Grant to create an urban bird habitat on the UN campus

NEW ORLEANS – From the University of New Orleans:

The UN received a $ 34,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to create urban bird habitat on campus and support educational programs related to environmental conservation. The grant will fund habitat restoration, the creation of an on-campus birding trail, and educational experiences for UNO TRiO Upward Bound students.

“New Orleans is a key stopover for migratory birds as they travel along the Mississippi Flyway,” said Dan Shahar, assistant professor of philosophy and co-principal investigator of the grant. “However, the birds face serious challenges here due to lack of habitat, pollution and insufficient knowledge of how we can help them. With its 195-acre campus on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain and its rich relationships with diverse and underserved students, the University of New Orleans has unique potential to help.

This project will establish a 1-mile birding trail at the UN – with interpretive signs, designated parking and an accompanying website – and launch regular bird counts to monitor populations along of the course. The Greater New Orleans Sections of the Native Plant Initiative and Louisiana Master Naturalists will work with volunteers to plant 120 native trees and shrubs at two sites along the trail, totaling 4 acres, enhancing the campus canopy and providing birds get the refuge they need.

With the Pontchartrain Conservancy, UNO will organize twice a year garbage collection along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. The UN’s Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences, the Orleans Audubon Society and the Pontchartrain Conservancy will offer 375 hands-on, expert-led educational experiences to UNO TRiO Upward Bound students, empowering them to become lovers and stewards of the natural environment in their community and beyond. , according to Shahar.

“Especially in the wake of another major storm that has further reduced our city’s tree canopy and disrupted the education of school-aged children, we are delighted to be able to make tangible progress in these areas,” said Shahar, who studies environmental philosophy and is a member of the UN Institute for Urban Politics and Entrepreneurship.

The other co-principal investigators of the grant are Elizabeth Sigler and John Bishop of the UN Research Office.

UNO Upward Bound is a federally funded TRiO program that provides support to participants in their preparation for university entrance. It is aimed at high school students from low-income families, as well as high school students whose parents neither have a bachelor’s degree. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the rate at which participants graduate from high school and enroll and graduate from post-secondary institutions.

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