Audubon Pennsylvania is proud to announce the completion of a signage project within the Carpenter’s Woods section of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. Four brand-new signs, designed and erected by the Friends of Carpenter’s Woods (FCW), publicly recognize the Park as an Important Bird Area (IBA), a designation it originally received in May 2005. The sign project began in July 2008 when the FCW expressed interest in communicating the fact that the Woods provide critical habitat to various bird species. After some discussion the FCW agreed that an IBA sign would be the most appropriate medium for this purpose.
Unfortunately, IBA signs given to the Park three years ago were never posted because the signs did not contain the Park logo, and (at the time) neither Audubon nor the Park devised a solution to the problem. FCW member and graphic designer John Goschke volunteered to reconfigure the current IBA sign by adding the Fairmount Park and FCW logos. The redesigned version includes the text and logos that appeared on the original sign and incorporates the logos for Fairmount Park and the FCW, a photo of a Red-eyed Vireo on its nest in Carpenter’s Woods, and information about why Fairmount Park (including the Woods) is an IBA.
During September various members of the Audubon family including John Cecil, National Audubon Society’s Director of Important Bird Areas; several Fairmount Park staff including Park director Mark Focht; and the Friends of Carpenter’s Woods reviewed the new version of Audubon’s IBA sign. Several rounds of comments were received and appropriate changes were made before final approval
Finally, on November 22, 2008, the FCW erected 4 new IBA signs within Carpenter’s Woods. The signs were attached to posts made from black locust harvested inside the park. One sign was placed at each of the 4 major entrances to the Woods. The FCW paid the total production costs of $200.00. The signs provide an ever-present reminder to visitors that Carpenter’s Woods is part of an IBA by providing specific information about the role Carpenter’s Woods plays in protecting birds. The signs are part of a series of measures the FCW has taken to educate visitors about the integral part Carpenter’s Woods plays within the Fairmount Park IBA.
In the meantime, this situation has presented Audubon with an opportunity to re-assess how the state’s IBA signs should look and how they should be produced while re-energizing the process of getting IBA signage erected throughout the state. Due to the success of this effort Fairmount Park has now expressed interest in erecting IBA signs (using the new design) throughout the Park, and Carpenter’s Woods and the FCW helped make it happen.