Chicago Field Office
230 South Dearborn St.,
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Connect With Us
Birders and Tennis Club members work together to plant bird-friendly habitat.
Photo bu USFWS
Bird-friendly habitat created along Lake Michigan shoreline
Songbirds migrating along the shorelines of Lake Michigan in spring and fall will find food and shelter thanks to the efforts of a group of caring volunteers in Illinois. This fall, more than 346 volunteers planted approximately 20,000 flowering trees and shrubs, wildflowers and native grasses at a Lake Michigan shoreline park to benefit migrating birds. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered with the Wilmette Park District and the Ouilmette Foundation to create bird-friendly native plant gardens at Gillson Park in Wilmette, Illinois. The gardens were thoughtfully designed with native plants chosen for their ability to provide abundant insects and berries for migrating birds, laid out in a design that urban residents would find attractive.
In a great show of community spirit, the volunteer workers included Go Green Wilmette, girl scouts, boy scouts, Rotary Club, Little Garden Club of Wilmette, North Shore Bird Club, Gillson Birders, Evanston Treekeepers, Gillson Triathletes, Interfaith Community, Logic Lawn Care, Chalet Nursery, Wilmette International Club, Wilmette Historical Society, a coffee shop, tennis players, neighbors, the Sailing Club and other supporters! U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funding was provided by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative through the Great Lakes Coastal Program.
The gardens designed by the native landscaping firm Living Habitats and planted by the Gillson Park community will provide needed shelter and food for thousands of colorful songbirds that stop at this park each spring and fall on their long journeys between their summer nesting grounds to the north and their wintering grounds in the south. Migration is the most perilous time of year for warblers and other songbirds, and the park’s location along Lake Michigan makes it a particularly valuable place to provide food and shelter for exhausted birds as they head to land after a night of flying over Lake Michigan.
By Louise Clemency
Chicago Ecological Services
January 14, 2016
In an effort to conserve the northern long-eared bat, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced a final rule today that uses flexibilities under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to tailor protections to areas affected by white-nose syndrome during the bat’s most sensitive life stages. The rule is designed to protect the bat while minimizing regulatory requirements for landowners, land managers, government agencies and others within the species’ range.