$70,000 Grant from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
(May 19, 2012) --- Today Mayor Pedro E. Segarra was joined by State Representative Matt Ritter, City Councilman Kenneth Kennedy, other city and national officials and representatives from Trinity College, the Park Watershed, Inc., Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission and Friends of Keney and Pope Parks to announce the receipt of a $70,000 challenge grant from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Program.
This grant intends to improve the migratory bird habitat within the Capital City Parks System and will assist in the development of educational guidelines that will help assist non-profit organizations and city residents in enhancing the bird habitat throughout Hartford.
"The Connecticut River is an important migratory pathway for birds within the Atlantic Flyway. With more than 2,000 acres of parkland throughout Hartford, we are a significant urban bird haven. Every spring and fall thousands of birds fly through Connecticut's Capital City during seasonal migration along the Connecticut River corridor. The number and variety of local native birds that reside in Hartford further attest to the importance of these urban environments to the well-being of birds," said Mayor Segarra.
"On behalf of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I'm proud to partner with the City of Hartford, Mayor Segarra, Trinity College, Park Watershed Inc. and the rest of our partners to enhance the bird habitat within the city's parks," said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Regional Director Wendi Weber. "Our commitment to protecting migratory birds for the public's benefit extends beyond 'wild' places and the Urban Bird Treaty is one example that demonstrates this commitment."
State Representative Matt Ritter added, "This is a special day for the City of Hartford. This grant will help promote an essential treasure and create critical learning tools that will generate interest among the youngest Hartford residents to play their small, but critically essential part, in helping to maintain our parks and wildlife for future generations."
The Urban Bird Treaty work is scheduled to include the development of a "Park Plant Palette" to describe native vegetation that provides food and shelter for migratory birds. This resource will serve as a guide for two habitat restoration projects at Keney and Pope Park ponds. In addition, it will be distributed to school children, youth groups, and the Hartford Public Library in order to encourage and expand citizen involvement.
To help celebrate the Hartford Urban Bird Treaty, the Watershed on Wheels, "WOW Express", will be stationed at the Ebony Horsewomen Equestrian Center between 9am – 2pm on Saturday (5/19). The WOW Express is the special mobile visitor center of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. For more information, please visit:http://www.fws.gov/r5soc/educational_resources/watershed-on-wheels.html
For more information on Hartford's Historic Parks System, please visit: http://gis.hartford.gov/hartfordparks/index.html.
For updates about the City of Hartford Urban Bird Treaty project work, please visit: www.parkwatershed.org or http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/Partnerships/UrbanTreaty/urbantreaty.html