Bird City Wisconsin announced on June 16, 2021, that it will award small grants to six Bird City communities in 2021: Kenosha County, Manitowish Waters, Mequon, New London, Whitewater, and Wisconsin Rapids.
The 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.
This is the second year that Bird City Wisconsin, a program of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory in Port Washington, has awarded small grants, which are available to Bird City communities only.
“The goal of the small-grants program is to provide a helping hand to Bird City communities that are just a modest funding boost away from accomplishing something really great for birds,” said Bird City Wisconsin Director Chuck Hagner. “We’re delighted to support these six local initiatives, which are just as exciting, and promise to be just as successful, as those we supported with our inaugural grants last year.”
Members of the Bird City board of directors evaluated applications and awarded the 2021 grants based on the urgency of the project, its potential impact, a community’s ability to complete it, the need for funding, and the number of applications received.
The board members awarded a total of $1,575 in grants to the following Bird City communities:
- To Kenosha County, recognized as a Bird City since 2014: $350 to enable the Pringle Nature Center to purchase collision-prevention materials as part of a project to inform citizens about why birds collide with windows and how to prevent it
- To Manitowish Waters, a Bird City since 2010 and a High Flyer: $250 for the North Lakeland Discovery Center to improve and create quality habitat at the bird habitat and education station on the Discovery Center’s campus
- To Mequon, a Bird City since 2010 and a High Flyer: $250 for the Mequon Nature Preserve to add bluebird nest boxes to existing and future restoration areas at the Preserve
- To New London, a Bird City since 2010 and a High Flyer: $227 to create cutouts of birds to be placed in city parks and at the Mosquito Hill Nature Center
- To Whitewater, a Bird City since 2014: $250 for the City of Whitewater Urban Forestry Commission to install Purple Martin houses around Whitewater, including at the Arboretum at Starin Park
- And to Wisconsin Rapids, a Bird City since 2013 and a High Flyer: $248 to purchase Pollinator Palooza seed mix for the prairie established near the Lincoln High School Woodlot
Bird City Wisconsin was created in 2009 and began recognizing communities the following year. It rewards municipalities for the conservation and education activities that they undertake to make their communities healthy for birds... and people.
To earn Bird City status, a community must meet criteria spread across six categories: habitat creation and protection, community forest management, limiting threats to birds, education, energy and sustainability, and the official recognition and celebration of World Migratory Bird Day. Communities that go above and beyond in their conservation and education programs achieve High Flyer status.