HomeMoorestown NewsSTEM adds new trail to Swede Run

STEM adds new trail to Swede Run

Organization continues its work on the fallow 75-acre field

Special to The Sun
Four Bluebird boxes are ready for installation at the township site.

Save the Environment of Moorestown (STEM) is establishing a Bluebird Trail at Swede Run Fields.

“Ultimately our goal is to have 12 to 15 Bluebird boxes installed along the trail at Swede Run with the hope of attracting Eastern bluebirds, which are really, really beautiful birds,” said Mark Pensiero, the organization’s president.

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“Their population has really dropped over the last few decades,” he added, “primarily from loss of habitat and – even more importantly – the impact of invasive species taking over potential nesting sites.”

The installation of Bluebird houses has succeeded in increasing Bluebird numbers, according to STEM’s Facebook page.

“Bluebirds nest in the wild in trees or cavity nesters, but they have to compete against some invasive species – primarily Starlings and House sparrows – as well as some native species …” Pensiero explained.

“So the idea of a Bluebird trail is to install these boxes in locations that are really prime habitat for them,” he continued. “The boxes are built very specifically to attract Bluebirds, and one of the key things is the size of the entrance hole to keep Starlings out.”

The project is a joint project between STEM and UrbanPromise. The latter is a nonprofit that promotes personal wellness and resilience, empowering youth to successfully overcome challenges, build competence and find hope in every situation, according to its website.

The Bluebird boxes – built by UrbanPromise at its Camden woodshop – are constructed to the specifications provided by the North American Bluebird Association. Four boxes have been installed, but STEM hopes to have 12 installed by mid-March. Members of STEM will monitor the boxes on a regular basis during the breeding season, and also hope to have all of the boxes installed before Bluebirds are out looking for potential breeding sites.

The project is the latest undertaking at Swede Run, which began in 2021 when STEM partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Moorestown to convert the fallow field into a more natural habitat.

Related to that, STEM continues to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through its Partners for Wildlife Program on other projects involving the 75-acre fallow farm field at Swede Run.

“Part of the original plan that was drawn up back in 2021 includes the enhancement of some wetlands- vernal pools – that are on site,” Pensiero pointed out. “ … At the end of the day, we should have two-and-a-half acres of wetlands over there at the big field, with the goal of attracting migrating ducks and Shorebirds, as well as providing breeding territory for some amphibians. We’re very excited about that project.”

STEM has been working with Moorestown Friends School, including teaching about invasive and native species. It’s also expected to work with the township’s Rotary Club to plan work sessions that will target invasive plants at some of Moorestown’s open spaces. STEM will hold its annual meeting on Wednesday, April 17, at the Community House of Moorestown at 7 p.m.

For more information on that, visit www.stemonline.org.

“It’s really been a fun project (Swede Run) and I’m happy to say the results are really what we were hoping for, which was habitat enhancement,” Pensiero noted, “and the types of birds we’re seeing there is really indicative of that success.”


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