Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Memorial Birdhouses on Madison St.

English: A female House Sparrow perching on it...
English: A female House Sparrow perching on its nest in a birdhouse. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
One of the birdhouses in Gramercy Park, Manhat...
Please send smaller birdhouses than this ^.
By Christopher Lotito

Spring and the Easter season can often be a time for remembering loved ones who are no longer with us.  In the spirit of treasured memories and new beginnings, those who would like to memorialize their loved one can help improve a local nature site by purchasing and decorating a birdhouse in their memory to be installed in the not-quite-yet-official park at the corner of Greenwood Ave and Madison St. in Pequannock.

Let me say that again:

You:

  • Buy or build a birdhouse ($4.99 at Michael's [$3.99 this week]).  
  • Decorate it, preferably in your home's colors, your loved one's home's colors, or maybe some nice cape cod subdued primaries.*  
  • Would probably be good to do this with outdoor paint.**  
  • Put your loved one's name on the birdhouse or include some sort of weatherproof card (funeral cards are small and laminated!), or if you prefer, don't include anything.
  • Drop it off at 84 Madison St. before March 30th.


Me:

  • *I'll paint your birdhouse if you prefer not to.
  • **If your birdhouse is painted with non-weatherproof paint, let me know and I'll shellac it (spray can).
  • I'll install birdhouses in the woods/park across from the end of Madison St. (non-river end) on Greenwood Ave.  Will also install card / name plaque (small please). -- I will try to install the ones I get early enough prior to Easter and to post photos in that time.


Here's the good part:

  • I'll photograph your birdhouse, hopefully with some nice birds making a home in it.  Possibly with a mischievous squirrel (I don't control the squirrels, no one does).
  • I will post the photograph(s) at full resolution on Facebook and Pequannocknews.com (there will be a lot of photos and a lot of photos of the same birdhouses [so you'll have variety]).
  • You can do whatever prints you want from the photos.


In the Fall:

I might leave the birdhouses up for the Winter, or I might not, depends on how many I get and how they hold up to the weather.  If you want me to take your birdhouse down, I will, provided their aren't eagles nesting in it or anything.

The Garden / Park:

Our park on Madison St. and Greenwood is a section of unpaved paper-street that has been wooded for decades.  After Hurricane Irene, I decided that it would be great if that land stopped being a trash dump, so I cleaned it out, raked it, have tried desperately to grow grass there, managed to secure a bench, and have planted tons of flowers and some kitchen herbs.  I'm hoping Pequannock will accept it as a park eventually since they already own the land and frankly, there'd be no reason to ever extend Madison St. in that direction.

You can get a birdhouse for anyone, so long as its appropriate.  If a civic organization wants to put one up for a founding member or historic figure, that's cool.

This could be a really nice way to keep the memory of those who we've lost.  If you have any questions or are interested, contact me through one of the million usual methods.

Christopher Lotito is a member of the Pequannock Historic District, Open Space, and Flood Control Advisory Commissions as well as the author of  "Torrent," a book about flooding in the region.  Lotito's personal mission is to reduce new taxes, drastically reduce flooding, and preserve more green spaces for our children.  Christopher Lotito Profile

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