Promoting the enjoyment, study, and conservation of Wisconsin's birds.

Observatory assumes sponsorship of pioneering conservation program

Shorewood, Wis. - Bird City Wisconsin has notified its partners and member communities about three important changes in the pioneering program for urban bird conservation.

The first is that Bird City has a new fiscal sponsor. The board of directors of the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory voted unanimously on Oct. 19 to assume fiscal sponsorship.

The observatory takes over from the Milwaukee Audubon Society, which had served as Bird City’s fiscal sponsor since 2009, when the society was awarded a TogetherGreen planning grant to launch the program. The transition brings to fruition the long-time dream of the late founder of the Observatory and former WSO president, Dr. Noel J. Cutright, who saw the institution as a potential successor to Milwaukee Audubon as Bird City’s home base.

“We believe strongly that this is a positive development for all involved and a growth opportunity for both Bird City and the Observatory, in that it closely aligns two organizations with a fundamental commitment to aggressive conservation action on behalf of the birds we love,” said Carl Schwartz, chair of the Bird City board of directors and a member of the Observatory board.

The second change is that Bird City has a new mailing address. Mail for the program should now be sent to:
    
     Bird City Wisconsin
     4320 N. Oakland Ave., #219
     Shorewood, WI 53211
    

A new mailing address became necessary after the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center reclaimed office space that had been provided to Milwaukee Audubon and used as BCW’s headquarters and for storage.

The third change is that communities and partners who send checks to Bird City Wisconsin should no longer write them to Milwaukee Audubon. Effective immediately, checks should instead be written to “Bird City Wisconsin.”

No other changes were made to the program’s daily operations, said Chuck Hagner, BCW director. Member communities and partners will be able to conduct business as before.

“Our great thanks go to the Milwaukee Audubon Society, and especially to Andrew Struck, for the foundational support that made Bird City possible and helped it grow into a national force in bird conservation,” Hagner said.

Struck was president of Milwaukee Audubon until Nov. 10. Struck is director of planning and parks for Ozaukee County, one of the inaugural Bird City communities. He served for five years as chair of the Bird City Steering Committee and nine years as its treasurer. He will remain on the BCW board as a municipal representative.

As a program of the observatory, Bird City (https://birdcitywisconsin.org) encourages all communities in Wisconsin to implement sound bird-conservation practices by offering public recognition to those that succeed in (a) enhancing the environment for birds and (b) educating the public about the interactions between birds and people and about the contributions that birds make to healthy communities.

The observatory (https://wglbbo.org) is an independent 501(c) 3 organization. It was founded in 2010 to conduct coordinated research, monitoring and education that advance the conservation of birds and bats in Wisconsin and throughout the Western Great Lakes Region. Its headquarters is at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, just north of Port Washington in Ozaukee County.

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