Communities like Whitewater are blessed with environmental beauty that brings critters of all types, right into our backyards. If you drive down many of the side streets in Whitewater you will be amazed at the green hue cast down onto the road by the glistening light peeking through the leaves. Thanks to our neighbor’s hard work over the years, Whitewater has been a tree city since 1994 and with the help of the Urban Forestry Commission our green city has provided the perfect condition for our feathered friends to prosper.
“There is an unreasonable joy to be had from the observation of small birds going about their bright, oblivious business”
– Grant Hutchison
Did You Know:
The City of Whitewater became a Bird City of Wisconsin in 2014?
To understand what it means for Whitewater, to be named a Wisconsin Bird City, it’s beneficial to understand what being a Bird City really means and how one becomes a member.
Bird City Wisconsin was established with the same model as The Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA, by creating a coalition of Wisconsin conservation and birding organizations such as the Bird Protection Fund of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Audubon Society. A Bird City is a community whose government and citizens work together to promote environmental supportive areas for birds and teach others about ways to protect and support birds through public education. Once a city becomes a Bird City, Bird City Wisconsin provides highly-visible public recognition as well as future guidance for future plans.
Birding is an important environmental concern due to the decline in many Wisconsin bird populations by 30%. An example of a threatened bird is the Purple Martin with a population decline of 92.7%. Whitewater has worked hard to prove that we are among the handful of Wisconsin cities dedicated to making Whitewater a welcoming and safe home for countless different species of birds.
Not every city can easily become a Bird City. It takes a long time period, a lengthy application full of criteria and, a lot of work and community involvement to make something like this happen. It was thanks to our Urban Forestry Commission that Whitewater became a Bird City of Wisconsin.
Four Major Tasks for Bird Cities:
- Demonstrate community involvement towwards the well-being of birds and their habitats
- Promote knowledge of birding through public education.
- Community celebration of bird migration
- Continuous work toward bettering the lives of birds within your city
Whitewater’s biggest Bird City event was during the 2014 Main Street Festival on August 2nd. During this time many local organizations such as The Arts Alliance, Studio 84, Downtown Whitewater, Makers Space and the Whitewater Chamber of Commerce collaborated to promote public education about the importance of bird habitats and preservation. The festival included building Blue Bird Boxes to be put up around town to promote nesting sites for birds as well as making roosting platforms for safe resting areas for birds around Whitewater.
A few new resources became available since then to promote healthy birds within Whitewater.
Seed Exchange Program- The Irvin L. Young Memorial Library has helped the Urban Forestry Commission by supplying space to house a seed exchange for anyone that would like to plant native plants in their own yards. These plants include seeds that would supply birds with plenty of food during the colder months and also plants to promote hummingbirds and other colorful winged creatures to visit your backyards. People interested can call the library at (262) 473-0530. Read More Here!
Chimney Swift Tower-A new Chimney Swift Tower has been put up behind the Community Building at Craveth Lakefront. This will provide Whitewater’s Chimney Swifts a safe place to nest and have their young away from the dangers of predators! For information on the Chimney Swift, Click Here!
Bird City of Whitewater’s Website: Check it out!
Bird City of Wisconsin’s Website: Click Here!
Senior in the Park: Park Bench Video on Whitewater becoming a Bird City
Urban Forestry Commission’s Website: Take a Look!