Since 2016 volunteers from the the Big Spring Watershed Association have developed a bird and pollinator habitat at the corner of Big Spring and Nealy Roads. The flowering plants, grasses, and shrubs provide food and cover for pollinators. The leaves and stems of the plants provide birds with food, places to lay eggs and raise young, and shelter from predators.
The main criterion for choosing the specific plants is that they support one or more pollinator during all or part of their life cycle. There are 19 plant species supporting pollinators and song birds throughout the year. For an inventory of the plants in the bird and pollinator habitat, click here. Due to the poor soil location of the site, all of the plants are drought and salt tolerant
In late 2016 Mary Blakeslee, Laszlo Bockh, and Linda and Bill Franz assessed the soils at the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PAFBC) parking lot and laid out the plot of the future habitat. They found the soil both highly compacted and rocky. The area was covered with weeds and allowed run off from Big Spring Road, across the PAFBC parking lot and into Big Spring. The photo on the left shows the area before work began.
In early 2017 volunteers prepared the soil for planting and by June 2017 the first plants were installed.
Over the next few years the habitat was expanded and the soils continually improved. Each spring and summer volunteers have weeded and watered the habitat.
This project has been funded by grants from the Cumberland County Land Partnership Program. BSWA thanks Cumberland County for its generous support of the habitat.
For more information about the bird and pollinator garden, contact our habitat coordinator in the form below.