A stuffed bird that chirps is cute.
It’s even cuter when you know that by owning it, you’re helping your community.
Newtown Township recently became a designated "Bird Town" by Audubon Pennsylvania. The Bird Town program is aimed to help communities improve their ecology and create a more sustainable environment for all beings.
Now, the township’s Environmental Advisory Council has embarked on a fundraising effort to raise money for the membership fee and other promotions.
The EAC is selling Bird Town t-shirts for $10 and stuffed birds for $6 to raise the funds to pay the $450 annual fee. Any additional funds will go towards Bird Town promotions within the township and ultimately an annual Bird Town festival, said Autumn Thomas of the township’s EAC.
EAC members will be selling the t-shirts and birds this Saturday during the Trick-a-More on Sycamore Street festival. The next opportunity to purchase will be at the annual Newtown Township Santa's Great Candy Cane Hunt on Dec. 2, where the EAC will have a booth with information and an activity for kids to make pinecone bird feeders. Thomas said anyone interested in purchasing items can also contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thomas said the EAC initially signed on as a Bird Town to spark interest in environmental issues among members of the community.
The Bird Town program encourages and aids communities to utilize better land management practices and stewardship with the goal of achieving a range of environmental benefits, according to Audubon.
“Birds are the most visible and measurable indicators of environmental health in our natural areas,” said information from Audubon. “Pennsylvania is an important place to migrant song birds but habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation continue to cause population declines in birds, other wildlife, and plants. Roughly 2.1 million acres of wildlife habitat nationwide are converted to residential use every year.”
The EAC is also seeking sponsors. Currently the Makefield Friends Meeting is a sponsor, Thomas said.
Corporate or business sponsors that donate $100 or more get a vinyl decal they can display on a storefront or office window showing their support of Bird Town, Thomas said. Donations can be sent to Newtown Township (to the attention of the EAC) at 100 Municipal Drive, Newtown, PA 18940. Checks can be made out to Newtown Township with Bird Town in the memo line.
To keep its Bird Town status, Newtown will be required to take on a number of initiatives that encourage sustainability and promote community awareness of ecological issues.
Upper Moreland, Montgomery County was the state’s first Bird Town. It received that designation in October 2010.