- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 29, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - Groups involved in creating a new place for watching birds along the Detroit River said Wednesday that they hope it will help reconnect people with the waterway and inspire a new generation of conservationists.

The urban birding spot is at Gabriel Richard Park, which is located along the Detroit RiverWalk and near the MacArthur Bridge to Belle Isle. It features four wildlife spotting scopes and an interpretive panel identifying common birds that can be seen in the area.

“This birding spot provides a beautiful waterfront destination for both people and wildlife,” Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, said in a statement.

The spot is dedicated in memory of Georgia Reid, an avid birder and former board member of the Detroit Audubon Society, as well as David Campbell, longtime president of The McGregor Fund and a former member of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s board.

The Detroit River region is at the intersection of the Atlantic and Mississippi flyways, making it a prime area for bird watching. More than 300 species of birds live in or regularly migrate through the area, including 30 species of waterfowl, 17 species of raptors, 31 species of shorebirds and 160 species of songbirds.

“This … exhibit and observation post focused on urban birding will help city dwellers open their eyes to new ways to enjoy nature as part of everyday urban life,” said Jim Bull, president of the Detroit Audubon Society.

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the Detroit Audubon Society, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Detroit parks department and the PNC Foundation were involved in the effort to add the birding spot to the park’s attractions, which include a splash pad, fishing areas and butterfly gardens.

Educational programming also is planned at the site.






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