Each year, more than 800 purple martins flock to INVISTA’s wildlife reserve to hatch their young in one of 200 white gourds atop poles on INVISTA’s Camden property in Lugoff. It’s the job of 15 employee volunteers to make sure INVISTA’s 640-acre wildlife habitat is ready to house these dark-feathered swallows, along with many other species of animals.
INVISTA’s carefully documented Wildlife at Work Program recently earned certification for 22 consecutive years from the Wildlife Habitat Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring and enhancing wildlife habitat. This year, the council has granted a three-year recertification to INVISTA’s Camden site in Lugoff, the maximum certification period offered by the council.
“We began many of our projects -- including the purple martin project -- in 1992,” Barbara Horton, operations supervisor and Camden Wildlife Team leader, said. “Our volunteers have always enjoyed working with the wildlife at INVISTA; we build and repair the habitats, monitor wildlife activity and keep records of the number of eggs and live births.”
The INVISTA Camden Wildlife Team maintains more than a dozen wildlife programs, which include care for Eastern bluebirds, wood ducks, prothonotary warblers, hummingbirds, wild turkeys, deer and native plants. The bluebird boxes are situated near a one-mile walking trail for community members to enjoy.
In addition to the acreage maintained at INVISTA, the Camden Wildlife Team donated and installed bluebird houses at other area locations, including Morningside of Camden, Pinedale Residential Center, Springdale Healthcare Center, and Camden Country Club. These projects are ongoing community partnerships that teach facility residents and management how to maintain the bird houses year after year.
(Story and photos provided by INVISTA.)