The latest effort to protect migratory birds near the new Minnesota Vikings stadium hit a dead end at the Minneapolis City Council on Thursday.
On the advice of city staff, the council’s Zoning and Planning Committee declined to endorse a new study focused on the park that is part of the stadium development in Downtown East.
Jerry Bahls, president of the Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis, asked for the study, saying previous reviews haven’t gone far enough in determining whether birds would be lured to the park by the green space, then potentially injured or killed by flying into the stadium.
Bahls, a volunteer monitor in downtown Minneapolis, walks a route daily during migratory seasons, searching for dead or injured birds. Skyways and buildings adjacent to parks are “significant killers” of migrating birds, he said after the panel’s brief discussion.
Ann Laughlin of the Minnesota Citizens for the Protection of Migratory Birds joined Bahls at the meeting. Neither was allowed to address the committee, but both spoke afterward.
The two have been part of a core group trying to get bird-safe glass installed on the stadium going up in downtown Minneapolis. The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority has agreed to study whether a 3M panel could be applied to the glass structure to deter bird collisions.
Laughlin and Bahls said they will ask the entire council to reconsider the panel’s vote.
The council had supported a resolution supporting bird-safe glass at the stadium. But a city staff member said the request for further study of the park wasn’t procedurally appropriate.