When Jeff Luzenski looks back on his days as a child growing up in the Lehigh Valley, he can’t recall ever seeing an osprey or peregrine falcon flying overhead.
So the sight of ospreys on nesting platforms at various spots in Pennsylvania, and falcons feeding their young in center city Allentown, gives him a sense of pride.
Luzenski, a 34-year employee of PPL Electric Utilities, played a significant role in fostering the resurgence of both ospreys and falcons in the region. As a senior environmental professional, he is focused largely on protecting and improving the environment.
During the past 25 years, Luzenski has worked with many organizations and agencies, including Hawk Mountain Sanctuary and Wildlands Conservancy, to support osprey and peregrine falcon restoration efforts. During that time, a number of nesting platforms and boxes have been added at various locations in our service territory.
The idea of building nesting platforms is to give birds a safe place to nest and an alternative to other spots they sometimes select to nest, including the top of utility poles or towers. Those areas present some risk because of high-voltage lines.
Inside a nesting box on the 21st floor of our headquarters, three eggs being incubated by a pair of peregrine falcons hatched earlier this year. The birds are now flying and learning to hunt on their own.
Luzenski also helped lead the Lehigh Valley Peregrine Project, a community effort to release young peregrine falcons from the top of our Tower Building in center city Allentown, with the hopes that the falcons would come back to the area.
“You never saw that when I was a kid,” Luzenski said. “Now, routinely, I’ve seen bald eagles near my house, falcons and ospreys. Just getting a glimpse of one of those birds is something that everyone can enjoy and appreciate.”
The experience with both projects has helped Luzenski stay in tune with the changing environment, which is important in his role in helping to carry out PPL’s environmental stewardship.
“I like the outdoors, personally,” Luzenski said. “And doing what I do for PPL helps make sure everyone is doing the right thing and being environmentally responsible.
“It’s great to know that PPL played a role in helping these beautiful birds. We’ve brought together a lot of people to make a difference. It’s been very rewarding.”
This is a really great initiative. Our environment and the animals in it are extremely important to this world. We need to always do things to help everything “mesh” together and work nicely together.