THE CLARK STREET BEACH BIRD SANCTUARY IS A LAKE MICHIGAN LAKESIDE MIGRATORY BIRD STOP.
A brief history
In 2012, Northwestern University announced that it would be building a Visitor Center adjacent to its southern border with Evanston. The construction would doom a patch of wild land where cottonwood, hackberry and box elder trees, along with shrubby sand willows had grown up after Northwestern finished its lakefill in the 1960s. This scrubby patch of unattended land had become an unofficial bird sanctuary or a bird magnet, attracting migrating warblers and dragonflies, nesting Warbling Vireos and Baltimore Orioles and, of course, birdwatchers.
Under Evanston’s city ordinance, Northwestern was required to pay Evanston for every tree it removed, an amount that totaled $173,850. ENSBC member Libby Hill requested that the money be invested in a replacement sanctuary. She and Judy Pollock worked with city staff to determine the location. The most logical decision was to take advantage of the remnant area and expand it onto Clark Street Beach, a total of 2 acres. The Evanston landscape architecture firm Kettlekamp and Kettlekamp was selected to draw up plans. Hearings were held, the idea was supported, the new sanctuary received a name, and planting took place during September and October 2015, just three years after the original proposal of the idea. The ENSBC board voted to adopt the Sanctuary to ensure that maintenance and monitoring and fiscal accounting would continue in cooperation with the City.
The Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary (CSBBS) is located on Sheridan Road and Clark Street, just south of the NU Visitor Center and just north of the Clark Street beach house. Parking is available on the street or is free in NU parking lots before 8 am and after 4 pm weekdays and all day on Saturday and Sunday.
The sanctuary is fenced in. Volunteers, bird and site monitors have access inside. Birds are easily viewed outside the fence. CSBBS is a hotspot on eBird.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
VOLUNTEER WORKDAYS: WORK WITH US ON THE BEACH.
This is the best way to get involved. As the seasons change, the emphasis shifts from weeding to mulching to seed gathering and sowing. To learn more about the volunteer schedule, contact https://clarkstreetbeachbirdsanctuary.org/volunteer.
BE A BIRD MONITOR.
We need volunteers to conduct bird monitoring, an essential part of caring for the sanctuary. Gathering and reporting accurate data is critical in assessing our effectiveness. We welcome participation in our official monitoring group early in the morning during spring and fall migration. Contact https://clarkstreetbeachbirdsanctuary.org/volunteer You can help any time of day by spotting birds from just outside the fence. Please post your sightings on eBird - https://ebird.org/hotspot/L3615041
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK.
https://www.facebook.com/ClarkStreetBeachBirdSanctuary?fref=ts and watch the page for announcements.
WATCH THE KIOSK FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS.
Here's how: If you would like to donate to Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary to help to expand and maintain the plantings, provide educational materials, here's how:
Donations can be made by check.
Make out the check to Evanston North Shore Bird Club
Write Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary clearly on the check subject or memo line.
Send the check to ENSBC, P.O Box 1313, Evanston, IL 60204. The check will be deposited into a special fund in Evanston North Shore Bird club.
Or, donations may be made on the ENSBC website under Donations. Indicate the amount and under comments, indicate CSBBS.