The City of Marion is officially a community "for the birds", and according to city officials, that's worth celebrating.
A large segment of the habitat for area birds was destroyed with the August 10 derecho decimating the local tree canopy, but Marion has maintained a commitment to keeping them from flying away in droves, and in doing so has been named a "Bird Friendly Community" in Iowa.
The designation, according to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, recognizes Marion's commitment to "protect, restore and enhance the bird habitat, reduce threats to birds, and educate and engage people in birding and conservation." This is in addition to recent recognition as a "Tree City USA" and Marion city horticulturist Mary Weber noted that these honors show that Marion is dedicated to its responsibility to "share resources and be more intentional about preserving the natural habitat for our birds."
To celebrate Marion's "Bird-Friendly Community" designation, a celebration will take place this Saturday from noon-3 p.m at Thomas Park. It will provide resources for keeping birds and the environment thriving. Those in attendance at the Regional Migratory Bird Celebration will visit activity stations and be invited to complete a passport. The first 90 attendees at Saturday's event will get a free birdhouse to take home.
Crafts, bird hikes and a live bird presentation will be part of the event. Learn more here.
Marion is not the only city in Iowa to receive this designation this year as Tripoli joins them. In recent years, Ames, Cedar Falls, Denver, Fayette, Madrid, Pleasant Hill and Waterloo were selected.