The Smyrna Downtown Renaissance Association is celebrating Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge with its 2018 Placemaking Project, a birdhouse decorating contest, and the public is encouraged to participate.

The 16,251-acre Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge is located on the Delaware Bay in Kent County near Smyrna. Established in 1937 as a wildlife refuge, it provides feeding, resting and breeding grounds for migratory birds along the Atlantic Flyway.

The birdhouse decorating contest has four classes — youth, adult, invitational and freestyle. Youth class entries are for ages 5-14; adult class entries are for ages 15 and older. Invitational class entries are from invited artists in the community who are asked to design an entry that will be auctioned at a reception following the planting at the April 18 Arbor Day ceremony. Proceeds will benefit the 1000 Trees for Smyrna Initiative.

Entries in these three classes will decorate a free bluebird house provided by the association and will compete for a $75 cash prize for the best entry in each class. Other participants will receive a certificate of appreciation. Entries in the youth and adult classes may keep their entries at the conclusion of the contest.

Judging will be by a panel of judges, except for the invitational class, which will be decided by popular vote at I Love Smyrna School District Day on Feb. 24. Participants are encouraged to enter early as the availability of bluebird houses is limited.

Freestyle is the final class, and entries will be a birdhouse built from scratch by the contestant without using the kit provided for other classes. These could include replicas of historic Smyrna buildings or any whimsical theme selected by the entrant. The cash prize for this class is $150 to the first-place winner.

Entrants in the youth and adult classes can register for the contest and pick up their free wooden birdhouse from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays at Smyrna Cards and Gifts, 16 S. Main St. Call 566-8553.

Completed decorated birdhouses in all classes will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 23 at 36 S. Main St., Smyrna, or other times by appointment.

Entries will be on display in the windows of Ward Hall, 5 E. Commerce St., during March. Winning entries in the youth and adult classes will be displayed in the library parking lot mounted on posts during April.

For more, visit or call 653-6449.