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Port Aransas named 1 of 4 Bird City Texas towns

The Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center bird walk in Port Aransas.

A new program from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Audubon Texas named Port Aransas one of four certified Bird City Texas cities in the state. Recognition comes not only from having a lot of birds but also for efforts to protect birds and their habitats.

Port Aransas joins Dallas, Houston, and Bastrop in the list. The designation will help community groups in these cities when applying for grants to further protect area wildlife.

To qualify for the distinction, Port Aransas committed to programs that would further community engagement, restrict habitat enhancement, and support and create additional safe places for birds. The city also formed a group called the Port Aransas Bird City Community Group to support certification management.

The city’s parks and recreation department will hold an annual event to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day on May 9, another requirement of the program.

Port Aransas was recognized for its already existing bird-friendly landscapes, including the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center and the Joan and Scott Holt Paradise Pond. Bird-friendly landscaping also will be planted at the new Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce and Tourist Bureau, which recently broke ground.

Port Aransas will continue to participate in the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count, just as it has for the past 43 years. The annual Whooping Crane Festival, which is 24 years old, also will continue and was another feather in the city’s bird-friendly cap.

The new program will allow for more education and outreach in the community.

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