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Bird Box Project Helps Pollinators in Cambria County

July 05, 2023 11:00 AM
By: Monica Owens

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​You've heard of Habitat for Humanity, well, how about Habitat for Pollinators? Helping pollinator species of bees, butterflies and other insects is a significant environmental focus for PennDOT. Over the past several years gardens full of wildflowers that attract these pollinators have been planted along PennDOT roadways across Pennsylvania. In District 9, county employees have grown pretty blooms at county offices and in open areas near state roads.


One of the MR-2's in Cambria County came up with an idea to help support the birds that also do the job of pollinating crops, specifically, Blue Birds. Bart Borlie started making bird boxes out of scrap lumber he had lying around the stockpile to put in some of the newly planted pollinator habitats in the county. He successfully built 30 boxes and thought, why stop there? Borlie then suggested having school kids paint the boxes, which led to having a local Girl Scout Troop paint them to earn a badge.

Management Analyst 2, Tara Callahan-Henry, being heavily involved in Scouts with her own children, coordinated the effort to have a sister troop from Girl Scouts of Western PA take on the project. Cambria County Maintenance Manager Mike Peachey took it from there and the girls got creative! They each painted different designs on the boxes earlier this Spring then, crews installed them in several of their pollinator habitats.