On the sunny, 30-degree afternoon of Thursday, Jan. 24, Dewey Browder stood in front of Harned Hall giving instructions to an APSU landscaping crew on where to hang various small, wooden houses.
“We’ve long wanted birdhouses here,” said Browder, chair of the history and philosophy departments.
Birdhouses and feeders of various sizes were hung around campus to help solidify APSU’s status as a certified wildlife habitat.
“To get certified, you have to prove you’re providing animals with food, water and shelter,” Browder said, adding that the houses could provide both shelter and food for local bird populations.
The idea to move towards making APSU a certified habitat began in meetings of the Clarksville Audubon Society in fall 2012.
Browder, whose backyard is also a certified habitat, took over the project and soon brought it to the attention of APSU landscape manager Lindsay Jackson.
“It’s a step towards having a more ‘green’ campus,” Jackson said. “It definitely creates more sustainability, which is a good thing.” Once the project was cleared, Browder sent out information looking for organizations that might be interested in sponsoring birdhouses.
Currently, there are houses designated for each college of study, as well as for the Students for Secular Humanism, Phi Kappa Phi and the Office of the President, among others. Several of the biggest birdhouses were designed by engineers at Fort Campbell. Across campus, one can find fixtures ranging from basic, traditional wooden birdfeeders to fully painted, two-level houses weighing up to 80 pounds, according to Browder.
Christina Chester-Fangman, librarian and staff advisor to the Students for Secular Humanism, said club members were excited to be a part of the event. “Part of the club’s mission emphasizes public service, so they thought this was a good way to help out,” Chester-Fangman said.
In the future, the sponsoring organizations, as well as campus landscaping, will help with maintenance of the birdhouses. Browder speculated that if the new installations were to bring more types of birds to campus, it could be a good opportunity for bird watching, whether for the biology department or a possible APSU Audubon club.
“Our campus is a beautiful campus,” Browder said. “We just want to make it even more beautiful.”