The Audubon Council of Illinois has designated Evanston an official Bird City Illinois and presented its award at the April 25th City Council meeting.
In doing so the council recognized the many accomplishments of local environmental groups and the City of Evanston in general. Evanston is the sixth city in Illinois to achieve this status.
On behalf of the city, Mayor Daniel Biss accepted the award from Jennifer Kuroda, president of the Audubon Council of Illinois. Kuroda noted that Evanston’s application far exceeded the award criteria in all categories.
Kuroda complimented the city on its range of accomplishments and cited the community’s progress on its solar program, its Climate Action and Resilience Plan and especially its bird-friendly building ordinance, adopted in 2022.
Bird-Friendly Evanston worked with the city on the adoption of the ordinance, which is intended to make Evanston developments safer for the thousands of birds that migrate through Evanston each year.
In her designation, Kuroda stressed that the number of bird species has declined by 30% since 1970. Bird-friendly Evanston works with developers, homeowners, building managers and anyone interested in protecting birds from striking building windows.
The Evanston North Shore Bird Club spearheaded Evanston’s Bird City application, which was written by volunteers, particularly those involved in maintaining and restoring natural areas, and compiled by Libby Hill. The club partners with Clark
Street Beach Bird Sanctuary, Perkins Woods and Bird-Friendly Evanston. The group was also involved with the creation and installation of the mural Birds of Concern at Green Bay Road and Central Street.
Evanston is the first Bird City Illinois in Cook County.
Designated bird cities are required to celebrate the annual World Migratory Bird Day. This year it will be celebrated May 13 at the Ecology Center in Evanston. There will be a Bird Walk at 9 a.m. followed by a program featuring Biss reading Evanston’s Bird City Proclamation for 2023 and a talk by John Bates of the Field Museum, about “Birds and Water,” this year’s migratory day theme. There also will be an 8 a.m. ENSBC bird walk at Northwestern. For more information, see https://www.ensbc.org/events/9 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.