Guelph is looking for community feedback as it attempts to become just the fifth city in Canada to receive a Bird Friendly City designation.
The city of Guelph is asking residents to vote on an official bird, between now and March 11, in support of its application.
Leah Lefler, a spokesperson and environmental planner at the City of Guelph, said it’s really important to receive this designation.
“As Guelph continues to grow, both in terms of new developments but then also intensification and more buildings going up, it’s really important that we continue to increase our efforts in protecting wildlife (and) biodiversity from negative impacts,” Lefler said.
The city said Guelph’s application supports the community’s desire to protect and sustain its natural biodiversity. The city said the designation would help raise awareness about local birds and inspire residents to learn more about the important role birds play in the world.
Jayne Holmes, Guelph’s deputy chief administrative officer of infrastructure, development and enterprise services, said protecting the environment is a priority for the city and they would “love to be next on that list.”
The community has eight birds to choose from a list compiled by staff and local groups Bird Safe Guelph and Nature Guelph Bird Wing.
Lefler said the vote gives the community an opportunity to engage.
“We’ve seen a lot of votes for Black-capped Chickadee, other ones where people have observed Kingfisher along the rivers,” she said.
“It’s really just to have a city-wide dialogue about what people have noticed in nature in our city.”
The city said the three birds with the most votes will move on to the next round on April 1, and a winner will be chosen by April 22.
The winner will then be presented to council on June 7, and approval will be sought for Guelph’s application to become a Bird Friendly City.
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