Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Racine

City of Racine

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 Racine has endorsed the Racine County multi-jurisdictional comprehensive plan developed with assistance by SEWRPC and UW-Extension in 2009 and adopted a city comprehensive plan based upon the multi-jurisdictional plan. The City of Racine is in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use planning and resource management.

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)

Sec. 70-103 of Racine’s Municipal Code designates Colonial Park as a bird sanctuary and provides for legal protection of birds and habitat.

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.

Weed Out Racine is a volunteer driven initiative that aims to maintain biodiversity of native spaces and public places by stopping the spread of invasive plants.  The organization works actively to inform the community with park path signage and school group initiatives.

G. Document that there is a segment of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail or a designated Important Bird Area within or adjacent to your community.

Racine Harbor Park & Lakefront are listed in the “Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail, Lake Michigan Region.” Racine is designated an Important Bird Area in the Audubon Milwaukee-Racine Lakeshore Migration Corridor. 

Community Forest Management

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

The City of Racine continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 2007 (also 1976-1977, 1979-1983, and 1986-1991). As of 2012, the City of Racine is also a recipient of the Growth Award. Reference the Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA Directory and Growth Award Winners at www.arborday.orgCurrent Tree City USA Wisconsin List

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.

Free-roaming cat control is supported by the Racine Humane Society through the Trap Neuter Return (TNR) Program, Trap Neuter Return - Wisconsin Humane Society

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.

Hoy Audubon Society regularly educates property owners on backyard habitat through outreach programming and newsletters.

C. Demonstrate that your community is represented in at least one citizen science bird monitoring program (e.g., the Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out).

The City of Racine has been active in multiple bird counts throughout the 2019 calendar year: The Big Sit (September 7, 2019), Christmas Bird Count (December 14, 2019), Great Backyard Bird Count (February 15-18, 2019), and Project FeederWatch (November 2019 – April 2020). These are held in various locations including Carre-Hogle Park, Colonial Park and Samuel Myers Park in Racine.

I. Show that your municipality promotes and supports a bird club or other environmentally/ecologically-minded club. (Exclusions: Garden clubs, unless you demonstrate a strong focus on native plants)

City of Racine sponsors an Adopt-A-Park program that supports area environmental individuals, clubs, organizations and companies in park clean-up efforts.  Several Adopt-A-Park cleanup events are sponsored each year in collaboration with Earth Day and Make-a-Difference Day.

L. Show that your community works with traditionally underserved communities to increase their access to natural areas, environmental education, birding resources, and local environmental experts.

Riverbend Nature Center  and the Root River Environmental Education Community Center work with under-served populations within the City of Racine to promote access to natural areas and environmental education.

Energy & Sustainability

F. Demonstrate that your community participates in a community solar program or that a municipal building receives a significant percentage of its electricity from renewable energy.

The City of Racine is currently active in the Southwest Solar Group Buy, and Greening Greater Racine.  Both organizations are promoting and enabling access to solar energy.  In addition, the city is working with SolSmart to assit with developing solar-friendly ordinances.  The City of Racine filled the position of Sustainability and Conservation Coordinator. 

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)

A. This community's municipal body passed the required World 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 World Migratory Bird Day website. To see what other Bird City communities have done in the past, please view some other profiles on our website.

Legislation establishing International Migratory Bird Day in the City of Racine as the second Saturday in May will be introduced to the Board of Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services in February 2020 with final resolution by the City of Racine Common Council adopted in March 2020. The legislation urges all citizens to observe and support the efforts to protect and conserve migratory birds and their habitats.

Hoy Audubon hosts the “Big Sit” bird count at a publicized location each year in September. The “Big Sit” is an event where an effort is made to count all birds seen in one day while staying within a 17-foot diameter circle. During the day forum discussions about both migratory and urban birds were conducted. The “Big Sit” is also a worldwide event. Those interested in further information about the local “Big Sit” can contact (262) 637-4359.

Joined Bird City: 2011

Population: 78,199

Incorporated: 1848

Area: 18.68 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Tourism Page

Community Map