A collaborative project in Two Rivers benefitting birds and pollinators and encouraging families to read together will receive a $500 donation of native plants from White Pelican Farm Native Plant Nursery in Wyocena as part of the SOS Save Our Songbirds action campaign.
Two Rivers, a High Flyer, has been a Bird City since 2013.
The donation will help jumpstart native plantings in a project under way to create a Story Walk Trail in Zander Park. Sign holders along the trail will display pages from featured books for families to enjoy as they walk or rest on benches, and the project will also feature a small wetland restoration with native plants.
“This donation of plants will really enhance a one-acre habitat restoration. It will not only introduce native plants to a former lawn but improve habitat for pollinators and for birds that live in the surrounding forest,” says Jim Knickelbine, director of Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve.
The nature center is a project partner, along with Lester Public Library and the City of Two Rivers Parks and Recreation Department. The Lester Public Library Foundation received a grant to help fund construction of the Story Walk Trail.
The project site is about a half-mile from the shore of Lake Michigan, a major migratory route, and a few feet from about 1,200 acres of Woodland Dunes Nature Preserve, recognized as a Wisconsin Important Bird Area providing essential habitat to one or more species of birds.
Grant announced at statewide bird conservation conference
White Pelican Farm’s donation of native plants comes after a competitive grant process announced during a statewide bird conservation conference in Oshkosh in late March. Bird City Wisconsin, a co-host of the conference, helped facilitate the application process for the White Pelican Farm donation in conjunction with SOS Save Our Songbirds. Launched at the conference, SOS Save our Songbirds empowers Wisconsinites to help declining songbird populations by taking three simple actions at home.
The 13-year-old Bird City Wisconsin program provides public recognition to cities, towns, and other municipalities across the state for steps they take to make their communities more bird-friendly and to educate their citizens about birds.
Not only has Two Rivers been recognized as a Bird City since 2013, but it consistently earns special status as a “High Flyer,” the program’s designation for communities that go above and beyond in their efforts on behalf of birds, says Charles Hagner, director of Bird City Wisconsin.
“Since habitat loss and degradation are the gravest threats confronting birds today, we make habitat restoration and protection a requirement for every Bird City,” Hagner says. “In this project, Two Rivers will do just that, converting an area of limited value to wildlife into a space that’s sure to attract and sustain birds and other wildlife. I can’t wait to see the finished product.”
“We’re excited to be part of this project,” says Erin Crain-Sullivan, who operates White Pelican Farm with her husband Jack Sullivan. “It will provide bird habitat in an important migration corridor and offers a great opportunity for people to learn more about the importance of native plants, bird migration, and wetlands.”
The couple, both retired Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources managers and scientists, started the nursery to help restore wildlife habitat in Wisconsin and donate a plant for every one sold.