Plans for athletic fields could affect migratory birds

Representatives of Audubon Greenwich say several species of migratory birds may be affected if two planned athletic fields are built at the site of a former Cos Cob power plant.

Audubon Greenwich Center Director Karen Dixon says coastal salt marshes and wetlands provide important habitats for a wide variety of birds, including the salt marsh sharp-tailed sparrow and the long-eared owl. Dixon says more of these birds are losing their habitats as development increases.

While Audubon Greenwich admits the town needs more playing fields, it also says the birds and other types of wildlife are vital to southwestern Connecticut. Dixon feels building one field would be a better balance for both the town and the wildlife.

"Honestly, one new field won't meet our needs, our minimal needs. Two new fields likely won't," says Ric Wellington, of the Department of Parks and Recreation. "We need as much space as we can get and we look at this as the last, best opportunity."

A public hearing on this issue is scheduled for April 28 at Central Middle School in Greenwich at 7 p.m.

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