Home to a variety of bird species, Salisbury's unique, bird-friendly environments on South Mountain and Walking Purchase Park could help qualify the township to be designated an Audubon Bird Town community.
The township Environmental Advisory Council, which has been working on the initiative over the past two years, will make a formal presentation at the board of commissioners' Feb. 14 meeting.
The Bird Town designation not only is indicative of a community's ecological health, it can increase tourism, said Director of Planning and Zoning Cynthia Sopka, who is secretary of the Environmental Advisory Council.
"Bird-watching is a multimillion dollar business," Sopka said.
"And it's a way to unite our communities. The schools could get involved. People can create backyard feeders. The more species you have, the better the environment," Sopka told the commissioners at their meeting last week.
Walking Purchase Park is home to more than 800 bird species, including migratory, nesting and neo-tropical birds, Sopka said.
Commissioner Joanne Ackerman noted that birds are good for the environment because they eat insects.
If Salisbury Township's application is approved, it would become the third Audubon Bird Town in Lehigh County, after Allentown and Lower Macungie, and the 18th in the state.
To qualify as a Bird Town, Salisbury needs to meet certain qualifications, such as having an Environmental Advisory Council, native plantings in parks, or park planning that improves bird habitat.
Annual fees for program participation are $450 for materials and assistance, or $850 for materials, assistance and training for six individuals from the township.