AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) and Audubon Texas are now accepting applications for the Bird City Texas Program’s (BCT) community certification. Communities selected each year must meet certain criteria showing how their city is working to protect birds and their habitat.
“We are seeing community leaders emerge in the field of conservation,” said Olivia Schmidt, BCT Coordinator for TPWD. “People truly care about birds, their habitat and the future generations that we will leave these resources to. Through this program, we are able to recognize the incredible dedication these communities have for wildlife and conservation and acknowledge the tremendous amount of work they do to make sure birds have a special place in their community.”
The BCT program, which recognizes the work communities are doing in the name of bird conservation, awards towns with the certification of “Bird City” based on accomplishments in three categories: community education and engagement, habitat management and improvement and threat removal to help birds.
Four communities were certified in January 2020 during BCT’s inaugural year: Bastrop, Dallas, Houston and Port Aransas. BCT partners used feedback from the pilot year to streamline and improve the 2020 application process for communities pursuing certification in early 2021. Additional resources are available on the Bird City Texas webpage. We encourage communities interested in BCT certification to review the information on the How to Apply webpage.
“While we realize 2020 has been incredibly challenging, we have seen our neighbors, teachers, and community members rise to become leaders in their towns,” said Yvette Stewart, BCT Coordinator for Audubon Texas. “Bird City Texas relies on this same powerful grassroots leadership to make positive environmental changes. Since many communities are already diligently doing the work, we want to recognize and promote their efforts, as well as help inspire new communities to strive for more engagement in their local environments.”
When birds benefit, people do too! See our FAQ page for more information on how Bird City Texas can help communities statewide, and explore our Application Portal to see if your community has already begun!