Team Audubon rides with 1,000 bike riders in New Haven’s largest Earth Day celebration and honors newly designated Urban Oasis site - Beaver Ponds Park

On April 26, 2014, over 1,000 bike riders and thousands of migrating birds stopped to rest and refuel in Beaver Ponds Park on their 8-mile route from West Rock to East Rock Park in New Haven’s largest Earth Day celebration- “Rock to Rock.” Team Audubon and other non-profit bike-riding teams rested up at this pit stop and took a moment to celebrate the park’s recent designation as an Urban Oasis site.  This beautiful 109-acre open space area acts as greenway between New Haven’s largest parks!  



This past October, our Urban Oases Program in New Haven was designated by the US Fish & Wildlife Service as one of eight Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships in the country! Officially titled the “New Haven Harbor Watershed Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership,” Audubon worked with numerous partners from Common Ground High School, Friends of Beaver Ponds Park, McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, New Haven Public Schools, New Haven Urban Resources Initiative, New Haven Parks & Recreation, Yale Peabody Museum and the Yale School of Forestry, to create demonstration habitat at Beaver Ponds Park featuring native flowers, shrubs and trees. This habitat will be accompanied by interpretive signage letting visitors to the park know how they too can make a difference in a greener and healthier New Haven. 

This park will serve as a model for community-based wildlife conservation that engages many people and communities in land stewardship, education, green job training, natural history interpretation, citizen science and habitat restoration for wildlife. Look for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service sign designating Beaver Ponds Park as an Urban Oasis on Crescent St. and soon at other parks and schools throughout New Haven.

Urban areas, like New Haven, have a huge potential in offering critical stop-over habitat needed by migrating birds commuting along the Atlantic Flyway. Every day, people in cities and suburbs can make a difference for birds in their own backyard through simple practices like planting native plants, conserving water and reducing/eliminating their use of harmful pesticides. From a wildflower window box to a hedgerow of shrubs as a fence alternative to letting leaves decompose under the bushes, it’s simple to create your own oasis for birds and delight in the joy they bring when they visit your back- and front- yard.  

For more information on creating bird-friendly gardens and communities, or make a tax-deductible donation to Audubon's bird-friendly communities projects in Connecticut, visit Audubon Connecticut's donation website or request a donation form from Bird-Friendly Communities Coordinator Katherine Blake: / 203-869-5272 x236. 

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Through our Bird Friendly Communities Program, Audubon Connecticut is working to transform backyards, schoolyards, parks and urban spaces into oases for migratory songbirds, in New Haven and across Connecticut.

One of our bird-friendly communities initiatives, Urban Oases in the New Haven Harbor Watershed, was recently designated an Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnership by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), one of only eight such designations nation-wide! With partners including McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, Yale Urban Resources initiative, Common Ground High School and Environmental Center, and Yale Peabody Museum, Audubon is working with City of New Haven schools and parks to create high quality habitats where hungry migratory songbirds can rest and refuel, and where people can explore, have fun, and make a difference for their environment!

One component of the Urban Oases Initiative, the Schoolyard Habitat Program, offers the following to New Haven Schools:

  • Funding and guidance to develop healthy schoolyard habitats for wildlife and children;
  • Teacher training workshops to increase outdoor learning and help integrate the Schoolyard Habitat into the curriculum;
  • Naturalist-led school-day programs, after-school Schoolyard Habitat clubs, and green career mentoring; and;
  • Opportunities for children and their families to commit to environmentally-friendly practices at home

To learn about Audubon's Bird Friendly Communities (BFC) Programs in Connecticut, please contact our BFC Coordinator, Katherine Blake, at

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