Evanston granted $100,000 to improve bird habitats

Ingraham+Park+will+be+one+of+several+parks+to+receive+improvements+to+natural+bird+habitats+under+a+grant+the+city+received.+The+grant+will+go+towards+cleaning+up+natural+habitats%2C+and+will+also+fund+walking+trails+and+informational+kiosks+at+various+parks.
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Evanston granted $100,000 to improve bird habitats

Ingraham Park will be one of several parks to receive improvements to natural bird habitats under a grant the city received. The grant will go towards cleaning up natural habitats, and will also fund walking trails and informational kiosks at various parks.

Ingraham Park will be one of several parks to receive improvements to natural bird habitats under a grant the city received. The grant will go towards cleaning up natural habitats, and will also fund walking trails and informational kiosks at various parks.

Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

Ingraham Park will be one of several parks to receive improvements to natural bird habitats under a grant the city received. The grant will go towards cleaning up natural habitats, and will also fund walking trails and informational kiosks at various parks.

Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

Daniel Tian/Daily Senior Staffer

Ingraham Park will be one of several parks to receive improvements to natural bird habitats under a grant the city received. The grant will go towards cleaning up natural habitats, and will also fund walking trails and informational kiosks at various parks.

Zoe Miller, Reporter

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Evanston received a large grant to create new and improve upon existing migratory bird habitats throughout the city, officials announced last month.

The $100,000 grant comes from the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund, an organization managed by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation that is dedicated to improving the health and accessibility of waterways in the Chicago and Calumet areas.

Evanston’s grant will fund the planting of native plant species that provide food and shelter for migratory birds in Harbert Park, Twiggs Park and the Ladd Arboretum, all of which are along the North Shore Channel.

Funds will also be directed towards projects in Ingraham Park, which is next to the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, and a fourth park that has not yet been determined, according to a news release.

Ald. Eleanor Revelle (7th) said the money would help the city “clean up” land along the North Shore Canal and in other parks.

“If you walk along any place in Evanston where you can see the area along the canal you can see that there’s a huge need,” she said. “You can see a lot of dead trees, a lot of weed trees, a lot of invasive species that really should be cleaned out in order to create a healthier habitat, and doing that is pretty expensive work.”

The city applied for the grant with support from several community organizations, including Citizens’ Greener Evanston, Evanston Environmental Association and the Bird Conservation Network.

Jonathan Nieuwsma, president of Citizens’ Greener Evanston, said the organization played a “cheerleader role” and backed the city’s application with a letter of support to the Chi-Cal Rivers fund.

Nieuwsma said the grant was also going to be used to make migratory bird habitats more accessible to the public. According to the news release, there are plans to improve the Ladd Arboretum’s walking trails with the grant. Funds will also be used to upgrade the wildlife observation decks in Twiggs and Harbert Parks and add an informational kiosk at the beginning of the Ladd Arboretum trails.

“It’s basically doing some upgrades to the Ladd Arboretum to make it more friendly for migratory birds and also more friendly for the people who are visiting that park,” Nieuwsma said.

The city also hopes to create a website for the Evanston Habitat Network stewardship group and Birding Trail.

Revelle said she anticipated the grant money will go a long way in helping enhance Evanston’s nature spaces.

“It’ll be a really great opportunity involving the residents (near) those parks in understanding native plants and what they can do to make the habitat more welcoming to birds and other wildlife,” said Revelle. “We’ll be able to do quite a bit with this grant.”

Email: zoemiller2020@u.northwestern.edu

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