Milwaukee’s conservation efforts pay off with Bird City Wisconsin designation
Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovac is pleased to announce that the City of Milwaukee is among six of the most recent municipalities to win recognition from Bird City Wisconsin. The organization salutes local governments that display a long term commitment to working with residents to make their neighborhoods a better place for people, birds and other wildlife.
Alderman Kovac joined The Urban Ecology Center in spearheading the effort to earn the designation, which also involved the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin Humane Society, Milwaukee River Greenway and Milwaukee County Zoological Gardens.
“In recognizing our efforts, Bird City Wisconsin made careful note of the strong coalition of partners who are dedicated to making Milwaukee a more bird-friendly, sustainable community,” Alderman Kovac said. “We’re proud of the work we’ve done, which proves that municipal governments can not only implement sound conservation practices on their own, but that they can also educate their residents to play an increased role in making our communities healthier—for birds and people.”
Statewide, 60 communities now enjoy the Bird City Wisconsin designation. The organization will award Milwaukee a special Bird City Wisconsin flag, plaque and street signs marking the city’s conservation achievements.
Modeled on the “Tree City USA” program, Bird City Wisconsin has developed 22 conservation criteria across five categories. If a community meets at least seven criteria, it becomes an official Bird City.
Among the notable achievements that helped Milwaukee earn the designation, Bird City Wisconsin credits the city for its strong coalition of conservation partners,
multiple efforts to control invasive plant species that threaten bird habitats, programs to convert barren land and brownfields to green space and parklands, efforts to protect birds from domestic cats, the Milwaukee BIOME Project and the Milwaukee County Avian Migration Monitoring Partnership.
Milwaukee is now the largest community to have earned the designation of Bird City Wisconsin, which is enjoyed by four of Wisconsin’s five largest cities. Officials with the program say participation leads to improved habitat conditions for breeding and migrating birds, sound management of urban forests, reductions in bird fatalities and many other benefits.
“This designation is much more than a sign we’ll hang at city limits,” Alderman Kovac said. “This is a step toward a statewide conversation about finding a way to conserve the natural beauty that makes Wisconsin special, so our children and their children, too, will be able to enjoy it.”People: Nik Kovac
Business: Milwaukee River Greenway Coalition, Urban Ecology Center, Wisconsin Humane Society
Government: City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Common Council, Milwaukee County Zoo, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources