Board of Supervisors decides on a name for new park accessible from Owens Drive

Date: May 11, 2018

At its Regular Meeting on Monday, May 7, the Ferguson Township Board of Supervisors decided on a name for our newest park -- Songbird Sanctuary. The nine-acre wooded area is accessible from Owens Drive.

Its name is inspired by many of the bird-centered suggestions submitted by residents, as well as the Township's plans to develop it as a habitat for upland birds and songbirds.

Among the birds that U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff anticipate visiting the site will be young, forest dependent species, including American woodcock, yellow warblers, Rufus-sided towhees, vireos, Baltimore orioles, Eastern bluebirds, phoebes, and scarlet tanagers.  

The authority to designate the name of a public park or open space is vested in the Board of Supervisors, which approved a Park Naming Policy at its Regular Meeting on February 17, 2015. Traditionally the Township has named public parks and open space based on the name of the subdivision from where the land was dedicated. Approved names may also be derived from:

  • an outstanding feature of the facility
  • an adjoining subdivision, street, school, or natural feature 
  • a commonly recognized historical event, group, organization or individual (living or deceased)
  • an individual or organization that has contributed significantly to the development of the facility
  • outstanding accomplishments by an individual for the good of the community
  • or any individual who provided an exceptional service in the interest of the park system

Ferguson Township's Park Naming Policy

Planning and Development of Songbird Sanctuary

The Township has begun planning and developing this parcel as a passive recreation area, including reforesting native tree species such as black locust, hickory, aspen, and grey dogwoods.

Because of its proximity to the Blue Course Drive shared use path, planners are considering a path extension through the park, as well as a pollinator plot. The goal of the project is to create an inviting forest oasis and continuous learning environment, while maintaining the site’s stormwater infiltration characteristics.

The Ferguson Township Tree Commission and the new Parks and Recreation Committee will serve as advisers in developing a master plan for the property.

Ferguson Township Elementary students -- working as members of a school environmental club -- planted 300 trees at the site in celebration of Arbor Day in April.

Current partners for this event include Ferguson Township, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Central PA Pheasants Forever, the Ferguson Township Elementary Environmental Club, and the Penn State EcoAction Club.

As part of the Capital Improvement Program, the Ferguson Township Public Works Department plans to repave Owens Drive and also construct a new turnaround, which could include parking at the entrance to the site. 

Photo Tour of the Site