The National Wildlife Federation’s Community Wildlife Habitat program partners with cities, neighborhoods, and communities of all kinds to become healthier, greener, and more wildlife-friendly. Communities earn community-wide certification by certifying individual properties (homes, parks, schools, businesses, and others) in their community as Certified Wildlife Habitats and by doing education and outreach in their community.
GreenStep worked with Audubon Minnesota to create a bird-friendly community recognition program that counts actions cities have already taken in the GreenStep program. As of 2019 the GreenStep cities of Bemidji, Hastings, Northfield, La Crescent and St. Paul are recognized as Minnesota Bird Cities.
Bee City USA works to galvanize communities to sustain pollinators, in particular the more than 3,600 species of native bees in this country, by increasing the abundance of native plants, providing nest sites, and reducing the use of pesticides.
Report city actions that strengthen the ecology for birds, pollinators, other wildlife and for native plants; for example, replacing a dam with a spillway/rapids to restore and enhance fish passage and habitat.
Register and begin work on completing actions in the Bird City MN program, Bee City USA, or/and the Community Wildlife Habitat program.
Be recognized as a Bird City Minnesota, Bee City USA, or/and a certified Wildlife Habitat.
Who's doing it
admin - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
On June 15, 2021 Stillwater became a Bird City. We will continue to promote this to drive environmental tourism. Hosted Migratory Bird Festival on May 15, 2021 at Pioneer Park in Stillwater that was attended by over 150 people.
On June 11th Minnesota Audubon designated Bemidji as the state’s third Bird City. A group of local organizations led by the Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society worked with the City of Bemidji to identify conservation activities which fulfill 18 specific Bird City criteria. These include taking actions to create and protect habitat; promote use of native plant species; create and protect nesting opportunities; practice conservation planning, reduce collisions with windows; increase awareness of birds in the community; educate and engage youth audiences; and promote citizen science monitoring and research. A community needs 7 to qualify. Together, Bemidji Bird City Partners are already engaged in fifteen.
Among the activities included in Bemidji’s Bird City application was an initiative called "Birds, Bees, & Butterflies - Bemidji" (BBBB). The Mississippi Headwaters Audubon Society, Bemidji Monarch Committee and several other local organizations and businesses have joined together in a campaign to promote the planting of native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in our community to benefit birds and pollinators. Projects in 2017 included installing demonstration gardens featuring bird and pollinator-friendly plants (library, city park, BSU, elementary school, 2 local businesses) and highlighting them with BBBB signage; hosting a Monarch Festival; development and distribution of a BBBB educational brochure and web materials; presentations to various groups; and establishing a partnership with local nurseries and garden centers to display BBBB signs and materials and help customers find native plants available in their greenhouses.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The general goal is to create broader community awareness and pride in the value of native plants to birds, pollinators and people. In 2017 the metrics that we were tracking were # volunteer hours in these activities (850); number of demonstration gardens and landscapes installed and/or highlighted around town (8); # plants planted or sold (2500); # people engaged in BBBB events and activities (400).
A resolution proclaiming International Migratory Bird Day in the City of Crosslake on May 18, 2019 was approved as the first step in becoming a Bird City on September 10, 2018. The next step, an application to Audubon Minnesota to become a Bird City member, was approved on December 12, 2018.
In 2017, improvements to Edina's Arden Park took place. This included removing a 1938 dam then present on Minnehaha Creek, which runs through the park. This was done to improve passage for paddlers and fish (including passage during critical spawning events). Additionally, more than 500 ft. of stream was added, meandering through the park and adjoining adjacent wetlands and the floodplain. New improvements will also have the potential to treat over 100 acres of regional stormwater, improve the stream's index of biological integrity (IBI) and biota rating, contribute to a more consistent creek flow, and have the ecological benefits of improved habitat quality and space for fish, birds, and other local wildlife.
In Spring of 2021, the City of Edina joined in on Bee City USA's first annual 'No Mow May' in Edina. More than 1,000 residents participated and community response was significant. The City of Edina will continue to participate in No Mow May this following Spring, in 2023 and into the foreseeable future.
Following Election Day 2022, Edina voters approved a half-percent sales tax referendum for an overall $39.3 million investment in local parks.
Of that, $17.7 million is designated for Fred Richards Park to fund the next phases of the master plan. $1.9 million will go to the Nature Bank portion of the park featuring native vegetation restoration and establishment (native pollinator gardens), wildlife habitat structures (bee and bird housing), and more ecologically-friendly features.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Minnehaha Creek dam removal and creek restoration, native habitat construction
Hutchinson reconstructed its dam into a spillway/rapids that restored and enhanced fish passage and habitat. The previous dam did not allow for activities of natural restock upstream and downstream as there was no passage, this was greatly improved by the spillway. The dam was reconstructed in 2007 and was operational by 2008.