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 Kenosha Common Council on April 19, 2010, adopted a “Comprehensive Plan for the City of Kenosha: 2035,” Ord. No. 28-10. The Plan was based on state requirements -- often described as the “Smart Growth” law -- to adopt a comprehensive plan.
Chapter 8 summary about Natural Resources notes that the City’s goals and objectives include: preserving and enhancing the City’s natural resources, including park and open sites; continue development of a comprehensive system of parks and open spaces to enhance the environment and life; encourage preservation of natural features and open space in future development proposals; protect and enhance natural resource areas including wetlands, wildlife habitat, woodlands, open spaces and flood plains, and encourage protection of Lake Michigan’s water quality and shoreline.
B. Describe organized bird monitoring or data obtained from researchers or volunteers in the local park system. (Exclusions: Programs that receive credit under 4C: Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out)
Bird counts occur at regular intervals by at least one city resident at the Kenosha Dunes, which is within the City of Kenosha boundaries. These intervals typically occur in the summer months.
D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.
The City of Kenosha has worked with Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network in Racine to arrange for rain gardens to be established on some city property but also in the Poerio Park neighborhood. The neighborhood is one key in the reduction of pollution that is carried via the Pike River to Lake Michigan at Pennoyer Beach.
Rain gardens can provide excellent bird habitat, according to Susan Greenfield, WIN’s executive director:
Rain gardens with native plants and other naturally landscaped areas, including restored prairies, create habitat for birds (and butterflies, dragonflies, and other wonderful creatures) often where none existed before because the gardens replace turf grass. The native plants can provide food and shelter year around.
The gardens include plants such as Asters, Purple Coneflower and Blazing Stars, all considered attractive to birds. There are 17 rain gardens totaling 3,949 square feet set up in Kenosha, including two (adding up to 1,200 square feet) on city property at Anderson Park, 8730 22nd Ave. Most of the gardens are on private property and were coordinated by WIN.
WIN plans to continue pursuing sites in Kenosha for rain gardens.
Community Forest Management
A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
The City of Kenosha continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1982. The City is one of the longest participants in Wisconsin.
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.
The American Bird Conservancy pamphlets “Cats, Birds and You” have been delivered to veterinarians and pet groomers in the City and the Safe Harbor Humane Society. They are encouraged to share the pamphlets with customers and others to help them become aware of hazards cats pose to birds.
A summary of the Great Backyard Bird Count results shows Kenosha has been represented in that count for numerous years. Their usual observed results from the count are around 300 birds and 17 different species.
E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.
In previous years the Kenosha Public Library has hosted a presentation by members of the Hoy Audubon Society of Kenosha/Racine regarding “Attracting Backyard Birds in Winter.” The program drew 35 people and critiques filled out after the presentation overwhelmingly thought it was superb. Future bird-related topics are being discussed.
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)
A. This community's municipal body passed the required World Migratory Bird Day resolution.
The City of Kenosha and Kenosha County are both Bird Cities and they annually present a joint International Migratory Bird Day event in September at the Pringle Nature Center. The last event was held Sept. 21, 2019. The 2020 event was canceled due to the pandemic.
The 2019 event took place in conjunction with the annual fall festival and was titled:
“Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution."
Activities included local green business and non-profit exhibitors, a bird walk, hay rides, monarch butterfly tag and release, a birds of prey program, children’s theater, crafts and live music. An event with similar programming is planned for fall of 2021.
The Fall Fun Fest is sponsored by County Executive Jim Kreuser, Hoy Audubon, Kenosha County, Kenosha County Parks and the City of Kenosha.