcount.org for more information and be sure to check out the latest educational and promotional resources.
It’s free, fun, and easy. Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. Last year, participants turned in more than 104,000 online checklists, creating the continent’s largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded.
The Radnor Conservancy is currently looking to hire a part-time, temporary Administrative Officer. Please click here for more details.
Thanks for helping to make our tree planting day such a great success! The streambank revitalization project at Clem Macrone park this past weekend was a huge success! With almost 50 volunteers over the course of two days, we planted … Continue reading
Conservancy praises bipartisan land bill
February 21, 2012 – The Radnor Conservancy voiced enthusiasm today for a bill introduced by Rep. Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.) that will make permanent a tax incentive that helps landowners conserve important natural, agricultural and historic resources.
The legislation has received bipartisan support from Congress with more than 300 co-sponsors from both parties for “The Conservation Easement Incentive Act” (H.R. 1964). Allof the conservation easements held by the Radnor Conservancy have been donated by landowners, who may have benefited from similar tax incentives, a news release from the Conservancy said. “Jim Gerlach understands the critical importance of protected open space and its value to our local communities. We are grateful for his leadership in sponsoring this bill and appreciate all of the other co-sponsors from Pennsylvania,” said Sara Lupkas, Chief Operating Officer of the Radnor Conservancy.
Of the thousands of bills introduced in the U.S. House during the current session, fewer than 10 have garnered 300 or more co-sponsors, the release said. “This legislation has generated tremendous bipartisan support because the conservation easement tax credit works,” Gerlach said in the release. “The tax credit gives family farmers, ranchers and other property owners more choices and creates opportunities for partnerships between non-profit organizations, federal, state and local officials.”
Under the legislation, landowners can retire the development rights on their land by donating a conservation easement to a land trust like the Radnor Conservancy, protecting important natural resources, and conserving the area’s scenic and historic heritage. Since the incentive expired at the end of 2011, landowners with modest incomes now receive little tax benefit from restricting what may be their family’s most valuable asset, the release said.
The Radnor Conservancy is a local 501(c) dedicated to the protection of open space and preservation of the important natural, cultural and historic assets of Radnor Township. Preserving open space helps to maintain the environmental health and quality of life in our community. For more information about H.R. 1964 or the Radnor Conservancy, please visit http://www.landtrustalliance.org/policy/tax-matters/campaigns/cosponsors or contact Radnor.firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-688-8202.
The next time you drive down Lancaster Ave, look out for the shade trees that have been planted along the road from one end of Radnor to the other. Over 70 trees have found a home along Lancaster since 2009. They were planted as a result of a cooperative effort between The Chanticleer Foundation, the Radnor Conservancy and Radnor Township, called The Big Tree Program. The program’s mission is to help sustain Radnor’s decreasing tree canopy by planting shade trees that will continue provide a leafy backdrop for our community as they grow.
Landowners with appropriate planting sites along Lancaster were contacted and offered trees, and then given a choice of species and help with site location with the assistance of a landscape architect working with the project. Species include maples, oaks, elms and zelkova.
Look for the Big Tree Program’s new plantings next spring to continue in neighborhoods across the Township as efforts are made to replace shade trees that have been lost due to age and disease. This successful program is a great example of what a public/private partnership can accomplish in Radnor.
Township workers planting trees
A group of dedicated gardeners is looking to build a new community garden in Radnor Township. Anyone, novice and experienced gardeners alike, are welcome to join in this grassroots effort to help get this started. We are looking for anyone with interest to participate in this exploratory committee. Please contact us and let us know of your interest.
The Conservancy has been one of the leaders in promoting the construction of a multi-use trail within the Route 100 SEPTA trolley line which would connect the existing Radnor Trail with the Cobbs Creek Trail in west Philadelphia.
The Route 100 trolley right-of-way, which was once used by the ill-fated Philadelphia and Western Railroad, is wide enough to accommodate four tracks. However, only the two tracks in the northern half of the right-of-way were ever installed. The Conservancy is pushing for a feasibility study to determine whether it would be possible to build a trail in the southern half of the ROW.
Fifteen months ago the Conservancy teamed up with the Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition, REI, the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, the Clean Air Council, the East Coast Greenway Alliance and several other trail advocacy groups to promote the development of a trail which would connect Radnor to downtown Philadelphia and the Schuylkill River Trail, the East Coast Greenway and John Heinz Refuge. The coalition has since expanded its vision to connect the western end of the Radnor Trail to the Chester Valley Trail through Tredyffrin Township [see the map of the complete proposed trail below].
The coalition has been meeting with all of the townships through which the proposed trail would pass and other key stakeholders such as SEPTA, which owns the ROW, and PECO, which leases the half of the ROW where the trail would be located. Thus far, all stakeholders have given their consent to performing the feasibility study.
The next step is to raise the money for the study, estimated to cost $150,000. The coalition is looking at several potential sources of funding, including grant money which is now available for trail projects.
- Proposed extension for the Radnor Trail.
Radnor township is now considering an opportunity to purchase an important portion of the Ardrossan Estate to save as open space.
It is urgent that you make your voice heard before this opportunity is lost forever. Don’t let the voices of opposition and false data be the only voices heard by our township officials.
A very vocal small group of citizens have organized to oppose the purchase of any portion of the property, primarily based on flawed tax projections that simply are NOT true. They are making their voices heard through an organized opinion letter writing campaign to the local newspapers and conversations with township officials at Listening Sessions with Township Manager, Bob Zienkowski.
There are two easy ways you can be heard:
- Attend a Listening Session with the township manager and tell him you support the use of public money to buy and preserve open space at Ardrossan. These are very informal, drop in sessions (no cameras, no microphones) where you can, in ten minutes, express your support for the public preservation of a portion of Ardrossan.
Listening sessions are being held the following dates and times:
Email our Township Manager and express your support for the use of public money to purchase a permanent asset that will enhance the economic and environmental health as well as the quality of life in Radnor township forever. His email address is email@example.com.
- Thursday, September 22nd, 9-10:30 am; 1:30-3 pm
- Saturday, September 24th, 8:30-10:30 am
Speak up before this opportunity is lost forever.