Through a network of partnerships, Audubon North Carolina is engaging more people in everyday bird conservation. From installing nest boxes to planting bird-friendly native plants, the Bird-Friendly Communities initiative has created a growing number of places where birds can survive and thrive in our urban and suburban communities.
This spring, in Winston-Salem and Charlotte, these community partnerships brought together dozens of volunteers to build bird-friendly gardens filled with bird-friendly native plants to offer sustainable bird habitats in traditionally urban neighborhoods.
In Winston-Salem, Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Communities team partnered with Forsyth Audubon and Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County to transform a landscape into a rain garden filled with hundreds of bird-friendly native plants including Cardinal Flower from the 2015 list and Black-eyed Susan from the 2016 growing list. Wendi Hartup, an environmental agent with the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension service, provided technical expertise.
The garden will work to capture rain run-off from the upslope landscaped areas. It will also serve as an outdoor classroom to educate future Habitat homeowners on the benefits of using bird-friendly native plants in their landscapes.
In Charlotte, the team worked with Mecklenburg Audubon and Wells Fargo volunteers to build an exhibit garden at the entrance to the Charlotte Nature Museum. The garden is the latest exhibit offered to museum visitors. It will greet visitors as they arrive to the museum and will serve as a prominent stop on the Museum’s walking nature tours and an oasis for birds in the heart of the city. Ed Davis of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Botanical Gardens designed the garden. Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation donated boulders and staff assisted with preparing the site.
Soon, signage will be included that educates museum visitors on the benefits of native plants and inspire them to develop their own bird-friendly garden at home.
A Statewide Effort to Transform Communities
This fall, the work will expand to Raleigh! In partnership with Wake Audubon and North Carolina Interfaith Power & Light, bird-friendly gardens will be built in a number of faith communities across the city.
Bird-Friendly Gardens by the Numbers:
The impact of these partnerships is limitless to protecting our birds and preserving the habitats they need. By the numbers, we were able to achieve:
- 357 plants installed at both gardens
- 35 volunteers attended a work day
- 9 community partners participated
- 1 grant by the Wells Fargo Environmental Solutions for Communities program
- Countless birds saved by having the resources they need to thrive
To learn more about the Bird-Friendly Communities initiative, click here.
This project is supported in partnership with Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF). In 2012, Wells Fargo and NFWF launched the Environmental Solutions for Communities initiative, designed to support projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment.