In 2020, Bird City Wisconsin awarded small grants to six deserving Bird City communities: Bayfield, Fond du Lac, Madison, Ozaukee County, Sheboygan, and Wausau. Here’s what the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department accomplished with its award.
Kristina Kroening, a program assistant in Planning and Parks’ Ecological Division, reports that the department had already restored 49 acres of old-field/invasive species to warm-season native prairie at Tendick Nature County Park and Virmond County Park, and that it had installed 10 nest boxes for Eastern Bluebirds/Tree Swallows in the restored prairie at Tendick Nature County Park in 2017, creating a bluebird trail.
This year’s grant funding from Bird City Wisconsin supported the department’s activities to purchase and install 11 additional bluebird boxes at Tendick Nature County Park and 9 boxes at Virmond County Park.
“The department worked with two youth conservation corps teams from WisCorps and AmeriCorps NCCC in September and October 2020 to dig holes and install the wooden posts and boxes,” Kroening writes. The 11 team members received training on how to install the boxes and ecologically focused education related to the project.
In addition to providing additional habitat for grassland-dependent cavity-nesting birds, Kroening says, the nest boxes will increase ecology-based learning opportunities for members of the Ozaukee County community who participate in stewardship and educational activities led by the Planning and Parks Department.
“The Department has monitored the successful fledging of many of these cavity-nesting birds under past efforts and plans to continue to work with volunteers to assist in monitoring the boxes in the future.”
Bird City Wisconsin’s small grants are intended to kickstart local projects that help Bird City communities create and protect bird habitat, educate residents about the many positive interactions between birds and people, and reduce threats to birds.
Applications for small grants to be awarded in 2021 will be accepted until March 31, 2021. Read more here.