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 Kaukauna is in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use planning and resource management. The most recent plan was adopted by the Common Council in January of 2013.
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)
In 2020, the 1000 Islands Environmental Center partnered with the Madison Audubon Society to expand their citizen science based Bald Eagle Nest Watch into the Fox Valley. Planning and nest scouting occurred in 2020 with the program scheduled to kick off in February of 2021. Multiple nest in the City of Kaukauna are included in the program and the study will cover a large area in Northeast Wisconsin.
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 City’s main bird habitat, 1000 Islands Conservancy Zone, was set aside in 1969 and continues to be protected from development. The property, including a nature center, is governed by a 9-member committee appointed by the mayor. 1000 Islands Conservancy Zone was also featured in an eBird article entitled “August Hotspot of the Month.”
The City also maintains a two-acre native prairie restoration area known as the Konkapot Preserve atop a closed landfill. An additional 18+ acres of grass top cover is also present. The native grass area is burned every other year to generate the prairie.
D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.
The City recently acquired about one mile of rail line along the Fox River from the CN Railroad. This will allow the City to remove invasive plant species, replant native plants, and establish nature viewing areas, particularly for migratory waterfowl.
The City has entered into negotiations to acquire additional acres for wetland restoration and habitat renewal. All of which would adjoin new residential development.
I. Document a recent project that created or restored bird habitat in your community. (Exclusions: Bird feeders and small-scale artificial nesting structures)
Kaukauna has adopted a program whereby bee keeping is being established in certain parks and retention pond areas to help pollinate plants to the benefit of bird and insect populations.
L. Show that your community has restored at least two acres of woodlands, wetlands, or prairie.
The Konkapot Preserve is a two+ acre prairie restoration completed under the management of McMahon and Associates wetland and vegetation specialist. The restoration is part of the cap for a closed private landfill of 20 acres. The City has also placed signs identifying the plant species as the site is accessible to the public via walking trails.
N. Show that your community works on public lands to control invasive species that have significant negative impacts on bird habitat.
City Crews and volunteers removed Buckthorn and Queen Anns Lace to allow more bird-friendly vegetation to take hold.
1000 Islands Environmental Center has been testing out the use of goats as an environmental friendly way to manage invasive species. This has been a community-wide effort utilizing area high school students, boy scouts and community residents all working together to make the project happen.
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.
In cooperation with the DNR, the City established a Purple Martin nesting area adjacent a restored small prairie area. This is part of a hydroelectric facility that will involve future educational signage.
U. Show that your community maximizes the value of right-of-way space (e.g., power lines, pipelines, etc.) by planting them with native grasses, shrubs, herbs, and other prairie/grassland plants.
A filled-in power canal of the Fox River was planted with native grasses.
Community Forest Management
A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
The City of Kaukauna continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1993.
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 program, “Cats Indoors” is promoted on the 1000 Islands website, providing the information for the entire community. Cats Indoors brochures are available at the Municipal Services Building as well as the 1000 Islands Environmental Center building. 1000 Islands also regularly hosts wildlife rehabilitators to come in for educational programming often including the importance of keeping cats inside.
B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).
Citizens can find information on protecting birds from window strikes through 1000 Islands Environmental Center's Conservation page as well as the Bird City page that includes information for property owners and other individuals regarding protecting birds from window strikes as well as contact information for licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the area to seek help for window strike or other bird and wildlife injuries. 1000 Islands also stocks Window Alert clings in their small gift shop so that residents and visitors have access to window-strike deterrents.
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.
The City of Kaukauna helps educate residents on landscaping for birds as well as other bird friendly practices in a number of ways. The 1000 Islands Environmental Center website has a page dedicated to giving nature a helping hand.
As the City of Kaukauna has recently created a new website, we are currently working on a section dedicated to tips for homeowners to create a healthier habitat for birds similar to the 1000 Islands page as well. In the meantime, residents can learn ways to help migratory birds through our Bird City page.
The western portion of the City is included in the Appleton Christmas Bird Count Circle (WIAP). Although 1000 Islands is not technically within the circle, it is still included in the count annually, as the data is helpful to the research and geographically, it is difficult to include the remaining portion of the City in a circle without overlapping with the neighboring Green Bay (WIGB), Stockbridge (WISE) and Menchalville (WIMV) circles.
D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.
The City of Kaukauna hosts an annual celebration of the Bald Eagles that winter along the Fox River. The Eagle Days celebration began in 2012 and is a free public education event for people throughout the local, regional communities to view and learn more about bald eagles. The annual celebration focuses on viewing sites, formal presentations on the past, present and future of bald eagles, and live bird programs.
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).
In 2018 the City of Kaukauna adopted an ordinance allowing for homeowners to maintain a limited number of bee hives. The City, as described earlier, sought bee-keeping experts to operate in certain parks for the education of the public and to provide for the pollination of plants.
Energy & Sustainability
B. Show that your community goes above and beyond in its support for, and implementation of, green transportation (e.g., bike trails, rideshare programs, bike trails/lanes, etc.). Be sure to utilize the narrative to illustrate why your community is exceptional because standard practice will not receive credit.
The City of Kaukauna and the Village of Little Chute in cooperation with Outagamie County will be constructing a boardwalk across the Fox River, connecting the communities' two downtowns by bike trail. In addition to the boardwalk, the City will be adding more than a mile of new trails along the Fox River.
E. Show that your community has implemented a sustainability plan that improves your community’s energy efficiency and/or increases the use of renewable energy. (Exclusions: Smart Growth comprehensive plans)
The City of Kaukauna owns and operates several hydroelectric facilities. A recent renovation to one plant added about 20% more production of renewable electricity to the local power grid.
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 recently completed a new Municipal Building and Fire Station. Both buildings are heated and cooled by use of geothermal wells. Additionally, both buildings have several banks of solar panels on the roof. Records indicate that at times the Municipal building has produced more electricity than it used (rare occasion).
J. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.
The City established one of the first Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs in the State. This program helps businesses to reduce energy consumption by providing low-interest municipal loans to install high energy-efficient products and/or renewable energy products.
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)
A. This community's municipal body passed the required World Migratory Bird Day resolution.
Due to the pandemic, public programs celebrating WMBD were not held. In an effort to still educate and connect with our community, 1000 Islands Environmental Center provided virtual programs which were posted both on their Facebook page and YouTube channel. One of these virtual programs highlighted WMBD. You can view the video here.