FEBRUARY 2020 - At a time when birds are facing more stressors and threats than ever before in the face of climate change, individuals are eager to help out. Local Audubon chapters are a fantastic resource for people looking to get involved – like Menunkatuck Audubon Society, which was just awarded funding to create a native plant nursery in Newhallville, an underserved neighborhood in New Haven, CT.
Locals Develop Carpentry and Plant Nursery Skills
Menunkatuck is partnering with the Community Placemaking and Engagement Network (CPEN), a New Haven-based nonprofit organization aiming to increase public health awareness in the low-income Newhallville neighborhood. The two groups have collaborated to train young people hired by CPEN in basic carpentry and native plant nursery skills.
In March, 800 native perennial plugs and 400 native bare root shrubs will be transplanted into nursery pots filled with quality potting mix. Through March, April, and May, the plants will be watered and monitored for proper growth. In June, about 600 of the 1200 total plants will be sold at the annual Menunkatuck Plant Sale, while 200 will be donated to inner-city residents and 400 will be sold to other groups such as Pollinator Pathways for sale to their members.
The project will include workshops for local residents, led by Audubon Connecticut, about the value of native plants to pollinators and birds and choosing plants for specific locations.
Start helping birds today! Plug your zip code into our native plant database to discover the best plants for birds in your area.
Next Boxes Established
A second project will offer community members a hands-on way to help local birds. With the help of high school students and partner groups, nest box trails will be established in three towns. Nest boxes are beneficial for cavity-nesting birds such as Eastern Bluebirds, Tree Swallows, American Kestrels, and Barn Owls.
High school students will build the nest boxes, and members of partner groups and volunteers will install them in suitable locations; volunteers will be trained to monitor the nest boxes and record nesting data.