Bethlehem has a bird!

Latest in a series of posts on the Swifts

Save Our Swifts

From Illick’s Mill to Saucon Park the City is moving toward a more
environmentally rich future.
Doug Roysdon

Gadfly is envious.

Last night the Swift was recognized as the official bird of Bethlehem.

No talk yet of an official insect.

Maybe next year.

This gadfly might even stay around for that and put the family name in the running.

But, yes, City Council approved Olga Negron’s resolution to name the Swift the official bird of the city of Bethlehem by a 7-0 tally.

(You’ll love Bernie O’Hare’s delightful squinty-eyed take on our choice of the Swift as our City bird. Take a look.)

Four of those wonderful Freemansburg 4th graders called in with remarkable aplomb to make the case: Yasiel, Emma, Ryan, and Cole. Be sure to listen.

Later City Council members took turns praising the project and the kids:

Gadfly will probably have some more to say about points Council members made, but he was especially struck with Councilwoman Van Wirt’s exhortation to the kids to “Please don’t ever stop calling your government and telling us what you think.”

A tip o’ the hat to Swift advocate Jennie Gilrain and Masonic Temple developer John Noble and the community that has formed around this project.

Gadfly has written about the many values of the Swift project for our town, and he will take this opportunity to provide one more example of such in a letter from Doug Roysdon to Council:

I would like to take this chance to endorse the adoption of the chimney swift as our city bird.  Beyond the many strong environmental reasons for embracing the swift, it occurs to me that these birds, with their acrobatic flight patterns,  offer great promise for graphic imagery for future city publications, initiatives, and signage.  I think this is particularly true as we move forward with our Climate Action Plan and increasingly promote the use of native plants in our parks and on the Greenway. From Illick’s Mill to Saucon Park the City is moving toward a more environmentally rich future.  We will want just the kind of imagery the chimney swift provides to support this greener future.  

But last night’s decision was not an end.

Stay tuned for news about a 3-part series of public forums hosted by the Bethlehem Area Public Library and supported by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium.

And we still have some money to raise to insure our Swifts are chimneyfied.

Swift Project headquarters is pursuing grants, but we have our part to play in raising money.

Frankly, the fundraising has stalled.

So let Gadfly remind you to contribute and to pass the word through your personal, familial, and social network.

And contributions from environmentally conscious folk from outside Bethlehem are gratefully accepted.

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Save Our Swifts

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