Members of the Lafayette County Bluebird Society recently sought approval from the Darlington city council to dub Darlington a “Bird City” at the most recent city council meeting held on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
The request is part of a project called Bird City Wisconsin, which is a coalition led by the Milwaukee Audubon Society, the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative and the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. There are currently around 54 communities in Wisconsin that have the Bird City designation.
The focus of the project is to mobilize a statewide coalition of citizens and public officials who can educate others and implement sound conservation practices in maintaining healthy populations of native birds.
In 1981, the Lafayette County Bluebird Society organized in the basement of the Methodist Church in Darlington, therefore, the members of that organization have chosen Darlington as a tentative candidate for Bird City Wisconsin.
According to Lafayette County Bluebird Society president, Carol McDaniel, there are several criteria in five categories that are required for a city, village or county to be accepted as a Bird City.
The community must demonstrate that it has accomplished: the creation and protection of habitat, participation in programs promoting effective community forest management, limiting or removing hazards to birds, public education and community celebration of International Migratory Bird Day.
“Darlington has met six of the specific criteria that are listed under those accomplishments,” said McDaniel. “It will meet the seventh by recognizing International Migratory Bird Day this year.”
If Darlington is accepted as Bird City, the city will receive signage to be placed at two entrances into the city, a Bird City flag, a recognition plaque, news releases to appropriate media, and a page dedicated to Darlington on the Bird City web site http://www.birdcitywisconsin.org/.
“Being recognized as Bird City Wisconsin will tell residents and visitors that Darlington is a community that cares about its environment and has taken measures to protect its native birds,” explained McDaniel. “It helps to build community spirit and cooperation between public and private sectors and it brings attention to the importance of birds in a community and the value of nature. It will also help draw birders and other nature lovers to the area and, as a result, help the Darlington economy.”
Although the city council heard the request from the Lafayette County Bluebird Society, the council took no action on the subject at that point. This topic will be on the agenda of the next city council meeting however.