Flying High: Friends of Grant Park Win Coveted Bird Conservation Award

Our city’s efforts at bird conversation are taking flight, led by some truly dedicated bird enthusiasts who are doing great work in this important area.

WSO-logo-1-15-transparentThe Friends of Grant Park are leading the way — and have been rewarded for it by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.

From their newsletter …

The group recently was honored with the Noel J. Cutright Conservation Award, formerly the Green Passenger Pigeon Award. The award was initiated in 2005 and renamed in 2014 to honor one of Wisconsin’s premier bird conservationists. It recognizes outstanding contributions to bird conservation in Wisconsin.  Recipients may be an individual/group/organization working on behalf of endangered, threatened, and/or common species; promoting the establishment, management, and protection of bird habitat; and educating the public on bird conservation issues.

The Friends bring that criteria to life. From their newsletter …

This year’s award will go to the Friends of Grant Park (FOGP), the South Milwaukee organization dedicated to preserving the natural areas of Grant Park, encouraging use of the park and providing a mechanism for private contributions to supplement public funding. Because of the group’s efforts, Grant Park, on the shore of Lake Michigan in southern Milwaukee County, has become a birding hot spot. Noel Cutright, the late two-time president of WSO, initiated Grant Park’s spring warbler walks in 2005. The walks continue each Sunday from the end of April through the end of May. They attract birders and non-birders alike and therefore have sparked an interest in many for birding and bird conservation.

FOGP also coordinates “weed-outs”, burdock removal and park trash cleanups. It established rain gardens throughout the park using native plants and manages a bluebird trail at the Grant Park golf course. Members conduct a “Trek or Treat” to help families appreciate natural areas. FOGP members have been a great partner in bird conservation and good environmental practices, contributing to South Milwaukee earning a Bird City Wisconsin designation in 2017.

The Friends will be honored at the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology annual convention May 19 in Green Lake. It’s a richly deserved honor for a group that is tireless in its work in keeping this community icon something future generations can cherish and enjoy. Congratulations!

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