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Light Pollution 

Half the Day is Dark, Let’s Leave It That Way

Half the creatures on the planet are active at night. We are probably not aware of most of them, but that is how they have evolved over millions of years. They thrive in the darkness, and need the darkness. The dark of night provides cover and safety for countless species of wildlife. This is the way of nature, the way things are supposed to work for half of every 24 hours.

We, as humans, are changing that environment at an alarming rate. Light pollution is a serious and growing danger for these nocturnal creatures. Birds are highlighted and clearly outlined to their predators. Insects are confused and distracted. Creatures on the ground are scared away from food and resources.

Birds are soon going to be going on their twice yearly migration up and down the East Coast. The growth and profusion of lights on the ground has made their nightly flights more dangerous, and more difficult to navigate. An abundance of artificial light can lead to mistiming of migration, disorientation, and dangerous changes of migratory patterns, which can have deadly effects on bird populations. Each year man made light pollution contributes to the death of millions of birds.

More than half of insects are active at night, and only at night. That means they have to feed, move about, mate, nest, and lay their eggs in the dark. A light source can literally exhaust them to death in as little as one night, as they fly about the source in a frenzy rather than gather pollen, procreate, and carry out other essential activities. These same insects also become easy pickings for the creatures that eat them, without the cover of darkness helping to hide them. The number of insect casualties each year can number in the billions.

We can do something about this. And it’s easy. Turn off your outside lights. Turn off the light by your front door, turn off the light at the end of the drive, turn off the light by the basement entrance. If there is a security concern, or you need it for when you get home after dark, motion sensors are readily available and at very low cost. Motion sensors are now built into the light bulb itself, meaning you don’t need to get a special light fixture. Motion sensors even work better as a deterrent for anyone who might be around at night, rather than having a light on all the time. You can also put your lights on a timer, but think about giving the wildlife 8 hours or more of solid dark per night. You also may find that you and your neighbors sleep better. After all, we evolved to sleep in the dark, not with some light pouring in the window at the wee hours of the morning.

You also can, and should, contact other buildings and structures that burn lights in parking lots, for instance, all night long. As an alternative for lights that need to be on, make the light red. Red light works just as well to illuminate a given area. Most wildlife cannot see red light, so it does not affect their behavior patterns. Many LED bulbs are programable to be turned red. Or a simple red plastic film, easily available, over the lens does the same thing. We can see red light, of course, and it doesn’t even reduce our night vision capabilities as humans, and also doesn’t negatively affect our sleep patterns.

There are not that many actions we can take that positively impact both the wider world and our own local environment. This is one of them. Burning a light all night long hurts the environment, kills wildlife, does nothing for your home security, disturbs your sleep, and costs you money. Let the creatures that live in the dark, live in the dark. And let’s see the stars again.

Let There Be Park Article 


Reducing Bird Collisions with Lights and Windows

Every year, millions of birds die due to collisions with windows, posing a significant threat to bird populations. By raising awareness about this issue, we aim to inform people about the simple measures they can take to prevent these fatalities, such as using bird-safe glass, decals, or screens. Educating the public helps foster a culture of conservation, ensuring that our avian friends continue to thrive and maintain their essential roles in our ecosystems.


Spotted Lanternfly

The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF) is a threat to Pennsylvania agriculture, including tree-fruit, hardwood and nursery industries. This invasive pest is also a major threat to homeowners’ trees and properties in general.

The Spotted Lanternfly attack fruit trees by feeding on the sap in the trunks, branches, twigs, and leaves. When the insect feeds on sap, it excretes a sweet sticky fluid called honeydew has a lot of remaining sugar and fungi will grow on it. Growth of fungi is black in color and called sooty mold.

Identification & Life Cycle

There is one generation of SLF per year. The eggs are laid in the fall and hatch in the spring. These egg masses are laid on hard surfaces and protected with a mud-like covering.

See the pictures below that illustrate the SLF at all of its life stages: egg masses, nymph and adult.

Currently, Pennsylvania is seeing a large amount of early nymph’s within our communities. Here are some tips to deal with Spotted Lanternfly nymphs.

  • Smashing the bugs is effective and the method that is least harmful to the environment.
  • Keep a spray bottle of insecticidal soap handy to spray lanternflies on contact.
  • Capture them in a bottle.
  • Use a shop vac.
  • Wrap your tree with sticky paper/duct tape.
  • Judiciously-used sticky paper.
  • Spray weeds with vinegar.
  • Plant more milkweed!


  1. Stop the spread
  2. Scrape eggs
  3. Brand trees to catch nymphs
  4. Remove tree-of-heaven
  5. Apply insecticides

Read more about the listed management techniques by reading Penn State Extension’s guide for homeowners.

Additional Resources

Visit Penn State Extension and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.  To report invasive insects: email the Department of Agriculture at

Check out a video published by PennState Extension on Identification and Concern of the Spotted Lanternfly. Click Here to view the video.

Information provided by PennState Extension and the PA Department of Agriculture.

Water Quality

View the most recent DTMA Water Quality Reports

Deer Management

The Environmental Advisory Committee has been approached by a number of residents recently asking what can be done about the number of deer in the Township. The most common complaint is destruction of our landscaping, but deer create much more serious and complex issues. Although gentle and beautiful, these deer are also a menace on our roads, a quiet pillager of farms and forests and a transmitter of serious illness. What can be done about all these deer?

It’s no mystery that we have a lot of White-tailed deer. Deer thrive on ‘the edge’, with manicured lawns and gardens to browse by day, and close by to forest cover for protection and additional forage. Here, the deer have no natural predators, and are also protected from hunting. With perfect conditions for survival, population of deer has exploded in suburban neighborhoods, and their population density is now much higher than in the time before people managed the landscape. In addition to large numbers, deer are also habituated to the presence of people, so they are unafraid to wander onto our lawns and roads and tend to hang around familiar areas. Even when frightened off, they soon return.

We easily recognize the damage that deer can do to our gardens, flowers and shrubs. Deer are decimating our native wildflowers and forest understory plants and shrubs. Deer also destroy our forests, by browsing saplings and rubbing small trees, causing fatal damage. As a result, our local woodlands have no chance to sustain normal regrowth and a healthy understory. Across Pennsylvania, deer cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the forestry industry. Likewise, deer do significant damage to farms and agriculture [AJ DiNicola 2000; Managing White-tailed Deer in Suburban Environments. A Technical Guide ISBN 1-57753-296-1].

Deerstrikes with cars is another obvious concern. State Farm Insurance projects that Pennsylvanians will have more than 174,000 deer strikes this year; 1 in 52 Pennsylvania drivers will hit an animal of some sort, which is the worst in the nation. Deerstrikes occur most frequently in November and October. [].

Finally, deer are a crucial vector in the transmission of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is a potentially very serious bacterial disease, which in some cases leads to long-term and chronic illness. Although deer do not carry the Lyme bacteria, deer are the favorite host for the adult deer tick, and it is the adult deer tick that transmits Lyme disease to people and pets. It does appear that reducing deer population can reduce the frequency of Lyme disease [].

What can be done? Managing deer is a very difficult and complicated issue. Deer are a natural part of our local environment; they are beautiful and gentle, and for visitors these may be a distinctive part of our local charm. The “Bucks” is even the mascot of our CB West High School. So we have to balance this natural attraction with the problems noted above. How can we humanely reduce or manage the deer we have? Experts suggest that community input and support is necessary for any kind of coordinated action. A series of recommendations are presented here.

Don’t feed the deer! Feeding deer increases their reproductive success, and also brings deer into closer contact with people, creating more of the problems we want to avoid. It also teaches not to be afraid of people.

Choose deer resistant plants and shrubs. Deer will eat almost anything if they are hungry enough, but they clearly have preferences. In particular, deer seem to like daylilies, hostas and Arborvitae. Conversely, they don’t prefer plants that are strongly scented, poisonous or prickly. A few suggestions include American Holly, Viburnum, bottle-brush Buckeye, astilbe, Echinacea (cone flower), Lambs Ear, Bee Balm and coreopsis. A qualified landscaper or nursery can make recommendations. Always consider native plants before exotics.

Deer repellents work. Most deer repellants are odor-based and smell bad to deer. Two well regarded brands are Messina DeerStopper (a spray on liquid) and Deerscram (a powder). They are effective, and quite safe, but they have a cost, and they must be reapplied regularly, following the instructions. It requires continual ongoing effort to b most effective.

Fences and barrier are another proven method to reduce deer browsing, but also require an active investment. Small trees should be protected with a wire mesh cage at least 1.5 feet across (or plastic tubes for saplings) until they are tall enough to survive browsing. Entire gardens can be fenced, with wire mesh but the fencing must be at least 6 to 8 feet tall. If necessary, an entire yard or field can be fenced. This is a strong permanent solution, but expensive.

Culling (or harvesting deer) is another option but more difficult to implement. Many residents are uncomfortable with the idea of hunting deer, and hunting is not allowed on township property. In addition, deer easily move between communities, so any culling requires coordinated activity across a region. And deer quickly reproduce, so culling needs to be sustained year after year. In our area this may be a limited option, only suitable for individual hunters who can hunt, in season on private property.

In conclusion, managing deer is a complicated issue. There are a number of actions that we can all take as individual to humanely reduce the problems of deer interactions with humans and our property. However, more aggressive deer control will require a log range plan with community support, leading to coordinated and sustained actions across the region. The Doylestown EAC would be a happy to hear your feedback on this issue.

Composting 101


  • Browns – This includes materials such as dead leaves, branches, and twigs.
  • Greens – This includes materials such as grass clippings, vegetable waste, fruit scraps, and coffee grounds.
  • Water – Having the right amount of water, greens, and browns is important for compost development.

Your compost pile should have an equal amount of browns to greens. You should also alternate layers of organic materials of different-sized particles. The brown materials provide carbon for your compost, the green materials provide nitrogen, and the water provides moisture to help break down the organic matter.

What to Compost

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and filters
  • Tea bags
  • Nut shells
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Yard trimmings
  • Grass clippings
  • Houseplants
  • Hay and straw
  • Leaves
  • Sawdust
  • Wood chips
  • Cotton and Wool Rags
  • Dryer and vacuum cleaner lint
  • Hair and fur
  • Fireplace ashes

Benefits of Composting

  • Enriches soil, helping retain moisture and suppress plant diseases and pests.
  • Reduces the need for chemical fertilizers.
  • Encourages the production of beneficial bacteria and fungi that break down organic matter to create humus, a rich nutrient-filled material.
  • Reduces methane emissions from landfills and lowers your carbon footprint.

Information provided by

Energy & Water Conservation

Coming soon!

Meadow Management

What is a meadow?

A meadow is an open habitat, or field, vegetated by grass and other non-woody plants. They attract a multitude of wildlife and support flora and fauna that could not thrive in other habitats. A meadow is a place of great beauty and wonder, filled with birdsong, unique flowers and plants and habitat to many animals, large and small. You might see a gold finch gathering seed down to line its nest or a bushy tailed fox pouncing in pursuit of a mouse, or a rabbit snuggled up in the reeds finding shelter from a storm. Deep blue juniper berries attract a darting catbird, milkweed flowers beckon passing monarchs, and golden rod serve as filling stations for bees and skippers. Below, beyond our sight, roots grow deep and long, filtering and storing precious rainwater, sending it deep into our aquafers.

Meadows in Doylestown Township

Doylestown Township’s Park System has many meadows, both new and old. Municipalities protect grassland and ground nesting birds and pollinators by creating meadows in open space. If you come across a a meadow and question why it is not mowed, now you know the importance of meadows and their continued management for our ecosystem.

Here is a link to help you learn more and get started:

Native Plants

Non-native plants are a threat to Pennsylvania. Doylestown Township’s EAC is dedicated to help residents restore native habitat one backyard at a time! For more information, view the Native Plant Four Seasons Brochure created by your EAC. Also, visit the links below.


What is a pollinator?

“A pollinator is anything that helps carry pollen from the male part of the flower (stamen) to the female part of the same or another flower (stigma). The movement of pollen must occur for the the plant to become fertilized and produce fruits, seeds, and young plants. Some plants are self-pollinating, while others may be fertilized by pollen carried by wind or water. Still, other flowers are pollinated by insects and animals – such as bees, wasps, moths, butterflies, birds, flies and small mammals, including bats.

Insects and other animals such as bats, beetles, and flies visit flowers in search of food, shelter, nest-building materials, and sometimes even mates. Some pollinators, including many bee species, intentionally collect pollen. Others, such as many butterflies, birds and bats move pollen accidentally. Pollen sticks on their bodies while they are drinking or feeding on nectar in the flower blooms and is transported unknowingly from flower to flower resulting in pollination” (

Importance of Pollinators

  • Reproduce and produce enough seeds for dispersal and propagation
  • Maintain genetic diversity within a population
  • Develop adequate fruits to entice seed dispersers

For more information , visit the links below,


Doylestown Township recycling information


Coming soon!

Traditional Native American Gardening Techniques

Traditional Native American Gardening Techniques