first achieved Bird Friendly City status in 2017.
Waterloo served as the pilot project for Bird Friendly Iowa and became the first officially-designated Bird Friendly Community in the state. The city met the minimum number of criteria to achieve certification, with two of these especially worth noting here. Waterloo has established a program to reduce pesticide use on 1900 acres of public parks, golf courses, sport fields, trails, levees and rights-of-way, a very important action to reduce bird mortality. And, in 2015 the local Audubon Society chapter (Prairie Rapids Audubon) and Iowa Ornithologists' Union provided grants to Orange Elementary School for constructing two Chimney Swift towers to replace an old brick chimney being demolished at the school. Those new towers now house nesting pairs of swifts and also serve as roosts for flocks in seasonal migration. An interpretive sign was placed nearby to provide the public with valuable information about this declining species.