To the Editor:
A summer of wildfires and smoke amplifies the need for local adaptation to environmental stresses descending on our 21st century biosphere. Scientifically based decisions and open communication are essential approaches that the Hopewell Township Committee is using to map out our path to sustainability. The candidates for re-election, Kevin Kuchinski and Mayor Michael Ruger, have spearheaded efforts to protect our landscape and its denizens while fostering greener design in development.
A good example is the state-of-the-art biopharmaceutical R&D facility now under construction at the former BMS campus in Hopewell Township. Late in the planning process residents voiced concern about bird mortality from crashing into the expansive glass window design. While humans can usually detect glass as a barrier, birds often cannot, leading to an estimated hundreds of millions of bird deaths each year through collision with windows in the US.
Science and engineering have recently devised an adaptive solution. “Bird-friendly” glass presents ultraviolet reflecting patterns that birds see and avoid, yet are minimally visible to human. High energy efficiency and aesthetic qualities are maintained, while bird collisions are reduced by 70% or more as reported by the American Bird Conservancy. Here in the Township, Kevin Kuchinski followed up effectively with Beigene officials, resulting in a formal commitment to use bird-friendly glass for this project. The leadership of Mr. Kuchinski along with Mayor Ruger and the Committee has brightened the prospects for birds and their human watchers. Their re-election will protect both essential parts of our community.