Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ruffner Mountain Native Plant Sale - April 14th

Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve and Birmingham Audubon Society are getting together to Grow Native and Celebrate Urban Birds for the Ruffner Mountain Native Plant Sale on Saturday, April 14th from 9AM to 3PM. 

Birds are a familiar and welcome sight to city dwellers and are like old friends. As spring blossoms and tender leaves emerge, our feathered friends accompany the seasonal transition with song and dance. Gardeners are soon to join in with a percussive clamor of gardening tools as they prep the soil for new plantings. 

Come to Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve to buy beautiful native plants and to learn of their importance to birds, insects, and other wildlife. Join us for a fun filled day of art, science, bird watching, games, gardening, and celebration of urban birds. Learn how to become a citizen scientist and a backyard conservationist by creating a wildlife habitat, observing birds in your neighborhood, and sending the data to scientists at the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Creating a wildlife habitat or haven for birds is simple and requires you to provide 4 things -- food, water, cover, and a place to rear their young. By planting native plants in your yard, you will accomplish 3 of the 4. Birmingham Audubon Society and local native plant experts will teach you how to provide all of the above with educational and fun activities during the second annual Ruffner Mountain Native Plant Sale. This event is free, open to the public, and will be fun for families and people of all ages. Plant material provided by Stoneshovel. Proceeds from plant sales will benefit Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, environmental education, and the propagation of native plants for future restoration projects.

Learn how our lifestyles and everyday choices seriously impact whatever habitat birds find in the city. Whether you live close to a park, have a yard, or only a balcony, by observing how birds survive in such close proximity to humans, you'll be helping researchers learn more about how well America's urban birds are doing on a local level.  

Urban birds rely on the seeds, berries, and insects native plants provide, so it only makes sense that if we plant native plants in our urban landscapes, we will have plenty of resident birds and probably a few migratory birds as well! Create a habitat garden. Even in the midst of the concrete and congestion of the city, your urban oasis will connect you to nature and reward you with a glimpse into the natural world and into the lives of birds. Their presence in our lives is truly something to celebrate!

Activities to include:

* Bird Hikes: throughout the day
* Bird Count: throughout the day
* GIFTED Children's Art Exhibit: judging to take place at the festival
* Water Feature Project Station: hand decorated project for kids
* Binocular Station: how to use them and purchasing advice
* Native Plant Seminar: plant experts will present a session on which plants attract native birds to your backyard
* Computer Station: demonstration on how to submit their data from their own backyards into the Celebrate Urban Birds web site
* Microscope Station: feathers and eggs
* Activity Table: bird color pages and crafts
* Artist Display: local artist's bird themed art

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