This proposed ordinance to make county buildings bird-friendly will be discussed at a meeting of the Construction Committee of the Board of Commissioners of Cook County next Tuesday.
PROPOSED ORDINANCE AMENDMENT
AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 2-6 (BUILDING CONSTRUCTION)
WHEREAS, the Cook County Forest Preserves and surrounding areas are home to at least 290 known species of birds; and
WHEREAS, Cook County lies along the Mississippi Flyway, through which millions of birds of 300 different species pass every year; and
WHEREAS, birding is a hobby enjoyed by 64 million Americans and generates more than $40 billion a year in economic activity in the United States; and
WHEREAS, as many as one billion birds may be killed by collisions with windows every year in the United States, according to studies by Dr. Daniel Klem, professor of ornithology and conservation biology at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS, Field Museum scientists studying bird collisions at McCormick Place found that turning off lights reduces bird collision deaths by 83 percent; and
WHEREAS, the Chicago area is emerging as a national leader in protecting birds from collision; and
WHEREAS, the City of Chicago was the second city in the nation to sign the Urban Conservation Treaty for Migratory Birds in 2000, a partnership between individual cities and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect migratory birds through habitat conservation and educational programs; and
WHEREAS, the City of Chicago has developed a very successful Lights Out program in recent years, encouraging the owners and managers of skyscrapers to reduce illumination during migration periods; and
WHEREAS, in 2005 the City of Chicago and the Birds and Buildings Forum hosted the first-ever national conference on bird-safe buildings; and
WHEREAS, Cook County adopted the Green Buildings Ordinance in 2002, committing itself to construct buildings which minimize environmental harm; and
WHEREAS, bird-safe design features can be incorporated into new construction and major renovation projects at no extra cost, and existing buildings may be made bird-safe through the use of simple, low cost adaptations; and
WHEREAS, bird-safe practices often go hand-in-hand with energy efficiency improvements.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED, by the Cook County Board of Commissioners that Chapter 2 Administration, Article I, Section 2-6 (Building construction) of the Cook County Code is amended as follows: