Birds of a Feather: Linking Land Trusts, Birds, and Vibrant Communities

The news we’ve been hearing over the last few weeks has certainly shown us something interesting about the city of Madison - Madisonians are bird lovers! In Dane County and in Madison specifically, Madison Audubon Society plays a large role in protecting birds and their habitats. This land trust has been especially busy over the past few weeks delivering and receiving awards and recognition, garnering some cool press in the process:

Lincoln Elementary Honored

This fall, Madison’s Lincoln Elementary was awarded the “Conservation Scholar” award from Madison Audubon. The honor was bestowed for this school’s tradition of placing importance on teaching kids about the environment. Lincoln Elementary houses a unique and long-standing nature trail/wilderness walk on school grounds.

This year, teacher Laurie Solchenberger took the next step and involved Lincoln students in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon. As part of this initiative, each student was assigned a Wisconsin bird. The students studied their bird species and then, at the project’s culmination, taught the rest of the class about the bird.

Lincoln Elementary students loved all they learned by participating in the 2013 Birdathon!

Lincoln Elementary students loved all they learned by participating in the 2013 Birdathon!

The “Conservation Scholar” honor comes with a small cash award, which the school will most likely use to purchase binoculars to promote birding and other nature-viewing activities as part of the school’s environmental tradition. Judging by the thank you notes and drawings from the students to Eagle Optics (for the temporary use of their binoculars), it seems that this will be money well spent!

The City of Madison Honored

With help from the Madison Audubon Society, Madison was recently deemed a ‘Bird City’ through Bird City Wisconsin- a program of the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative. This honor was imparted because of Madison’s outstanding community-based efforts to protect bird populations through conservation, meeting criteria for education, habitat management, species management, and limiting or removing hazards to birds. The Madison Audubon Society played an important role in these efforts.

A Madison Bird City celebration was held at Warner Park where the city was presented with official Bird City flags, plaques, and street signs.

Charles Schwartz, State Coordinator of Bird City, presents Bird City flags to Madison and Maple Bluff. Photo from Madison Commons.

Charles Schwartz, State Coordinator of Bird City, presents the Bird City flag to Madison. Photo from Madison Commons.

Its no wonder that Madison Audubon has been making the news! This land trust has clearly been working hard, enriching the communities they serve while forwarding their mission to educate their members and the public about the natural world and the threats that natural systems are facing, to engage in advocacy to preserve and protect these systems, and to develop and maintain sanctuaries to save and restore habitat. We certainly are proud of them. Well done!