Migratory Birds
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Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds - Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota

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July 12, 2011

Ashley Spratt, USFWS, (612) 713-5314
Matt Laible, City of Minneapolis, (612) 673-2786
Clarise Tushie-Lessard, City of Saint Paul, (651) 266-8571

Mayors of Minneapolis and Saint Paul Join U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to Announce Urban Bird Treaty

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and the City of Minneapolis, in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, City of Saint Paul and Audubon Minnesota, will announce establishment of an Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds on Thursday, July 14, 2011, at the BF Nelson Park in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

WHO: Mayor R.T. Rybak, City of Minneapolis
John Erwin, President, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board
Mayor Chris Coleman, City of Saint Paul
John Christian, Assistant Regional Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Mark Peterson, Executive Director, Audubon Minnesota

WHAT: Announcement of Minneapolis and Saint Paul Urban Bird Treaty. Under the Urban Bird Treaty program, the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul will conduct habitat restoration (focusing on use of native plants), invasive species management, and develop educational materials to support conservation for birds that spend a portion of their lifecycle in this metropolitan area. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's "Green Team," a team of young employees, ages 13-18, will be on site conducting habitat restoration work. Release of rehabilitated backyard birds from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is also planned on-site following the announcement.

WHEN: Thursday, July 14, 2011 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

WHERE: BF Nelson Park. Address: 434 Main St. NE, located on the east side of the Mississippi River just upstream from Hennepin Ave.

Parking Note: Enter park on gravel path off Marshall Street NE , just north of Pioneer Statue and 5 th Avenue NE. Stay on path to avoid damage to sprinkler heads and irrigation lines next to path and throughout park.

Since 1999, nine cities have been accepted in the Service's Urban Bird Treaty program, including New Orleans, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Portland, St. Louis, Nashville, Anchorage and New York. Cities to join the program in 2011 include Phoenix, AZ; Kennedale, TX, Opelika, AL; Indianapolis, IN; Hartford, CT; Ogden, UT; Lewistown, MT, San Francisco, CA, and Washington DC.

The Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds (Urban Bird Treaty) program was created to help municipal governments conserve birds that live and nest in or overwinter or migrate through their cities. Launched in 1999, the first treaty was signed with New Orleans. The treaties are a partnership agreement between a U.S. city and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to conserve migratory birds through education, habitat improvement and bird conservation actions. Typically, many other partners are involved with Urban Bird Treaty activities and projects at a local level.

The City of Minneapolis embraces sustainability to support the city's quality of life now and in the future. Minneapolis continues developing new, relevant sustainability indicators, data and policies to help systematically make Minneapolis a cleaner, healthier, more efficient city. In 2010, Minneapolis was recognized for water quality innovations, as the cleanest city in America, as the sixth best eco-city in the world, as America's best bike city, as seventh least wasteful city in the nation and among the top 10 green cities. For information on Minneapolis' sustainability initiatives, visit www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/sustainability.

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is dedicated to permanently preserving, protecting, maintaining, improving and enhancing its natural resources, parkland, and recreational opportunities for current and future generations. Created in 1883, the park system serves more than 18 million visitors annually with its 6,700 acres of land and water and recreational amenities. For more information on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, visit www.minneapolisparks.org

The City of Saint Paul, the capital city of Minnesota, is a vibrant, diverse, and progressive city in the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan region. Saint Paul constantly strives to be the most livable city in America, intertwining its urban downtown with the city's natural beauty provided by its place along the Mississippi River. For more information please visit the city website: www.stpaul.gov.

Audubon Minnesota is the state office of the National Audubon Society. For over 30 years, Audubon Minnesota has been in the forefront of the critical conservation issues facing Minnesota by employing science-based conservation, advocacy and education "to conserve and restore natural ecosystems in Minnesota, focusing on birds and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth's biological diversity." Today there are 11,400 Audubon members in Minnesota, organized into 12 chapters across the state. 

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.

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Last updated: July 13, 2011