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Bird Harbor opens at Great Embankment Park in Pittsford

The grand opening of Bird Harbor at Great Embankment Park occurred over the weekend, marking the culmination of a multi-year effort to create a sanctuary for native birds and pollinators.
Town of Pittsford
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The grand opening of Bird Harbor at Great Embankment Park occurred over the weekend, marking the culmination of a multi-year effort to create a sanctuary for native birds and pollinators.

The grand opening of Bird Harbor at Great Embankment Park occurred over the weekend. This marked the culmination of a multi-year effort to create a sanctuary for native birds and pollinators. This project is part of Pittsford's broader commitment to environmental stewardship.

Bird Harbor, located at 631 Marsh Road in Great Embankment Park, features a variety of native trees, shrubs, perennials, a pollinator garden, and a meadow designed to provide essential food and shelter for local wildlife. The initiative complements other environmental projects in the area, such as the Erie Canal Nature Park and the gardens at the Spiegel Pittsford Community Center.

Pittsford Town Supervisor Bill Smith explained the evolution and significance of the Bird Harbor initiative.

"This Bird Harbor began as another pollinator garden, and as the work went on, we saw an opportunity to focus on the birds and to make it a bit more of a bird harbor,” he said. “Not only for the intrinsic ecological benefit, but also as an educational opportunity for the public to have a better understanding of what kind of birds we're trying to attract, why we're trying to attract them, and how they benefit the environment.”

The creation of Bird Harbor was a collaborative effort between the town and community groups, including Color Pittsford Green. The partnership underscored the importance of involving residents in environmental conservation.

Karen Berger, chair of the Brighton Conservation Boardand secretary of Color Brighton Green, has led a similar Pollinator Pathway program in Brighton. She says community efforts in supporting pollinator health are vital to the health of local ecosystems.

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"People who participate in these programs really focus on both having plantings that are suitable and inviting for pollinators,” she said, “but also committing to not using artificial chemicals that could potentially harm the health of those pollinators.”

The launch of Bird Harbor was part of Pittsford's first-ever Pollinator Week, which included informational sessions on promoting conservation and supporting pollinator populations.

"This project enhances local biodiversity and creates sustainable habitats for birds and pollinators," Smith said.

The public is welcome to visit Bird Harbor at Great Embankment Park and explore the new sanctuary.

Jasmin Singer is the host of WXXI’s Weekend Edition and Environmental Connections, as well as a guest host for Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Connections.