Haycock Township is now a National Wildlife Federation Certified Community Wildlife Habitat!

The above article was published 10/25/12 on the front page of the Bucks County Herald

Link to the Intelligencer article published 10/22/12 below followed by the text:

Haycock earns prestigious environmental certification
By Chris Ruvo Correspondent | Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 5:50 am

So intent was Julie Fagan on inspiring her hometown of Haycock to earn a prestigious environmental certification, she wore a bee costume to a supervisors meeting.

It was an unforgettable move made to persuade the board to register Haycock with the National Wildlife Federation as a township interested in becoming a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat. It also emphasized how local bee populations are declining, a problem that could perhaps be mitigated if Haycock, collectively, institutes the best environmental practices that must be implemented to achieve certification.

On Sunday, the efforts of Fagan and other volunteers — who worked assiduously on a grassroots campaign — paid off when Haycock became only the 63rd community in the United States to be named a Certified Community Wildlife Habitat. Only two other Pennsylvania towns — Bethlehem and Hamburg — have achieved the designation.

Roxanne Paul, National Wildlife Federation’s senior coordinator of community and volunteer outreach, was on hand at Haycock’s community day to present supervisors, Fagan and other volunteers with official recognition of the township’s certification.

“The NWF commends the dedicated residents of Haycock and the Haycock Township Community Wildlife Habitat Team for their wildlife conservation efforts and for coming together for a common purpose — to create a community where people and wildlife can flourish,” Paul said.

Fagan was excited to see all the hard work come to fruition. “It’s a feeling of relief for this to happen finally,” she said.

The Community Wildlife Habitat project is part of NWF’s Certified Wildlife Habitat program. These projects benefit plants, wildlife and people through the creation of sustainable landscapes that require little or no pesticides, fertilizers and excess watering. These landscapes help keep water and air resources cleaner, making communities healthier for people and the environment.

“A Community Wildlife Habitat project multiplies this positive effect by creating multiple habitat areas in backyards, schoolyards, corporate properties, community gardens, parkland and other spaces,” said Paul.

Of the approximately 900 households in Haycock, 64 homes and 10 farms became NWF Certified Wildlife Habitat sites, as did Nockamixon State Park.

An associate professor in the school of environmental and biological science at Rutgers University, Fagan went door to door discussing the initiative with residents and getting them to participate.

Some of her students, along with township residents, lent time and effort to the awareness-raising project. In fact, students gave presentations about the project outside Haycock to other communities, which have shown interest in getting certified.

Reducing invasive species, cutting down on pesticide and herbicide use, and making the local habitat better for diminishing populations of bats and bees were main motivators for Fagan.

“At a time when communities are faced with the problems of losing habitat to development, Haycock stands out as a model for other communities to emulate,” said Paul. “The knowledge and inspiration that this project has generated will lead Haycock residents and visitors to take better care of their natural world.”

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