The votes are in and the Fayetteville Woodpeckers will be the name of the city’s first minor-league baseball team.
The team name and logo, which is a franchise of the Houston Astros, was revealed at Festival Park in Fayetteville Nov. 4. With more than 1,000 votes, the Fayetteville Woodpeckers name beat out other suggestions including Fayetteville Jumpers, Fat Backs and Fly Traps.
The winning name came from the red-cockaded woodpeckers, a bird species well known on Fort Bragg.
“The red-cockaded woodpeckers are tenacious and family orientated,” said Jessie Schillaci,wildlife biologist with the Environmental Division, Directorate of Public Works (DPW). “They will spend generations making one cavity in trees. They never quit.”
These endangered species found Fort Bragg to be inviting because of its large areas of undeveloped forested land. Bragg and adjacent lands are home to the second largest population of this woodpecker.
Jacqueline J. Britcher, chief of Endangered Species Branch, DPW; discussed how these woodpeckers are endangered and ways the installation is helping this species co-exist with the military.
“Primary threat is lack of old longleaf pine trees,” Britcher said. “Another threat is lack of fire. Fire removes woody plants, like oaks, leaving open pine forests.”
Britcher said they help the bird population by prescribed fires and Fort Bragg paints trees used by the woodpecker with two white bands or a green band.
Additionally, there is a protective 200-foot buffer marked with signs surrounding some clusters of trees that have woodpecker-made cavities. Human activity is restricted within these sites.
The team’s colors are red, black and white and their debut appearance will be at the $37.8 million baseball stadium downtown in April 2019.
For more information visit: www.milb.com/fayetteville.