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January 17, 2012

EPHRAIM, Wis. - Peninsula State Park has gone to the birds. The park teamed up with the Village of Ephraim to earn Bird City recognition. It's the first time a Wisconsin state park has done so.

The Bird City status recognizes the importance of Peninsula and Ephraim as a migration corridor, as Wisconsin Great Birding Trail destinations, and as places attractive to eco-tourists.

"The people who fought to establish Peninsula knew it was an irreplaceable landscape," said Peninsula Naturalist Kathleen Harris, who worked on the Bird City application with the Ephraim Business Council's Tourism Administrator Rachel Willems and Ephraim Trustee Steve Sauter. "Some of those people were Ephraim residents and along the way they set aside wonderful gems in their own village."

Bird City promotes avian conservation. This new Wisconsin initiative challenges municipalities and their neighbors to protect bird habitat, manage for invasive species that degrade nesting sites, engage citizens in International Migratory Bird Day in May, and educate the public about dangers posed by feral cats.

It's the shoreline, though, at both the park and within the village that visitors can't get enough of and neither can the birds. It's a cinch to spot mallards and ring-billed gulls. Until the Bay of Green Bay freezes over, buffleheads and goldeneye ducks paddle offshore. Come summer, Bonaparte gulls may stop over in the water. Killdeer stick around all summer while other shorebirds, such as the least sandpiper, skitter across the sand flats, poking longish bills in search of snails before journeying further north.

"The Ephraim Business Council thanks the Village of Ephraim, Peninsula State Park and community members for their partnership in gaining Bird City designation for Ephraim," said Willems. "The park is an asset to our community. This designation compliments the diverse offerings of the village and we hope it opens doors to future collaboration."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Harris, Peninsula State Park Naturalist 920-854-5976

Last Revised: Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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