Members of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps Construct and Install Bird Boxes to Create Shelter for Birds to Thrive
Forty-three volunteers gathered along the future home of the Loop the Lake Trail extension Saturday, September 29, to build and install bird boxes, and participate in citizen science monitoring. The volunteers are part of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps, an expanding organization of community volunteers who are contributing to restoration projects that are creating or improving wildlife habitat in the Onondaga Lake watershed. The volunteers built nearly 30 bluebird nesting boxes, which were provided through a partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and FORCES (Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship).
The boxes offer bird species a better chance to survive and thrive, reducing declines in population and restoring species to places they once inhabited. When birds nest in the structures, they have the best likelihood of raising their young successfully.
During the event, Corps members tracked native birds on a birding walk along Onondaga Lake’s western and southwest shorelines, and cleaned out existing nesting boxes to prepare them for the next breeding season.
As part of the Onondaga Lake cleanup, Honeywell has restored about 90 acres of wetlands, and about 1.1 million native plants are being planted. The restored wetlands have become home to nearly 260 wildlife species, including more than 120 unique bird species that have been identified in and around Onondaga Lake.
The Corps seeks to inspire future stewards of Onondaga Lake and its watershed through a hands-on, experience-based program that offers citizens and organizations the opportunity to participate in activities that help restore and sustain Onondaga Lake and its value as an Important Bird Area.
Since the formation of the Corps, over 30 events have brought together more than 800 volunteers who have become environmental stewards and Corps members. In recognition of their work, the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps was awarded a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 2015 Environmental Champion Award.
The Corps was founded in 2012 by Honeywell in partnership with Montezuma Audubon Center and Onondaga Audubon and is now an Audubon New York program. Additional Corps supporters include Parsons, OBG, Anchor QEA, Bond Schoeneck & King, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and Wild Ones Habitat Gardening in CNY Chapter.
View more photographs of the Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps.
For more information on the Onondaga Lake cleanup, please visit www.lakecleanup.com.