Middletown Township  
   August 2015

Thank you for reading the August 2015 edition of the Middletown Township e-newsletter. Please share with your family, friends, and neighbors! And remember to follow us on Twitter and like our Parks & Recreation Department and Police Department on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest news, events, safety concerns, and other happenings in the Township!

Feral Cats in Middletown
Residents recently came to a Board of Supervisors meeting to express their concerns about feral cat colonies their neighborhoods. Feral cats are free-roaming cats that were never socialized by humans or have lived outdoors for so long that they have reverted to a wild state. They are typically not suitable for adoption as pets. These cats are present in several parts of Middletown Township, and some controversy exists on what needs to be done.

On one hand, residents are understandably concerned about potential health risks from diseases the cats may carry as they roam through neighborhoods. At the same time, many are concerned that the situation is handled in a humane way.

The Board of Supervisors takes very seriously its responsibility to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the Township. At the Board's direction, Township staff investigated solutions to this emotionally-charged issue, speaking to the Bucks County Health Department and several animal advocacy groups. Staff also explored how other communities have addressed similar situations.

As a result of this investigation, the Board of Supervisors set a goal to provide public education on the issue and consider potential future partnerships with local advocacy groups. The Township learned that the least costly solution is also the most humane and effective way to stabilize a feral cat population: a method termed Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return (TNVR). Many communities across the country have chosen this solution, and it is the recommended solution by most advocacy groups. TNVR reduces the cat population, vaccinates them against diseases that can spread to humans, and reduces behaviors such as fighting and making loud noises that cause a nuisance for residents.

Solutions such as feeding bans and trap and removal programs are historically ineffective. Removing cats is time consuming and costly, and new cats typically just move in while others reproduce. Feeding bans are equally ineffective, often leading cats to kill more wildlife or move even closer to homes as they search trash cans for food. Allowing feeding stations not only helps care for these cats but also offers an easy opportunity to trap and vaccinate them.

Residents with further concerns or questions about TNVR may contact Animal Lifeline (215-343-5050). Additional information can also be found through the national advocacy group Ally Cat Allies, the local SPCA, and the Bucks County Health Department.
Emerald Ash Borers

An invasive species might be killing your trees. The emerald ash borer is a highly destructive foreign insect that infests ash trees, depriving them of water and nutrients. This insect came to the United States from China in 2002 and has already killed more than 40 million ash trees throughout the United States. The emerald ash borer was first seen in Bucks County in 2012, and cases of infestation have been confirmed in Middletown Township. Infested trees are killed at a rate of 99 percent. The Township has already had to remove dead ash trees from public property, and all ash trees in Middletown are at risk.

In some cases, treatments are available to prevent infestation. The emerald ash borer has no natural predators in this region, but some pesticides have worked on a short-term basis. Parks and Recreation director Debby Lamanna advises homeowners who want to save the ash tree in their yard to "have it evaluated by a certified arborist to determine the best course of preventative treatment to protect from emerald ash borer damage." If you are uncertain if your trees are ash trees, see the infographic below for more information.

Additional information on the emerald ash borer is available through the PA Extension Service and PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
Community Shredding Event

Need to get rid of paper that contains personal information? Mark October 3rd on your calendars! The Township is hosting a Community Shredding Event from 9 to 11 a.m. in the parking lot of the Middletown Municipal Center at 3 Municipal Way in Langhorne.

One of the most common ways criminals try to steal someone's identity is by taking documents from the trash. These documents can include bank or credit card account information, social security numbers, and other personal information. Thieves can make purchases in your name, apply for loans or credit cards, and make other transactions that can cost you money and ruin your credit ranging. One of the best ways to protect yourself from identity theft is to shred documents containing personal information.

TITAN Mobile Shredding will shred all of your documents on-site. You don't have to remove staples or paper clips first, and any containers or boxes will be returned to you. Each resident can bring up to two boxes of paper to shred. Suggested documents to shred include credit card statements, bank statements, canceled checks, insurance documents, or any other document containing personal information that you want safely destroyed. Please remember to bring proof of your residency, such as a driver's license or current bill.

Middletown at the Mall

Middletown Township has partnered with Oxford Valley Mall to offer government services at the mall once every month. Visiting the Township's table near the food court, residents, businesses, and community members are able to conduct any type of government business with Township staff. A different department is featured at the mall on the second Thursday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. On August 13th, the Parks and Recreation team was on hand to inform residents of upcoming shows, movie nights, and fitness walks as well as offer discounted movie tickets. Regardless of which department is present in a given month, any service offered at the Municipal Center is available during Middletown at the Mall. If you are interested in speaking to members of a specific department, check out the schedule below for the remainder of 2015!
  • September 10th - Public Works
  • October 8th - Fire Marshal's Office
  • November 12th - Administration and Finance
  • December 10th - Police Department
"This program will help us to expand our efforts to reach out to the citizens of our community," said Board Chairman Pat Mallon. "We are very grateful that the Oxford Valley Mall, a key community stakeholder, has partnered with us to make this program possible." The Board of Supervisors and Township staff look forward to continuing to connect to residents at this monthly event.
1st Annual Middletown Community Foundation 5K Run/1K Walk

Join the Middletown Community Foundation and Reedman-Toll
Auto World on October 4th at 8 a.m. for the first annual run/walk fundraiser event. Support for the run will go a long way toward helping the Foundation's mission: providing scholarships to students who give back through volunteering in their community. The run will begin at Neshaminy High School. Registration is online, and further information can be found on the Foundation's website. Register by September 15th to receive a t-shirt for the event!
Starting a Butterfly Garden
Monarch butterfly  Danaus plexippus  on orange garden flowers during autumn migration. Natural green background.

The Environmental Advisory Board has embarked on the exciting journey of creating Middletown's first butterfly garden! The monarch butterfly population has dropped by tens of millions in recent years, and the World Wildlife Fund estimates that a record low number of butterflies covering an increasingly small area will complete their migration south this winter. Butterflies are an integral part of our environment, as their presence helps many plant and animal species alike. Contributing its part to help our environment, the Environmental Advisory Board approved a project this spring that would create a habitat for monarchs and swallowtail butterflies.

A key feature of the butterfly garden is the milkweed plant. This plant has declined in recent decades after years of herbicide-based agricultural development, yet it is the only plant that feeds monarch caterpillars. After planting milkweed as well as plants that support other species of butterflies, the EAB is proud to announce its first sighting of a caterpillar in the butterfly garden!


An Evening with Julia Child

On Friday, September 11, the Langhorne Council for the Arts and Middletown Township Parks and Recreation present actress Linda Kenyon in a one-woman biographical show about the famous TV chef Julia Child and her relationship with her husband. This event, supported by the Diane Loomis Team at Keller Williams Real Estate, will take place at the Middletown Township Municipal Center. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for you to enjoy tastes and treats from local specialty food vendors, and the performance will begin at 7:30. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Municipal Center or online.
Upcoming Events

August 26 - Zoning Hearing Board meeting, 7 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center
September 2 - Planning Commission Meeting, 7 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center
September 7  - Township offices closed for Labor Day
September 8 Board of Supervisors meeting, 7:30 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center

September 9 - Zoning Hearing Board meeting, 7 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center

September 10 - Middletown at the Mall, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oxford Valley Mall
September 11 - An Evening with Julia Child, doors open 6:30 p.m., performance 7:30 p.m. at the Municipal Center
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Middletown Township
3 Municipal Way,  Langhorne, PA  19047