For the Birds project coming up

Barbara Hootman

Libba Tracy is not only a well-known artist, but she is a nature lover who stimulates the public to take action to save Western North Carolina's wild creatures. Her most recent effort is "For the Birds,” a town-wide event that focuses on backyard birds, as well as birds endangered by climate change and habitat loss.

“For the Birds” is the third annual event organized by Tracy to raise awareness about WNC wildlife.  The two preceding events, “What’s the Buzz about Bees?” and “Save the Monarch Butterfly” were popular and educational for children and adults.  Each event brought awareness to a particular species that was threatened and needed the public’s help.

Lu Ann Wilks and her husband keep at least five bird feeders full every day to keep the birds full and and well fed.

During "For the Birds," third-grade children from four schools will portray chimney swifts congregating at Town Square and flapping their way to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts for the exhibit there, "For the Birds." During their processionals Sept. 13-15, the children will carry swifts made by Tracy. They will make a stop at the chimney swift tower at the Black Mountain Library and then flap over to the art center. There, they will participate in a program presented by Tom Tribble, president of the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society about backyard birds. They'll also see owls, bat and Velma the Vulture brought in by Carlton Burke, wildlife rehabilitator and naturalist.

“We want to again use the arts to raise awareness about local creatures that are in danger,” Gale Jackson, Black Mountain Center for the Arts executive director, said. “This entire event includes locally designed and fabricated arts that call folks to look and see the birds we are giving attention to this fall.  It is vital that our children are educated about what will be their future in our natural world.  We appreciate all of the participating artists and educators and town workers and volunteers involved in 'For the Birds' this year.”

The "For the Birds" exhibition at the arts center show is Sept. 9-Oct. 7, with an artists reception 6-8 p.m. Friday,  Sept. 9. (See related story on Page 3B​).

The play “Two Birds One Stone” by Jessica Klarp has already been presented at the arts center.

“We also have some 25 bird banners around Black Mountain,” Tracy said.  “I enjoyed painting the birds, and have had a lot of fun with this project.  It has taken some six months of hard work to bring it about, but it is well worth the effort.”