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Regional Director Tom Melius, Director Dan Ashe, Mike Redmer, and Shawn Cirton helped improve habitat in Chicago’s Burnham Wildlife Corridor. Credit: USFWS photo by Louise Clemency

Regional Director Tom Melius, Director Dan Ashe, Mike Redmer, and Shawn Cirton helped improve habitat in Chicago’s Burnham Wildlife Corridor. USFWS photo by Louise Clemency.

Director, RD Help with Chicago Habitat Project

On May 10, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe and Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius joined the Chicago Park District and volunteers from around the Chicago Area to plant trees to develop the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, a new natural area in Chicago’s Burnham Park. Staff from the Chicago Ecological Services Field Office, including project leader Louise Clemency, Mike Redmer and Shawn Cirton, helped coordinate the event.

The Burnham Wildlife Corridor creates a 100-acre ribbon of urban wilderness running through one of Chicago’s premier lakefront properties. The corridor is located within the Millennium Reserve, one of two sites in Illinois to be included in President Obama's "America's Great Outdoors" initiative.

The event was conducted in partnership with Chicago Wilderness, The Field Museum, Friends of the Parks, The Nature Conservancy, Openlands and Audubon - Chicago Region.

During the event, Service Director Dan Ashe thanked participants and partners and said, “The Service is pleased to be a part of this project which connects Chicagoans with nature in such a hands-on and meaningful way. Providing habitat in cities along our Great Lakes will make a real difference in conserving our migratory songbirds.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has provided $370,000 funding and technical support to the Chicago Park District for Burnham Wildlife Corridor habitat restoration along Chicago’s south side lakefront via the Great Lakes Coastal Program through Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding. The largest private contributor to overall development of the Burnham Wildlife Corridor is CN railroad with $150,000.

Take a look at more photos from the event at https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwsmidwest/with/14170870194

By Georgia Parham

Last updated: June 12, 2014