The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is launching new partnerships in cities across the nation to boost opportunities for city residents to connect with nature and engage thousands of volunteers in restoring local environments.
Three cities – Anchorage, AK; Atlanta, GA; and Springfield, MA – now join 14 others with Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships. These partnerships are collaborative efforts to provide residents of demographically diverse cities with fresh opportunities to get outdoors and experience nature within the urban environment. The partnerships encourage and nurture an appreciation of wildlife conservation among new audiences.
Five cities – Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Pittsburgh, PA; New Haven, CT; and McAllen, TX – are now designated Urban Bird Treaty cities, joining 21 other such partnerships nationwide. The Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds – known as the Urban Bird Treaty – works with cities and partners to conserve migratory birds through education, citizen science and conservation action in urban and suburban areas.
The new partnerships, which are all part of the Service’s Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, were made possible by the 2015 Five Star grants from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), which generated $2.35 million in direct contributions and matching funds from local partners.
“The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program was created because we believe the future of conservation depends on engaging people in natural resource stewardship. That is especially true of the millions who live in America’s biggest cities,” said Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “These grants will make a huge difference in reaching new communities by creating local partnerships with the Service in neighborhoods across the country. The benefits will be felt for generations.”
With 80 percent of Americans living in urban communities, the challenge to ensure that natural resources are conserved and valued by the American people has become more complex. The Service is committed to serving this growing diverse, urban audience. The Urban Wildlife Conservation Program, launched in 2013, provides new opportunities for residents of America’s cities to learn about and take part in wildlife habitat conservation.
The NFWF Five Star grants fund community-led habitat restoration and engage thousands of volunteers.
The three new Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships’ focus areas are:
The five new Urban Bird Treaty cities’ focus areas are:
Funding will also support existing urban partnerships in Anchorage, AK; Denver, CO; New Haven, CT; Atlanta, GA; Chicago, IL; New Orleans, LA; Baltimore, MD; Minneapolis, MN; Albuquerque, NM; Yonkers, NY; Portland, OR; Philadelphia, PA; Houston, TX; and Washington, DC. Learn more online at: http://www.fws.gov/urban.
Since it began in 1999, the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program has supported more than 750 projects in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than $8.5 million in federal funds and $7 million in private and corporate contributions have been leveraged with $60 million in matching funds at the local level. The program is administered by the NFWF, National Association of Counties, Wildlife Habitat Council and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Service contributed $540,000 to this year’s projects. Other funding partners in the 2015 Five Star grant program include the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, FedEx, Southern Company, Bank of America, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. http://www.nfwf.org/fivestar
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.
For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit http://www.fws.gov/. Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.