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Bluebirds for Veterans

From left: Allen Jackson, Matthew Daher, and Susanne Morello stand next to a bluebird nestbox in the Blue Star Memorial Garden.

The Countryside Garden Club (CGC) has designed and built a special Blue Star Memorial Flower Garden at the NJ Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland. The Club maintains this garden for the enjoyment of the veterans who are residents there. A commemorative plaque designates the garden as “a tribute to the armed forces that have defended the United States of America.”

The flowers attract hummingbirds, butterflies, pollinators, and recently, a pair of Eastern Bluebirds. In 2022, a nestbox was installed after CGC member Carol Deuber asked Allen Jackson, past president of the New Jersey Bluebird Society, if he could place a bluebird box at the Memorial Garden. In less than a year, a pair of bluebirds found the box and claimed it as their home. In fact, four young bluebird chicks were fitted with special leg bands on July 11, 2023.

To celebrate the occasion, RJ Morrison, volunteer services assistant for life enrichment, and Matthew Daher, assistant chief executive officer at the Veterans Home, joined Susanne Morello of the Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County and Allen to commemorate the added serenity of having nesting bluebirds onsite.

As the bluebird population flourishes, plans are to expand the bluebird trail on the facility. The NJ Veterans Memorial Home at Vineland offers a wide array of services for its residents, including medical, rehabilitation and activity programs.

Jackson is a North American Bluebird Society director and also serves on their Development and Education committees and co-chairs the Nestbox committee.