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Boxes for birds

SoVaNow.com / March 01, 2018
Land and wildlife conservation issues took center stage at Monday’s South Boston Town Council work session as Ward Burton requested support for two important projects spearheaded by the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation.

Project Prothonotary is a wildlife initiative the foundation implemented in 2017 to study the use of the Dan River watershed by the Prothonotary Warbler, a tropical bird that migrates from South America each spring.

Using Foundation wetlands as breeding habitat, the Foundation successfully attracted breeding pairs of these warblers to nest boxes specially built and placed for this purpose.

Based on this success, the Foundation is expanding the project to cover additional wetlands in the Roanoke River basin.

Students in four counties are building the nesting boxes. They will also be assisting in the installment of the boxes on the Staunton River from Brookneal downstream to Buggs Island Lake, along the Banister and Dan rivers, and on the Nottoway River in Brunswick County.

The foundation hopes to interest individuals as well as businesses or community organizations in sponsoring nesting boxes for a donation of $100 each. The plan is to construct and place 100 additional nesting boxes in appropriate habit throughout the county before the birds arrive in mid-March.

Burton asked Town Council to help support the foundation’s Adopt-A-Box program to raise funds and promote awareness of this migratory bird that has already lost more than 40 percent of its wetlands habit.

The foundation hopes to interest individuals as well as businesses or community organizations in sponsoring nesting boxes for a donation of $100 each. The plan is to construct and place 100 additional nesting boxes in appropriate habitat throughout the county before the birds arrive in mid-March.

Donors will receive an end-of-project report, a personalized nameplate on one of the nesting boxes, and an invitation to a celebratory event to be held at the end of breeding season.

Raab recommended that Council sponsor four or five of the boxes.

If you are interested in adopting a box, send your check to The Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation to PO Box 519, Halifax, VA 24558. Make sure to include the name you want displayed on the box. You can also text WBWF to 717-77. Additionally, donations can be made using PayPal. Email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Burton announced that he and his wife Tabitha, along with business partner John Cannon plan to donate the Victory Warehouse property to the Town of South Boston.

The land is adjacent to where the town plans to build a boat ramp on the south side of the Dan River. Burton sees possibilities for walking trails and rebuilding the original covered bridge.

Burton said he and Raab have been talking about this boat ramp for almost a year, and that for his part, “[We are] ready to move forward with the project.”

Vice-Mayor Coleman Speece told Burton, “We are with you — you’ve given a lot back to this community ... you came back here to live ... your foundation and work in the community has enhanced our area.”

Both projects will come before Town Council for further discussion at the regular monthly meeting on March 12.



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