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 Eau Claire adopted and approved a Comprehensive Plan on Sept. 27, 2005 that is in effect until 2025. The Comprehensive Plan is in compliance with the Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use planning and resource management. A central focus of the plan is the enhancement of waterways since Eau Claire is at the confluence of two rivers and has multiple creeks and streams. The goal is to protect or improve steep slopes, wetlands, and streams to promote sustainable development, ecological responsibility, quality of life, and economic development. Also outlined in the plan are objectives to restore or improve water resources, wildlife habitat, and soil resources. Furthermore, the plan highlights the planting of native species of vegetation by the Department of Parks and Recreation, retain greenways, and also to continue to replace urban trees, while also mapping and inventorying them, and require developers to plant trees.
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)
The University of Wisconsin Eau Claire is a strong advocate of citizen science. Of the various projects they conduct bird monitoring is done at Beaver Creek Reserve and the Lower Chippewa River. The Citizen Science Center believes that together if people are more invested, they are more likely to look at the way they do things and think in broader terms about our environment.
Eau Claire is also doing its part in supporting the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas. One of the surveyed priority blocks – which includes both Carson and Phoenix parks – produced confirmation of a breeding Northern Mockingbird and Merlin in 2015.
E. Describe your community’s ordinance demonstrating that your community does not restrict natural/native landscaping that emphasizes native plants and non-turf lawns.
Beyond the Comprehensive Plan, the City of Eau Claire has ordinances in place that do not restrict “wild” or natural lawns and also aids the community with invasive species removal information.
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.
On the city’s webpage residents can find volunteer opportunities to keep the city parks and trails clean and keep invasive species from spreading. An invasive species education workshop was conducted on July 16, 2013 in Eau Claire and the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire’s (UWEC) webpage has information for the public readily available.
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.
The City of Eau Claire contains three areas along the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail: Mississippi/Chippewa Rivers Region. The areas included are the Chippewa River State Trail, Beaver Creek Reserve, and the Carson Park, Half Moon Lake, Riverview Park area.
The following web pages provide further information on these wonderful areas:
Q. Document the establishment of a program to promote the conservation of Purple Martins through research, state of the art management techniques, or public education.
MartinMart, initiated by Gaylord Nelson Audubon, is the first program of its kind in the nation. Its goal is to catalog every Purple Martin colony in the 13 county Gaylord Neson Audubon chapter, which includes Eau Claire. While no colonies have yet been found in the city of Eau Claire, the first Purple Martin colony in Eau Claire County was cataloged in 2017.
Community Forest Management
A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Eau Claire continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1976.
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.
Residents of the City of Eau Claire participate in Swift Night Out each year, in August or September.
D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.
The Chippewa Valley held its first annual Birds, Bugs & Blooms Bash on June 5-7, 2015. The event's name was changed in 2016 (Chippewa Valley Nature Festival). The 3rd annual CVNF will be held June 2-4th, and will feature renowned USGS ecologist and WI native Dr. Craig Allen as one of its keynote speakers.
F. Demonstrate that your community understands the critical ecological role of pollinators by documenting your Bee City USA status or by describing another substantial effort to promote pollinator health (for ideas visit the Xerxes Society and the Pollinator Partnership).
The Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society is involved in school and other community programs in the City of Eau Claire, offering presentations to students and other community groups (Senior Learning, Memory Care, etc). These education and outreach efforts are very important to the Gaylord Nelson Audubon Society and will continue in 2017.
International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)
A. This community's municipal body passed the required International Migratory Bird Day resolution.