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A Bird-safe Campus

Minnehaha installs special glass to protect birds

Among the many new features of the rebuilt North Campus are floor-to-ceiling bird-safe windows. Not only do these windows showcase our building’s beautiful views, they save birds while demonstrating Minnehaha’s effort to take care of our environment. 

During the building of the Upper School, which happens to be in the Mississippi River Corridor where birds migrate, neighbors and local agencies such as the Audubon Society (an organization that protects birds) voiced their concern in meetings about how the amount of windows in the new building would contribute to an increase in bird deaths. In response to this, a group of builders, architects and Minnehaha staff members visited a showroom to look at options for bird-safe glass. 

“We wanted a design that would be aesthetically pleasing, that would not be a major distraction for learners, and most importantly, that would meet the main objective of helping to save birds,” explained principal Jason Wenschlag who has been a member of the Audubon Society for four years.

Bird-safe glass was purchased for exterior windows at a “substantial” extra cost over regular glass, said Dan Bowles, Minnehaha’s executive director of finance and operations. Overall, the windows have achieved the main goal. There are far fewer birds hitting the windows at North Campus compared to places like Mendota, and as a result Minnehaha is making an impact on the environment. 

“I think we have a very forward looking building that takes advantage of our surrounding nature, brings the outdoors in, and has features like bird-safe glass,” said Wenschlag.

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About Grace Kassebaum

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