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Fox Point Migrates Towards Becoming a 'Bird City'

Bird City Coordinator Carl Schwartz is looking forward to receiving paperwork from village of Fox Point.

Fox Point took one more step toward becoming a recognized "Bird City" at the Village Board meeting on Tuesday when they approved a resolution to designate an official Migratory Bird Day on May 5 of each year.

But even with the special day in place, Bird City Wisconsin coordinator Carl Schwartz said he has only received verbal commitment and no paperwork — so the village still has some work to do.

In August, Fox Point trustee Beverly Bell said the board is supportive of becoming a Bird City. The environmental organization accepts applications for certification three times each year. The next deadline is March 1. According to Bird City, recognition is renewable each year and runs from April 1 to March 31.

Ten other communities were recently awarded recognition including: Kenosha, Plymouth, Beaver Dam, Mayville, Ephraim, Fontana, Shorewood Hills, Grantsburg, Sherwood and the town of Baileys Harbor.

When a community is awarded designation, they receive a Bird City flag, plaque and street signs that displays their achievements in conservation.

Schwartz said that the village of Bayside is in the process of renewing their Bird City recognition this winter. Efforts are also under way in to become a recognized community.

Created in 2010, Bird City is an environmental organization that recognizes communities who practice bird conservation techniques, such as bird habitat restoration, supporting keeping cats indoors and an ordinance recognizing International Migratory Bird Day. Modeled on the “Tree City USA” program, a community needs to meet at least seven of the 22 criteria created in order to become an official Bird City.

Schwartz noted the project is continuing to exceed its goals for growth in the state and has helped to raise the profile of International Migratory Bird Day, which is recognized in two continents. Nearly three dozen public events will be held for the day this spring in Wisconsin.

"Every community that has qualified to become a Bird City should feel proud and wear a feather in their cap,” said Noel Cutright, Bird City Steering Committee member and founder of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory. “Over and over again, it has been demonstrated that a place that is a haven for birds and is doing good things to benefit them is a better place in which to live and work."

There are a total of 39 communities with the Bird City status.

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