Return of scarecrows a welcome sign


The return of a number of whimsical scarecrows to Baldwin’s streets was a welcome sign to many in the hamlet. The scarecrows — entries in a combination contest/civic pride movement initiated by the Baldwin Civic Association on Oct. 20 — signaled that, for some at least, life was beginning to settle down.

The scarecrows, which went up briefly pre-Sandy but were removed to protect them from the storm, have now been returned to the sidewalks and grassy medians of Baldwin, where they will frighten crows until Nov. 25. They were created by schools, businesses, families and individuals and set out in prominent locations such as the intersection of Merrick and Grand.

David Vianna, president of the BCA, told the Herald that he hoped the scarecrows’ return would bolster sagging spirits in the area. And Kathleen Slade, also of the BCA, said that all five district elementary schools had worked on scarecrow projects before the hurricane hit.

An energetic group including Nancy and Grace Houser, Maria and Jaida Fernandez, Paula and Alia Reyna, Emma Waney and Shannon Dempsey helped create two scarecrow installations — the “Ghostbusters scarecrow,” at the corner of Merrick Road and Park Avenue, and “Gloria, the Troop 2264 Scarescout,” on display in front of Glory Beezzz.

“The only thing purchased to make these beautiful creatures was hay!” Nancy Houser said of the group’s creative process. “Everything was made from used clothing, recycled Halloween costumes and things found around the house.”

When the scarecrow contest wraps up, winners will be chosen in the categories of scariest, funniest, most creative and “people’s choice.” Awards will be handed out at the BCA’s December meeting. The contest is still open, and there’s plenty of time to contribute a scarecrow. For rules and entry forms, go to or email