When my parents purchased the home where I grew up in Fayetteville, New York, one of the selling factors was that the property backed up to a bird preserve. My father reasoned that because the land was protected, no one would build on it and our home would always be surrounded by woods in the back. As someone who loves birds, I feel grateful to have grown up in a place where they were literally in my own backyard.
The Village of Fayetteville Bird Preserve, otherwise known as the Gramlich Bird Sanctuary is on about eight acres of land on both sides of Limestone Creek east of Highbridge St. at Audubon Parkway. In 1987, the area was listed as 10.2 acres, either because the creek had changed course or the original measurement was not precise.
The land was given to the village in 1933 by Jacob and Belle Gramlich to provide a forever wild area along Limestone Creek. They named it the Fayetteville Bird Preserve as a memorial to Frederick M. Gramlich who died in 1933, a few months after his graduation from the naval Academy at Annapolis. A bronze plaque on the east side of Highbridge St., just north of the entrance to Hullar Enterprises records the gift.
The land was originally planted with about 3,000 seedlings in the late 1920s by Fred Gramlich and his brother, J.E. Gramlich, as part of work for a Boy Scout conservation merit badge.
In the 1960s, a local Boy Scouts cleared paths and thinned the over-growth. The Fayetteville Garden Club planted shrubs to provide food and nesting locations. Several clean-up projects by Boy Scouts were done during the 1970s.
In the winter, when the birds are farther and fewer between, there is a beautiful stillness. The trees are covered in white, and walking along the paths, over a crunchy blanket of snow, it truly feels like a sanctuary.
Want to see more winter loveliness? Check out Delicious Baby Photo Friday!