Living Habitats has long been engaged in efforts to protect and enhance the migratory corridors for birds that frequent the Great Lakes region. The Wilmette Park District received a grant from the US Fish and Wildlife Service to create a sanctuary for migratory birds along Lake Michigan. Gillson Park is a prime location for the incorporation of enhanced bird habitat into a large multi-use park. Living Habitats worked diligently and inclusively with the Park District and the community to integrate this important bird sanctuary within this well-used and vital community amenity. The Board-approved design solution included Wilmette Park District planting 450 trees and shrubs to set the layered framework of the new bird habitat. This was followed by the coordination of over 300 community volunteers in planting 20,000 plugs in the new bird habitat gardens over one weekend. Installed in September of 2016, the trees, shrubs, and herbaceous perennials are beginning to establish and are a new source of pride and enjoyment for the community as well as a very important new migratory bird resource. We continue to serve as an expert stewardship resource to Park District Staff to ensure the original design intent is managed for over the long term.

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