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.
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 or/and the Community Wildlife Habitat program.
Be recognized as a Bird City Minnesota or/and a certified Wildlife Habitat.
Who's doing it
Bemidji - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2017
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.