Bird City Wisconsin
Stevens Point Bird City Wisconsin High Flyer Award
Stevens Point became one of the first cities to win the Bird City Wisconsin award in December of 2010. The Bird City Wisconsin initiative is modeled after the Tree City USA program developed by the National Arbor Day Foundation. The goal of Bird City Wisconsin is to "Make our communities healthy for birds ... and people." The focus is on improving urban bird habitat and reducing threats to birds.
Bird City Wisconsin has established a total of 22 criteria for communities to work toward, but only 7 of these from 5 categories are required to be designated a Bird City. Stevens Point qualified in 8, including: compliance with the State Smart Growth initiative; Tree City USA designation; Cats Indoors campaign; Audubon Christmas Bird Count; preservation of habitat at the Erickson Natural Area on McDill Pond; and development of a nest box trail by McKinley Center Elementary School students at Kozcizkowski Park and the Erickson Natural Area.
In 2023, Stevens Point received the Bird City Wisconsin award for the 14th consecutive year. About 100 cities in Wisconsin receive the award yearly. Only about 25 qualify as “High Flyer” communities. Stevens Point has been a "High Flyer" 13 of the past 14 years.
“Dr. Kent Hall and [Aldo Leopold Audubon Society board member] Jim Canales have been instrumental in the City continually receiving this award,” said Mayor Wiza. “There are countless hours invested in compiling information and highlighting everything we do from a conservation standpoint, including our solar initiatives, carbon footprint reductions, composting program, habitat maintenance and restoration, and our Tree City USA status. Everything gets tied together.”
Receiving the Bird City Wisconsin Awards is a cooperative effort between the City and Audubon, and the awards are given only to municipalities that have special conservation projects for birds and a demonstrated quality of life for residents.
“I’d like to thank Jim for all of his dedicated work on this project," continued Mayor Wiza. “He’s going to step back from his work on this and we have several other people taking the reins going forward. His passion for conservation and environmental stewardship will continue to motivate others.”