Among all the actions a Bird City can take for birds, perhaps the most beneficial is creating and maintaining habitat featuring native plants -- that is, plants that occur naturally in the region in which they evolved.
Not only are native plants beautiful, but they generally require little maintenance once established. They need less water than non-native plants and do just fine without artificial fertilizers or synthetic chemical pesticides and herbicides. They serve up nectar for pollinators, including butterflies, moths, and native bees; they provide shelter for many mammals; and their nuts, seeds, and fruit are eaten by all forms of wildlife, including birds.
That's why we're delighted to partner with SOS Save Our Songbirds and White Pelican Farm Native Plant Nursery to provide a $500 habitat package to a Bird City in 2023. The goal of the partnership is to provide plants to help a Bird City launch or complete a project aimed at creating or restoring bird habitat. The grant is intended to support work that will be performed between June 2023 and June 2024.
If the $500 habitat package is something your Bird City might be interested in, have your Bird City representative submit an application by May 12. Applications will be considered only from Bird Cities that have completed their 2023 renewal applications. Complete rules for applying are below.
SOS Save Our Songbirds is a campaign launched in March 2023 by the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and other major bird and nature conservation organizations, including Bird City, to raise awareness of birds’ dire situation and to spur action at home.
Learn more about SOS Save Our Songbirds .
White Pelican Farm is a nursery located in Wyocena, in Columbia County, that specializes in native woodland and prairie plants, and offers only those perennials that support wildlife.
The farm grows its plants outside, not in a greenhouse, from seed or cuttings from plants on the farm, so you can be sure they are hardy and grow well in the state. The nursery also grows its plants organically, without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or synthetic fertilizers, in a pot-in-pot system that requires no tilling. They're just what you'd want for any Bird City's habitat-creation or restoration project.
Read about White Pelican Farm Native Plant Nursery.
How to apply:
Submit a Word document no more than two pages or 500 words long containing the following information:
Title and category: Provide the title of your project and whether it is a habitat-creation or restoration project.
Description: Describe the project including:
- How the project will create or restore habitat
- The habitat type, size, and location
- The ecological significance of the site and its potential impact on birds and other wildlife
- How the project will involve the public
Please also indicate which Bird City recognition criteria the project would help your Bird City satisfy.
Project timeframe: Give the dates during which the project will begin and end, as well as when the plants will be needed.
Leader(s): Provide the names, titles, and contact information for your project’s leader or leaders.
Funding: List other sources of funding, if any.
Application deadline: Friday May 12, 2023. Applications received after that date will not be considered.
Representatives from Bird City Wisconsin, SOS Save Our Songbirds, and White Pelican Farm will evaluate applications and award the grant based on the urgency of the project, its potential impact, a community’s ability to complete it, and the need for support. We will announce the winner in late May 2023.
Report: The grantee agrees to submit a report within 60 days of the completion of the project. The report will be no more than two pages or 500 words long describing the completed project and comparing the actual results to what was described in the application, along with three publishable photos taken during the project.