Garden Club of Danville starting Bluebird Trail

Published 2:36 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2024

At the Garden Club of Danville February meeting, member Joanna Kirby introduced a Bluebird Trail that the club will create this spring. Susan Throneberry, president of The Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc. has chosen these trails as a special project for her term.

The vivid blue birds came near extinction during the 20th century due partly to habitat loss and lack of nesting cavities. Non-native starlings and house sparrows introduced to America early in the century became a dangerous threat. These aggressive birds can drive bluebirds from their cavity nests and even kill them.

Bluebirds have made a heartening recovery, thanks to the efforts of individuals and groups that have established Bluebird Trails in open areas and mounted thousands of nest boxes.

Email newsletter signup

The Garden Club of Danville will team with Boy Scout Troop 119 to build and install 30 boxes. As his Eagle Scout project, troop member Will Wilson is managing the construction, location, and installation of the boxes.

Garden Club volunteers have adopted a house for $10. There will be a painting party in late February to color and decorate the boxes. Each box will have a painted number for monitoring and maintenance. Volunteers check and clean the boxes at least once a year.

The boxes will be mounted on steel posts along the stretch of Clarks Run Trail between East Main Street and Stanford Road to the reservoir. Preston Miles of CREEC, Clarks Run Environmental Education Commission, has acted as consultant for choosing the most appropriate section of trail to use.

Bluebirds begin selecting nest sites in early March so houses will go up before then. Both Eastern Bluebirds and walkers in Danville will benefit, as bird populations and sightings increase.

Also at the meeting, new officers were introduced. Sam Swain, who filled an unexpired term last year, will remain as President for two more years. Her Vice President is Mimi Gosney, Mimi Becker is Secretary, and Beth Leahey will continue as Treasurer.

Jessica Bessin, Mercer County Extension Agent for Horticulture, presented a program on Vertical Gardening. She illustrated ways to use trellises, arbors, teepees, and other tall structures to keep plants off the ground.

Bessin explained how growing plants, especially vegetables, on tall supports allows for more food in less space, less disease, and easier harvest and maintenance. The structures can be decorative, too, and create privacy screens. County Extension Service offices can provide instructions for vertical gardening.