Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Appleton

City of Appleton

Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring

A. Comply with Wisconsin's "Smart Growth" law for land use planning and resource management. This criterion is an option only for applications submitted before July 1, 2017.

The City of Appleton’s Municipal Code contains a comprehensive plan which uses “Smart Growth” principles as a framework for land-use decision making, in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law. Smart Growth principles emphasize interconnectivity and holistic approaches to land use and promote a quality environment. Among smart growth objectives is to preserve open space and vital environmental areas, mix land uses, and improve walkability, all of which support birding.

C. Provide evidence (e.g., official designation of natural areas, easements, etc.) that existing bird habitat within community limits has legal protection. (Exclusions: Leash laws; prohibitions against disturbing nests and wildlife; areas consisting primarily of mowed grass)

The Appleton Comprehensive Plan for 2010-2030 contains areal maps for all public parks and significant green spaces outlining estimated habitat for birds, indicating type and total acreage of habitat. Also included are locations of significant bird populations such as the only Purple Martin Colony in Appleton.

E. Describe your community’s ordinance demonstrating that your community does not restrict natural/native landscaping that emphasizes native plants and non-turf lawns.

Under section 12-59 of Appleton’s Municipal Code, guidelines for cultivation of native and naturalized landscapes are listed. The guidelines are meant to ensure cultivation of wild landscapes does not conflict with local, state, or federal laws. Therefore these guidelines provide legal protection for native and natural landscapes. Section 13-6 of the City Code also includes limited hours of access for special use areas in public parks, such as designated wildlife habitat, from 5:00 am to 11:00pm. This mitigates human disturbances in bird habitat for 6 hours each day. Existing bird habitat also has legal protection through the “Smart Growth” principles in Appleton’s Comprehensive Plan.

F. Show that your community offers the public information on how they can control and remove invasive species in order to improve or maintain bird habitat.

The community provides brochures on creating Bird-Friendly Yards with Native Wisconsin Plants, which acknowledge to evolutionary relationships between plants and birds. Brochures are available at City Hall and online. The worst invasive plants that should be removed from “birdscaped” yards are listed. Also included are best practices for inviting birds onto one’s property. Another brochure put forth by the city details techniques for invasive species management. Some information on invasive species control is also outlined in the city code under section 21.

V. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

Appleton conducts storm water site vegetation assessments which provide a plan of action to grow long-lasting and sensibly located native plant communities and remove invasive species in riparian areas. City horticulturalist Tom Duffy details in the fall 2016 assessment his recommendations for plant management at wetlands, ravines, swales, and parks with significant impact on storm water. The assessments are intended to improve ecosystem services, and consequently bird habitat, in those areas.

Community Forest Management

A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Appleton continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its recognition in 1989 (also 1982, 1984-1987).

F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The City of Appleton has adopted a plan to deal with the eventual arrival of Emerald Ash Borer which requires heightened forest management efforts. This includes the discontinuation of Ash planting, removal of Ash species, and replacement with other tree species. Demonstrated here is proactive forest management.

Limiting or Removing Threats to Birds

A. Describe your community’s educational program to control free-roaming cats and/or the manner in which you actively publicize the Cats Indoors! initiative.

Appleton has a program titled Cats, Birds, and You, which educates the community on the problems associated with free roaming cats and provides ways to keep in-door cats healthy and away from birds. Brochures can be downloaded from Appleton’s website.

B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).

The City of Appleton’s website contains a link to a bird strike prevention program that was adopted by the city. The online brochure details how to minimize collisions.

Public Education

B. Provide web links or a community newsletter demonstrating that your community educates property owners on methods to create and enhance backyard habitat for birds.

Appleton distributes two brochures which provide property owners and local organizations information on enhancing bird habitat. Brochures are available at City Hall and online. Included is information on bird feeders, plants, bird hazards, yard planning, protecting existing habitat, soil testing, invasive species, and additional possibilities for creating habitat. These brochures are titled Backyard Habitat (In partnership with Fox River Academy Environmental Charter School) and Beyond the Bird Feeder (by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology).

D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.

Appleton participates in the yearly Christmas Bird Count hosted by the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology. An attached data collection sheet provides results for the December 31st 2016 count. Appleton also participates in Soar with Eagle Days Along the Fox. These are educational programs for the community themed around Eagles and the Fox River.

E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.

Appleton is a prominent location for members of the Northeast Wisconsin Birding Club. The NWBC provides learning, networking, and stewardship opportunities for bird enthusiasts of all experience levels. This group has events and field trips which involve the community in bird conservation activities. Efforts to include students, garden clubs, and other organizations also happen at:

Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve (4815 N Lynndale Dr. Appleton, WI)

For more than 45 years, Bubolz Nature Preserve has been inspiring generations through great educational programs, recreational spaces, and conservation ethics.

Education. Recreation. Conservation: Dedicated to developing a sound environmental ethic in persons of all ages through education, recreation and conservation, while promoting a strong sense of overall wellness and appreciation of nature.

Mission of the Preserve: Dedicated to developing a sound environmental ethic in persons of all ages through education, recreation and conservation, while promoting a strong sense of overall wellness and appreciation of nature.

Scheig Center (1313 E. Witzke Blvd. Appleton, Wi)

The City of Appleton Scheig Center is located within Appleton Memorial Park. The Scheig Center was constructed in 1998 with a design based on the Wisconsin-born architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, by Taliesin Architects. Surrounding the 5,658 square foot Scheig Center is 35 acres of park land dedicated to a variety of gardens, trails, ponds, and other green spaces. In 2014 retention ponds were added, 2 of the ponds are perfect areas for many different birds’ habituates.

N. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

Appleton resident Ross Mueller was the 2016 state BIGBY (the Big Green Birding Year) champion. In 2016 he identified 243 species over 2,645 miles on a bicycle. Ross is a prominent member of the Northeast Wisconsin Birding Club, and an example of both the local passion for birding and the diversity of birding opportunities in Appleton and adjacent areas.

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)

A. This community's municipal body passed the required International Migratory Bird Day resolution.

B. Document and describe your event that incorporates the annual IMBD theme in some fashion. If the event has not yet occurred, please share your detailed plans. For information on the current year’s theme and event materials, please visit the International Migratory Bird Day website. To see what other Bird City communities have done in the past, please view some other profiles on our website.

The City of Appleton hosted a lively celebration for the 2017 International Migratory Bird Day on April 22. Activities included bird banding, environmental education programs, and workshops. IMBD draws attention to the hundreds of migratory species that pass through or nest in Appleton’s habitats. A resolution has been incorporated in which Appleton acknowledges IMBD as a locally observed celebration and to support efforts to protect and conserve migratory birds and their habitats in our community and the world at large.

Joined Bird City: 2017

Population: 72,623

Incorporated: 1857

Area: 24.97 mi2

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