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Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program Attracts New Residents to Lime Hollow Center

Web link image: Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture

Web image: An aerial view of Lime Hollow and surrounding area
Ariel view of Lime Hollow and surrounding area

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Web image: Photo of a Bobolink. Click image for full screen view.

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Cortland County, New York, July 2012

The Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture is a 430 acre nature preserve located off McLean Road in Cortland County, New York. The preserve is made up of a diverse habitat including mixed forests, meadows, streams, ponds, fens, and a bog.

In 2003 the Nature Center entered into a Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP) contract with NRCS to conduct some Brush Management and then scheduled mowing on three fields totaling 25.6 acres. One of their hopes was that by participating in WHIP they might be able to provide the needed habitat for declining and/or endangered birds to the over 200 species already present at the facility.

In 2012, all the hard work on the three fields paid off. Bobbie Monroe, an experienced birder, recently reported that as she was doing her Bluebird trail monitoring she saw two singing male Bobolinks on the western meadow. She saw them not just once, but on two separate days at least a week apart. To Peter Harrity, Associate Director of the Center, this was exciting news because during the four years that he has been there, there has not been one single report of Bobolinks at Lime Hollow, even on migration.

Bobbie made two recent trips to the meadow. On both occasions, she spotted one signing male bobolink. "I believe there is a nesting female and hope over the summer to confirm her presence. What this suggests to me is that the past years of proper mowing our meadows under the NRCS WHIP agreement is finally paying off."

In addition to mowing, tipping and clearing the bigger brush (multi-flora rose, honeysuckle, buckthorn, etc.) off the western meadow has made the 15 acre meadow more attractive to these ground nesting birds. "My hope is that the bobolink numbers will increase and..... I'm keeping my fingers crossed some Eastern Meadowlarks and Savannah Sparrows may be attracted to nest here too." Bobbie reports that 2012 has been a banner year at Lime Hollow for bluebird production. She had six pairs producing eggs and I believes all have fledged their first clutches. She said this has been the best year for bluebirds since she has been doing the Bluebird trail monitoring.

With offices in nearly every county in the United States, NRCS works with landowners and communities to improve our soil, water, air, plants, wildlife, and energy use. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) is a voluntary program that provides financial and technical assistance to farmers to help plan and implement conservation practices to protect the environment while helping producers meet Federal, State, Tribal and local environmental regulations. If you are interested in how you can protect natural resources on your farm or forestland, please contact your local NRCS office.

For information about public programs, school programs and activities offered the Center, please visit the Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture Web site.

For information about the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, please visit our Programs Web page.

Media Contact: Public Affairs 315-477-6524