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Action to prevent the installation of bird killing glass

Citizens for Bird Safe Stadium Glass The time has come to put pressure on National Audubon to take action to prevent the installation of bird killing glass. Below and included here (President Yarnold Glass_EM) is a draft letter to David Yarnold, President of National Audubon Society, to take bold action, including possible legal action, to prevent the installation of the bird killing glass.  Feel free to add your own comments.  We urge you to co-sign this letter and send it by mail, preferred method, or e-mail as soon as possible, because as the letter states the time is NOW.  

Mailing address:

President David Yarnold

National Audubon Society

225 Varick Street

New York, NY 10014

E-mail address: chapterleaders@audubon.org

Thank you for your continuing help with this campaign,

Jerry Bahls

Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis _________________________________________________________________________________

President Yarnold

As you know Audubon has been working to change the bird killing glass that the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) is planning on putting into the new Minnesota Vikings Stadium. The Stadium construction is well underway and despite the diligent work of Audubon Minnesota to persuade the MSFA to change the 200,000 ft2 of glass, the MSFA has been unresponsive.  Because the bird killing glass is probably in the early stages of construction, planned for delivery in January 2015, it is imperative that action be taken NOW to stop its production and make the MSFA execute a change order to produce Bird Safe glass.

NOW is the time to utilize ALL of the available resources of the National Audubon Society to force the MSFA to commit to Bird Safe Glass for the stadium. The Audubon Chapters of Minnesota have been devoting time and resources to this issue and need the forceful leadership of National Audubon to bring their national prestige and power to make the difference in this precedence-setting decision that will save the lives of many birds now and in the future.  We believe that one of the only remaining strategies is pursuit of legal action against the MSFA.  We hope National Audubon will seriously consider using their power and prestige to help stop the production of the bird killing glass. National Audubon’s future influence can be greatly enhanced by acting NOW to prevent this disaster for birds.

President Yarnold, you are needed NOW to prevent this from happening.  Take an action that will force the MSFA to Change the Glass, NOW!

Thanks for acting to save birds,

Jerry Bahls

President

Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis

And the undersigned Audubon members and bird loving friends,

World of Northern Owls

DSC_0029Author and Naturalist Dave Benson will be presenting at Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis’ November program.  Dave will speak on the World of Northern Owls on Tuesday November 11th 7-9 pm at the Beth El Synagogue, 5224 W. 26th St., St. Louis Park 55416.  All Chapter meetings are free and open to the public. Come and enjoy wonderful photography and get ready for the winter’s owl season!

Rally at Hamline University at 8 am Sunday, October 19 to pressure Governor Dayton to change the glass

Join us and Minnesota Citizens for the Protection of Migratory Birds on Sunday, October 19 at 8 am at Hamline University in St Paul to  let Governor Dayton know we want the stadium glass changed. Read the details below and click here to visit the MCPMB Facebook page and here to visit the organization’s website.
Dear Bird Advocates,
It is very important that we have a visual presence and keep the pressure up on Governor Dayton to do the right thing. If you attend one rally for this issue, this is the most important! The only debate being held locally. Dayton is vulnerable on his environmental record. His change to bird-safe, energy efficient glass for the Vikings stadium could help his campaign!
We are not allowed to stand outside the Klas center, unless you are a Hamline student  However, we can stand half a block away at the intersection of Snelling and Taylor where most of the cars will enter. Please arrive by 8AM to make sure the media (arriving early to set up) see our signs. You are free to leave after the debate begins at 9AM. We will meet at the intersection of N. Snelling Ave and Taylor Ave. See attached map.
We will provide posters and banners to hold up with our message. “Chage the Glass Now” What we really need is people to wake early tomorrow and give an hour of their time. For the Birds!
Wendy Haan
Minnesota Citizens for the Protection of Migratory Birds

“Change the Glass” Appeal

Please click on this powerful appeal to “Change the Glass Now” made at the MSFA Board meeting today.  http://blogs.mprnews.org/stadium-watch/2014/10/10/birders-make-another-plea-for-safe-vikings-stadium/  Please forward this to others.

“Change the Glass Now!”

We Need Your Help Now

Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis, to help us continue to pressure the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to do the right thing now.

Take Action

Make calls today to Governor Mark Dayton and MSFA Chair Michelle Kelm-Helgen and simply tell them, “Change the Glass Now!”

  • Governor Mark Dayton (651) 222 3766
  • Michelle Kelm-Helgen (612) 335-3319

Join Us

Join our growing movement to protect migratory birds—and all birds—by “liking” the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis Facebook Page and the Make the New Vikings Stadium Bird Safe Facebook Page.

Thank you to everyone who came to our September 27 protest. Please continue to put pressure on the MSFA to change the glass.

Take action! Send a postcard to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority urging the agency to change the glass. Download one of the .pdf versions to print yourself. We’ll also have postcards available at the demonstration.

protest3ToMSFA_Postcard

toMSFA_Postcardwithoutphotos

Follow up by contacting all the MSFA members and Governor Dayton:
Take_away_flyer

We had great turnout on Saturday, Sept 27, 2014 at the protest we held across the street from the Vikings Stadium construction site. We had banners with the slogans “Never too late to get it right—Change the Glass Now!” and “Save the birds—Save the earth.” Attendees brought a variety of their own very clever signs as well.

We had a great group of speakers who presented their unique perspective on how the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority’s (MSFA) decision to not use bird-safe glass will have a harmful impact on wildlife and sends a negative message to the community at large. Steve Greenfield made some great introductory comments and restated the protest was not “anti-Vikings” but rather “pro-birds.” Madeleine Linck, Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis Board Member spoke about the impacts of window collisions on birds. Wildlife Rehabilitationist/Conservationist, Roger Tory Peterson awardee, and science writer/editor at Cornell Lab of Ornithology Laura Erickson shared her perspective on the stadium’s impact on bird conservation. Brad Bourn, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Commissioner, discussed connectivity between the Mississippi River and Minneapolis parks and the value of protecting wildlife/birds in natural urban habitats. Minneapolis City Council Members Cam Gordon and Linea Palmisano shared their pro-conservation views in relation to the City Council’s role in this process and position on the stadiu. Dr. Jim Gambone, Executive Producer of Points Of View Inc., discussed MSFA’s Environmental Impact Statement and noncompliance with Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification and the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) of 1918.

A big thank you to all the volunteers who helped get the word out about the event and made all the arrangements for all in attendance. Here are some links to press coverage of the event:

For Minnesota Public Radio’s piece “Birders threaten lawsuit over new Vikings stadium glass,” click here

For KARE 11 News’ piece “Hundreds gather to protest Vikings stadium glass,” click here

To read Wired’s September 4, 2014 column “Have the Vikings built a Thunderdome for Migratory Birds?” click here.

Our work is not yet done. We need everyone to continue to call the MSFA, MN Governor Dayton, MN Attorney General Swanson, and all of your elected officials to express our shared concern over this decision, which is in direct opposition to the values of conservation. Please continue to make these calls, write letters to the editor of your local newspaper, write blog posts, and keep spreading the word that we demand bird safe glass on the “People’s Stadium!”

MINNESOTA SPORTS FACILITY AUTHORITY CHAIR MICHELLE KELM-HELGEN (612) 335-3319
MN GOVERNOR MARK DAYTON (651) 222 3766
MN ATTORNEY GENERAL LORI SWANSON (651) 296-3353

protest4

Flyer to protest decision not to use Bird Safe glass in new Vikings stadium

Flyer to protest decision not to use Bird Safe glass in new Vikings stadium

Join us on Saturday, September 27th at 1:00 pm to protest the decision not to use bird safe glass in the new Vikings stadium. We’ll meet next to the Downtown East Light Rail Station platform (corner of S 4th St & Chicago Av S). Let’s tell the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings that we want to focus on touchdown runs, not on birds hitting the glass. We will meet rain or shine. Come show your support for the birds and the Vikings!

Questions about the event? Maybe you’ll find the answers here. If you don’t, email Vikings4Birds@gmail.com.

Why are we protesting? What is wrong with the current choice of glass?

The Minnesota Vikings stadium currently under construction is a $1.024 billion dollar project. Almost half of its funding comes from public money. A prominent feature of the building’s design is 200,000 square feet of glass, which is equivalent to over three football fields. Birds are unable to perceive glass that is too transparent or reflective as a solid object. When they try to fly through the glass, the collision often leads to their death.

The new stadium will be in close proximity to the Mississippi River. Over 50% of North American migratory birds use the Mississippi River Flyway during migration. This means the design, which introduces a significant hazard to all birds, will be especially detrimental to migratory birds. Many of these migratory species are currently threatened or endangered. While MSFA has agreed to turn down the lights when the stadium is not in use, they plan to use the stadium year-round and often throughout the night. Furthermore, although most migrants travel by night, birds are active and at risk of window collisions due to reflections during the day.

Read more about why we ar protesting

Learn more about bird – window collisions by going to these links:

Audubon Minnesota Project BirdSafe

American Bird Conservancy: Birds and Collisions

“When Birds and Glass Collide” Audubon Magazine, December 2008

“Clear and Present Danger” Audubon Magazine, March 2004

Can I get to the protest by bus or light rail? How about carpooling?

Getting there by bus or light rail:

We encourage you to take public transit or carpool to the protest. All light rail trains stop at the Downtown East Station on their way into & out of downtown Minneapolis. Several bus routes stop within a block or two of the protest site including routes #3, #7, #14, #16 and #22. Click here to go to the Metro Transit site and put the stadium’s address, 424 Chicago Avenue Minneapolis MN 55415, into the trip planner.

Getting there by carpool:

Want to carpool? Click here to go to eRideShare.com to find out about getting or giving rides. The group password for the protest is birdsafe.

If I’m driving, where do I park?

Because the protest is on a Saturday, there should be plenty of parking available on-street at meters and in pay lots. We know of no free parking near the protest site. Here’s a suggestion: Park for free at a Metro Blue Line Park & Ride lot and catch a Blue Line train to the protest. Click here for a list of Metro Blue Line Park & Ride lots and more information.

Should I bring a protest sign?

Yes! Be creative but please remember to make your sign pro-bird, not anti-Vikings. Feel free to wear your Vikings gear.

I’m still mad about there even being a new stadium. Can I come protest the stadium itself?

We understand the issue of a new stadium is still controversial but please don’t use this event to protest the stadium itself. For better or worse, the stadium is being built. Now we want to focus on helping the MSFA and the Vikings make the stadium as bird-friendly as it can be.

I can’t attend the protest. How else can I help?

Send a postcard to the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority by downloading & printing: ToMSFA_Postcard

Another version of the postcard to the MSFA without photos:toMSFA_Postcardwithoutphotos

There are many ways to help including: Tell your friends, family and co-workers about the protest and encourage them to attend. Forward the protest flyer or download & print copies to distribute at locations like coops and coffee shops – wherever people gather! Remember to get permission to post. Also, continue to write, call and email the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority and the Vikings to let them know they have made the wrong decision and it’s not too late to do the right thing. Send letters to the editors of the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press and your local newspapers. Contact your elected officials to let them know how unhappy you are that your tax dollars are being used to fund a stadium that will kill birds.

Learn how you can make your home safer for birds by clicking here.

We’ll be adding more questions & answers soon. See you at the protest!

2014 -15 ACM programs: September & October

Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis Program meetings are held at 7:00 PM at Beth El Synagogue, 5224 W. 26th Street, St. Louis Park 55416 (unless otherwise noted*).

Tuesday, Sept 2, 2014: “30 years of Osprey reintroduction”

Steven Hogg, Wildlife specialist at the Three Rivers Park District, will be talking about these regal birds and the Twin Cities’ efforts to reintroduce them to the area.

Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014: “Pollinators & Native Plants”
Note* Location: The October meeting will be held at the Brookdale Library on Shingle Creek Parkway.

Heather Holm, author of the new book Pollinators of Native Plants, will be talking about landscaping with native plants to support pollinators and other beneficial wildlife.
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Minneapolis Audubon Society: November 14 “What’s the Buzz about Bees?”

The Minneapolis Audubon Society offers monthly program meetings except during the months of June, July and August. Programs are held the second Friday of the month at 1 p.m. at Bryant Square Park, 3101 Bryant Av S, Minneapolis (on the SE corner of Bryant Av S & W 31st St). The programs are free and open to the public. The #4 bus stops right by the building and runs every 15 minutes. For more information, call 763.533.8381

Friday, November 14: What’s the Buzz about Bees?

Crystal Boyd, an entomologist with the MN DNR Biological Survey, talks about native bees.

Your help is needed to protect birds from the new Vikings stadium

Click here to go to the Audubon Action Vikings Stadium page to sign an online petition asking the team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority to change to bird-friendly glass in the new Vikings stadium. Read the article below for more details.

It is also important to contact the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority directly. MSFA is the decision maker. Click this link for Contact Information for the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority

From the National Audubon Society:

The new Minnesota Vikings stadium may become a serious threat to Minnesota’s birds without quick action by the team and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA) to protect animal welfare. Despite state guidelines requiring bond-funded buildings to protect birds from window collisions, the Vikings and the MSFA last week rejected calls to use safer types of glass that could help prevent birds from fatally colliding with the stadium’s huge glass windows as the birds migrate along the Mississippi River corridor each year.

“We’re talking about a billion dollar stadium here, and the cost to save perhaps thousands of migratory birds – and make the Vikings a global leader in green stadium design – is about one-tenth of one percent of that,” said Audubon Minnesota Executive Director Matthew Anderson. “Hundreds of millions of dollars of public money is going to build this stadium, and we know the people of Minnesota do not want their money killing birds. The Vikings recently approved spending millions and millions of additional dollars to make sure the stadium is ‘iconic’ – surely they also want to make sure it’s not a death trap. We’re asking them to change their minds and do the right thing.”

According to scientists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Smithsonian Institution, up to 988 million birds are killed annually in the United States by collisions with buildings, especially glass windows. The new Vikings stadium will feature nearly 200,000 square feet of glass.

Audubon has worked with building owners and managers in Minnesota and nationally for many years to reduce bird collision mortality through its BirdSafe/Lights Out program. As part of this program, Audubon volunteers survey downtown buildings in the Twin Cities and have found more than 125 species of native migratory birds that have fatally collided with windows since 2007. Read the rest of the article by clicking here (takes you to the National Audubon Society website.)

Click here to go to the Audubon Action Vikings Stadium page to sign an online petition

Garden for Monarchs & other Wildlife with Wild Ones

monarch-butterfly_630_600x450Volunteer at two native plant gardens, the Nokomis Naturescape in Minneapolis and Horton Park in St. Paul, and help improve habitat for Monarchs and other wildlife. No experience necessary. Experienced gardeners from Wild Ones volunteer along side to provide guidance and answer questions.

Nokomis Naturescape

East 50th St. & East Nokomis Parkway, Minneapolis. We meet Tuesday evenings, weather permitting, May – September, 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Join us when you can! Just show up! The Naturescape, a Monarch Waystation and National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat, includes 3 prairie gardens in need of caring attention. To volunteer or receive event emails, contact Vicki Bonk at 612-727-3562 or vbonk@usiwireless.com

Horton Park Native Plant Gardens

W. Minnehaha Ave at Hamline Ave N, St. Paul. We meet various dates & times. Native oak savanna, shade, and prairie gardens planted by volunteers with the support of the St. Paul Parks Department. Call Hannah at 651-644-6790 for more information.