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County Board Passes Groundbreaking, Bird-Friendly Building Design Policy

Palm Warbler

Palm Warbler. Photo courtesy of Lake County Communications

The Lake County Board approved a new policy that will keep birds at the top of mind on all newly constructed and renovated Lake County government-owned facilities. The primary aim of the policy is to mitigate hazards for birds posed by the building environment, particularly from collisions with glass surfaces.

The policy, which went into effect in May, requires newly constructed Lake County government-owned facilities to use at least 80 percent bird-friendly glass on their exteriors from ground level to 100 feet high. If Lake County renovates or adds on to one of its facilities, then 80 percent of the glass and reflective materials utilized in the project must be bird-friendly as well. 

“As many as 1 billion birds are potentially killed by collisions into buildings every year in the United States,” says Lake County Board Chair Sandy Hart. “I’m proud of our board and staff for being leaders on this issue that will truly make a difference for our resident and migratory birds that live or pass through Lake County.”

Lake County lies within the Mississippi Flyway, one of the major bird migratory routes in North America. According to BirdCast a service managed by Colorado State University, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the University of Massachusetts Amherst, more than 30 million birds have crossed the region thus far this spring.

The Lake County Planning, Building, Zoning and Environment Committee also gave the green light at its last meeting to move forward with a proposed ordinance for bird-friendly design requirements on new construction and renovations on non-residential properties and non-residential planned unit developments in unincorporated Lake County. This ordinance is expected to be voted on for adoption by the Lake County Board on June 11. 

For more information about the county’s sustainability efforts, visit