Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue earns Nature Canada’s “Bird Friendly City” designation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Unceded Algonquin Territory – Ottawa, ON, 24 May, 2022 – Nature Canada is proud to announce Canada’s next certified Bird Friendly City, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC. Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue becomes the 13th city in Canada to earn the designation.
The City of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue has worked in collaboration with Nature Canada’s partners including McGill Bird Observatory, along with many other community members to make their communities a safe haven for wild birds.
“What a great tribute to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue that has such a long and animated history of being ecologically aware and supportive of conservation initiatives so that our wildlife, including birds, could be safeguarded for the benefit of future generations. We are lucky to have had the Morgan Arboretum and the McGill Bird Observatory on our territory because they have not only educated local people about birds but also contributed to important scientific research that has benefitted the whole world. I thank Nature Canada for recognizing Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue with this Bird Friendly City certification and supporting our efforts to make the municipality become safer for wild birds.”
– Paola Hawa, Mayor of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue
The city has implemented bird friendly policies and actions to help birds thrive in the municipality. These actions include:
- Eliminating the use of harmful pesticides and rodenticides that impact bird populations, and promoting organic gardening practices;
- Developing municipal strategies to mitigate climate change impact and to protect natural features, biodiversity and key habitat, while implementing actions to achieve goals identified in the strategies;
- Providing abundant opportunities to view, learn about, and appreciate wild birds around the city and get involved in activities and citizen science initiatives for bird conservation.
The Bird Friendly City designation has been developed by Nature Canada to encourage Canadian cities and municipalities to become safer and better places for birds.
Birds play an essential role in maintaining healthy and resilient ecosystems in our communities and on our planet. But there are three billion fewer birds in North America today than 50 years ago. Much of these losses are caused by human activities. As urban expansion continues, cities must act quickly to ensure that North America’s bird populations are protected and supported. Nature Canada’s Bird Friendly City program encourages communities to take action to:
- reduce the number of human-related threats to birds such as roaming cats, the use of pesticides, and glass treatment on buildings with large windows,
- create safe environments for birds by promoting stewardship and ensuring that natural habitats are protected and restored,
- engage and educate citizens about the benefits of Bird Friendly Cities and celebrating birds in our communities.
In each municipality seeking to become Bird Friendly certified, Bird Teams are created and residents are actively engaged in protecting, monitoring and celebrating their local bird populations.
Nature Canada is pleased to acknowledge the support of Environment and Climate Change Canada for the Bird Friendly City program and World Migratory Bird Day. As part of the Bird Friendly City program, Bird Teams are encouraged to host World Migratory Bird Day events to celebrate welcoming migratory birds back into our neighborhoods each spring!
“I have been a birder since I was a young boy and so many of my cherished memories of birdwatching and learning about birds have been in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue. The Morgan Arboretum and the l’Anse-à-l’Orme Nature Park are two very important refuges for a diverse array of bird species and our municipality has worked hard for the past 15 years to safeguard those places and educate the public about their value. Being recognized officially as a Bird Friendly City by Nature Canada is a great honour for our town and helps to motivate us to continue in our efforts to make Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue ecologically sustainable and a safe home for wild birds.” – Ryan Young, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue City Councillor, District 1
“I am immensely proud that Sainte Anne de Bellevue is the first municipality (of hopefully many!) in Quebec to become a Bird Friendly City! Birds are critical parts of our ecosystems, help support resilient species communities, and serve as enchanting ambassadors of nature. Conserving and protecting our migratory birds within our cities is key to their survival, particularly during their highly vulnerable migration period. I can think of no better example for our children, than to demonstrate that we can live in harmony and respect with the natural world around us, including our birds.”
– Barbara Frei, PhD, Director of the McGill Bird Observatory, Research Scientist – Environment and Climate Change