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Join us in protesting the decision not to use Bird Safe glass in the new Vikings stadium on Saturday, September 27 at 1 pm at the building site

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 at the Downtown East Light Rail Station Platform (right next to the new stadium site) in protest for using bird safe glass in the new Vikings Stadium. 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?

Birds don’t recognize transparent glass as a solid object so instead of avoiding it, they attempt to fly directly towards reflected habitat, or through the invisible surface. Although accurate quantification is difficult, it’s estimated that over ½ billion birds are killed per year by window collisions in North America alone.

The Minnesota Vikings stadium that is currently under construction is a $1.024 billion dollar project, nearly half of which is public money. Featured in the building design is 200,000 ft2 of glass, equivalent to over three football fields. Immediately this was identified as a major hazard to birds as more than 50% of North American migratory birds use the Mississippi River Flyway during migration. For less than 0.1% of the cost of the stadium, MFSA could have opted for a bird safe alternative glass which features a small pattern, barely noticeable to the human viewer except at close proximity, but allows birds to recognize the surface and avoid flying into it. Despite 76,000 public signatures, a unanimous resolution by the Minneapolis City Council, and the efforts of multiple scientists and conservation experts requesting the use of bird safe glass in the stadium, MFSA decided to place the order for the reflective glass, their reason being that the bird safe alternative would interfere with the completely transparent view.

Read more: Why We Are Protesting

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?

There are many ways to help including: Tell you friends, family and co-workers about the protest and encourage them to attend. Keep writing, calling and emailing 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.

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.
*******************************************************************************

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.

Minneapolis Monarch Festival on Saturday, September 6, 2014

Monarch butterfly on Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa); photo: Vicki Joy Bonk

Join us for the 2014 festival on September 6 from 10 am to 4 pm. Click here to go to the Monarch Festival website for details about this year’s festival. NOTE: new festival location near the Lake Nokomis Community Center (2401 East Minnehaha Parkway) due to flooding on the original site.

The annual Minneapolis Monarch Festival celebrates all things related to the Monarch butterfly and its Mexican – Minnesota migration connection on the first Saturday after Labor Day at the Nokomis Naturescape Gardens on the northeast side of Lake Nokomis. The festival includes many kid-friendly activities and plenty of good food and music. Members of Wild Ones, a native plant organization, provide answers to questions about what to plant in your yard to provide habitat for Monarchs and other beneficial insects. Local native plant vendors sell many of the recommended plants at affordable prices.

ACM Board Meetings – next meeting is September 23 at 7 pm

The next ACM Board meeting is Tuesday, September 23 from 7 – 8:30 pm at Byerly’s in Golden Valley at 5725 Duluth Street 55422. Click here for directions.

ACM Board meetings are held on the fourth Tuesday of the month from 7 pm to 8:30 pm but the board does not meet every month & meeting locations change so please check the website for updates. All board meetings are open to everyone.

Do You Have Birds Hitting Your Windows?

Photo by Joanna Eckles

Photo by Joanna Eckles

Residential Bird-Window Collisions Prevention Study

The Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis (ACM) has received a grant to study the effectiveness of window treatments on bird-window collisions on residential homes.  ACM is looking for a minimum of 10 home owners who would like to participate in this study.  The home owner will be given 1 of 3 treatments that they will apply to a window that has frequent bird strikes.  An exterior photo of the problem window showing the immediate landscape is needed.  If selected to participate in this study, the home owner will be contacted and given training about the study.  The study will require the owner to record bird strikes on the treated window as well as some other data.  ACM will collect the bird strike data and statistically analyze it to determine the effectiveness of the 3 window treatments.  This study will be run for a minimum of one year (beginning about June 1st) and a maximum of three years.  If you would like to participate in this study, please contact Jenny at 970 596-1508 or e-mail at jenniferlynnkapp@gmail.com or Jerry Bahls at jobaud@comcast.net.

Purple Martin Festival this Sunday, June 15 at Baker Park Reserve

Purple Martin; photo: www.purplemartin.org

Purple Martin; photo: www.purplemartin.org

Come celebrate Purple Martins at Martinfest this Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm at the Baker National Golf Course in Baker Park Reserve. For directions to Baker Park Reserve, click here. Learn more about Purple Martins and the role they play in our environment by visiting the Purple Martin Conservation Association by clicking here.

Help pull Garlic Mustard in our natural areas

Garlic mustard out-competes tree seedlings and other native vegetation with adverse effects on the few remaining natural areas in our Park system, including the Roberts Bird Sanctuary and William Berry Woods. Help us repeat last year’s success in eliminating flowering plants at both sites, to help slow the spread of this invasive plant. Click here for the 2014 pull dates and more information.

Look for Spring Migrants during Saturday morning walks at Roberts Bird Sanctuary

Magnolia Warbler; photo: www.allaboutbirds.org

Magnolia Warbler; photo: www.allaboutbirds.org

Come to Roberts Bird Sanctuary on Saturday mornings during spring migration! We will look for birds that always pass through or breed there, such as Yellow Warblers, to regular migrants such as Magnolia and Blackburnian Warblers, and some that are very uncommon in Minneapolis but can show up in Roberts, such as Hooded and Connecticut Warblers. Steve Greenfield will lead the walks on the following Saturdays: April 26 and May 10 through 31. No walk on May 3. The walks start at 8 am and last about an hour. They are free and open to everyone. They will take place in light rain but will be canceled if there is heavy rain or thunder & lightning in the area. Meet at the Visitors Shelter at the east entrance to the Sanctuary. Roberts’ address is 4124 Roseway Road, Minneapolis 55409. It is located on the north side of Lake Harriet near the Rose Garden.
Hooded Warbler; photo: www.allaboutbirds.org

Hooded Warbler; photo: www.allaboutbirds.org

Connecticut Warbler; photo: www.allaboutbirds.org

Connecticut Warbler; photo: www.allaboutbirds.org