There's a new feature is coming to The Arboretum at Penn State: a bird garden.
Charles "Skip" Smith, Penn State alumnus and philanthropist whose "giving has fueled the creation and supported the growth" of the Arboretum, and his sons — David, Jeffry and John — have committed $1.8 million to construct a bird garden designed to attract birds year-round and educate Arboretum visitors, according to a news release from Penn State.
"With the Bird Garden we hope to create a highly aesthetic garden setting that is purposefully designed to provide nesting habitats and a source of fruits, seeds, insects and water as nourishment for birds," Kim Steiner, director of the Arboretum and professor of forest biology, said in the release.
The garden will feature bird-friendly plants, feeders, nesting boxes, water sources and a roofed pavilion for bird waters, according to the university. Construction is expected to begin in 2019.
Skip Smith is the son of Harry O. "H.O." Smith, for whom the botanic gardens at the Arboretum are named. Skip Smith made a lead gift of $10 million to launch the construction of the Arboretum in 2007.
"With spring in full bloom and summer approaching, the Arboretum is showcasing the beauty and life of the season," Skip Smith said in the release. "It's fun to play a role in creating such a wonderful haven for birds, bees, plants and trees — all of which make central Pennsylvania a great place to call home."
O. Richard Bundy III, Penn State's vice president for development and alumni relations, called the commitment "an inspiring illustration of how philanthropy can quite literally transform the landscape of our campus."