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Ogden is Going to the Birds

Ogden Utah was selected as one of 10 cities nationwide to receive a $70,000 grant for the preservation of migratory birds.

Ogden Utah was selected as one of 10 cities nationwide to receive a $70,000 grant for the preservation of migratory birds. The grant is part of the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. The program connects cities, residents and nonprofit organizations or educational institutions to educate the community about migratory birds and their role in urban settings. A statement by the federal agency said the wide variety of native birds thriving in Ogden’s urban area underscores the importance of maintaining eco-friendly urban and suburban habitat.

"I think it is a great thing for our community," said Jay Lowder, the city's director of public services in a statement to Deseret News. "This will go to improving outreach programs, teaching people about the wildlife that flies by us."

Ogden’s partners include the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources; Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge; Ogden Nature Center; Ogden School District; Wasatch Audubon Society; Weber Pathways; Weber State; and various volunteers. The ultimate goal is to create a bird-friendly outdoor classrooms for the community, implement bird-safety building standards, and restore riparian corridors like those along the Ogden river.

John Cavitt, spearheader of the project and zoology professor at Weber state University, said to the Salt Lake Tribune, “One of the major reasons I think we were successful is the Ogden River restoration process that’s going on.” According to Cavitt, returning the river to its natural flood plain enhances bird habitat.

With the help of a Weber State University ecology class, a bird habitat will be built at a local Ogden school, where students will observe the birds and send results to a national database at Cornell University. Weber State art students will also work together with Ogden Preparatory Academy to design a mural showcasing the birds and Ogden's newest claim to fame.

“We’re hoping to make a real impact for migratory birds,” Cavitt said.