Sep 08, 2021

Environmental Champions: Audubon is building bird-friendly communities, thanks to a PPL grant

Picture of a bird-friendly habitat sign

When one thinks about a garden, they may envision the need for perfectly manicured exotic plants and flowers, but the fact is, wild and native is what makes our feathered friends and local landscape thrive.

Audubon’s Bird-friendly Communities program in Pennsylvania, funded in part by a PPL grant, aims to provide knowledge and resources so the community can build native bird friendly habitats.

Why are birds important? Birds are indicator species. They evolve and respond to changes in their environment. If there are negative changes to bird populations, it is an indication that there is an environmental change that is cause for concern.

With a focus on food, water, shelter and nesting, Audubon provides a yearly ‘Birdy Dozen’ list which highlights native plants that have positive impacts to local landscape, as well as offering planting diagrams to take the guesswork out of building a native bird friendly garden.

“Native plants are as beneficial as they are beautiful” explained Kelly McGinley, network engagement manager, Audubon Mid-Atlantic. “With their large roots, they are the muscle of the garden, offering more benefits than exotic plants.”

To make finding native plants easier, local nurseries participate in the program, in turn helping the community garden centers thrive as well. Audubon also has a Native Plants Database to help create customized lists for your area by entering your zip code.

Nikki Jones, director of public affairs, PPL Electric Utilities, has happily served on the Audubon board since December 2019. “PPL is proud to provide Audubon with sustaining grant funding for this exceptional program” states Jones. “I commend Audubon for their dedicated efforts to provide healthy and sustainable habitats for many different species of birds.”

PPL’s support of this program is part of our strategy to support environmental conservation efforts, including our own work planting pollinator-friendly plants in power line right of ways and contributing trees to organizations through the Community Roots program.

Learn more about bird friendly communities here.