Mural “Birds of Concern”

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ENSBC plans to create a timely mural that honors regional birds threatened by climate change and other habitat losses. As of July, 2021, this is a work in process.  The mural will be on the building on the northwest corner of Central St and Green Bay Road, and will be painted on the wall facing Green Bay Road.

This mural follows a tradition that began in New York City in 2014 and came to Chicago in 2016, called the Audubon Mural Project.

The Audubon Mural Project was initially founded to create murals of climate-threatened birds throughout John James Audubon's old neighborhood in New York City. The project is inspired by the legacy of the great American bird artist and pioneering ornithologist and is energized by Audubon’s groundbreaking report "Survival By Degrees"; Audubon's scientists have found that climate change will threaten at least half of all North American birds with extinction, and that no bird will escape the impacts of climate-change-related hazards like increased wildfire and sea-level rise. The Audubon Mural Project commissions artists to paint murals to call attention to this problem, and it has been widely covered in the media, including The New York Times. The birds painted throughout these murals represent those that are environmentally endangered.

In this project, art and science come together to highlight the beauty of birds that people in the ENSBC area are likely to see, particularly during spring and fall migration.  Ecology and ornithology merge with art.  We hope to use the mural as a tangible display of the importance of birds.  Along with the mural, we want to produce simple educational material, perhaps on a bookmark with a photo of the mural, explaining the plight of birds today in light of habitat loss, and what can be done locally. This project is in accord with Evanston’s Climate Action Resilience Plan (CARP).

In a contest among ENSBC members for the favorite bird of concern to recommend for the muralist to choose among, these five birds were the top vote-getters:

Red-headed woodpecker

Northern Flicker

Blackburnian Warbler

American Kestrel

Black-crowned Night Heron

In the artist's near-final sketch, the Red-headed woodpecker, Blackburnian Warbler and American Kestrel will be pictured.

ENSBC has been awarded a $1000 grant by the Evanston Arts Council, to match the contribution from us. Additional support will come from the Central Street business community.