WATERLOO - After three consecutive years of being a designated a Bird Friendly Community, Waterloo has received Sustained Flight status by Bird Friendly Iowa. Waterloo is the first city in Iowa to achieve this status.
According to Iowa Department of Natural Resources Avian Ecologist, Anna Buckardt Thomas, "These remarkable achievements are the result of dedicated efforts made by Waterloo's leaders and its citizens to make this
community a front runner in bird conservation and environmental education. With nearly half of Iowa's nesting birds declining, efforts by urban communities, like Waterloo, to provide more secure habitat in parks,
greenbelts, and yards alike, can really make a difference for a significant number of bird species."
Bird Friendly Iowa is an organization created to protect, restore and enhance bird habitat, reduce threats to birds and to educate and engage people in birding and conservation. While working with this organization, Waterloo has managed to provide substantial habitat for nesting and migrating birds within its 3,000 acres of greenbelts and parks.
"Waterloo is to be commended for achieving Sustained Flight status," said Doug Harr, a steering committee member of Bird Friendly Iowa and president of Iowa Audubon. "With all the conservation efforts already underway in this community, there is no city in Iowa that is more deserving of this unique and honorable status."
Waterloo has been designated a Tree City, USA for more than 34 years and makes significant efforts to protect bird and other wildlife habitat, particularly during nesting season. The community provides information to
citizens and businesses on how to prevent birds from flying into windows, and its citizens actively participate (especially through Prairie Rapids Audubon Society) in bird monitoring and surveys, such as the National
Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count, the Great Backyard Bird Count, Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology's Project Feeder Watch and Iowa's Breeding Bird Atlas.
Started with partnerships between conservation groups across Iowa, Bird Friendly Iowa certifies cities and
counties as bird friendly based on a set of criteria that includes protection of habitat, reducing threats to birds, and educating and engaging people in birding. The goal of the program is to increase awareness and protection of bird habitat. Cities and counties can learn more about the program and apply at www.birdfriendlyiowa.org.
Contact: Patty Reisinger, Bird Friendly Iowa steering committee member, 319-440-4195