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. (Documents Attached).
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.org.
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 and the Hoy Audubon Society through links the Trap Neuter Return (TNR) Program, http://www.wihumane.org/services/tnr, and the Cats Indoors! Program, http://www.hoyaudubon.org/links.htm. City of Racine PRCS will be establishing a Bird City and Tree City USA section on the Forestry webpage in 2018 and will include links to both of these programs, http://cityofracine.org/Forestry/.
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.
http://hoyaudubon.org/ Hoy Audubon Society regularly educates property owners on backyard habitat through outreach programming and newsletters.
Racine has been active in multiple bird counts throughout the 2017 calendar year: The Big Sit (September 24, 2017), Christmas Bird Count (December 13-19, 2017), Great Backyard Bird Count (February 17-20, 2017), and Project FeederWatch (November 2017 – April 2018). These are held in various locations including Colonial Park and Samuel Meyers 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-River program that supports area environmental clubs in park clean-up efforts. Two Adopt-a-River 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.
Legislation has been introduced to the City of Racine Common Council proclaiming May 12, 2018 as International Migratory Bird Day and urges all citizens to observe and support the efforts to protect and conserve migratory birds and their habitats. A resolution is expected to be adopted by March 1, 2018. (Legislative File 1269-17)
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.