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.
In 2007, the City of New London adopted the “Year 2030 Comprehensive Plan” and has been in compliance since.
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 greater New London area has a large amount of suburban park settings for bird habitat. Monitoring results from researchers and local volunteers were obtained for the following events:
Wood Duck nest box monitoring and installation of new boxes.
Bluebird nesting box trail monitoring at MHNC (citizen-based monitoring)
Seasonal bird sightings at Mosquito Hill Nature Center reported to the Wisconsin Society of Ornithology (citizen based monitoring)
Prothonotary Warbler nest box monitoring by Mosquito Hill Nature Center staff
Mosquito Hill Nature Center staff monitored American Kestrel boxes east of town
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)
Municipal Code 9.15(2) states, “No person shall in any manner deface or injure any building, tree, shrub or plant or other property standing or growing in the parks and no person shall disturb or interfere with any improvements made of being made in or about the parks, or interfere with any birds or animals found therein.”
Additionally, Mosquito Hill Nature Center is an Outagamie County Park and is established and protected under Outagamie County, WI Ordinance Article 1 Section 40-1 stating, “Park includes any river or lake access site or any other area owned or supervised by the County and intended for public recreation and public education in conservation and nature study.”
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.
The New London Parks and Recreation Department offers information regarding removal and control of invasive species. Publications are available for residents at the department’s walk-up counter. Additionally, Mosquito Hill Nature Center naturalists offer programs in the local and extended local area (up to 1 hour away):
The Beauty of Bluebirds- Steve P. conducted a power point presentation at the Neenah Public Library on February 6, 2017
Bird Songs of the Backyard – Steve P. presented a 2 hr power point program on learning to identify birds by their songs and calls at Jay-Mar in Plover on February 25, 2017
On May 8, Steve P. offered a Bird ID class for beginning to intermediate birdwatchers as part of the Waupaca FVTC Spring Extravaganza.
A 1 hr program entitled, Plants that can harm the Landscape and Wildlife, was given by Steve P. on June 8 at the New London Library on local invasive plants found in urban landscape.
Fall is a Great Time to Kill Plants – This article was written (by Steve P.) for both the Friends of Mosquito Hill newsletter and the Sept. issue of Badger Birder. Dealing with control of invasive plants that negatively affect the landscape, it encouraged people to get out outside, learn what is in their yard and remove the bad plants.
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.
Central Sands Prairie Region booklet shows that the New London area has two sites recognized as points of interest on the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. Site 62 is the Mukwa State Wildlife Area and Site 64 is the Waupaca County Sturgeon Trail.
N. Show that your community works on public lands to control invasive species that have significant negative impacts on bird habitat.
The City gardener, Robin, removed barberry from a memorial garden abutting the River Trail Park. It was replaced with cotoneaster and lavender. Barberry was also removed from the New London Chamber parking lot and landscaped area. They were replaced with weigela's.
S. Demonstrate how a public golf course is managed to benefit birds.
The Shamrock Heights Golf Course Superintendent, Cory Kluge, states that no avian control or avoidance measures are taken to prevent birds from using the grounds. They have bluebird houses throughout the course and strive to use native plants in their cultivated areas, leaving the grass longer in other areas that don’t need to be mowed.
T. Document that your community maintains a birding trail or hot spot location with educational signage and/or literature. (Note: A birding hotspot alone is not sufficient - your community must actively promote birding and public education at the site itself.)
Mosquito Hill has a designated birding trail with detailed habitat information.
Community Forest Management
A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
New London continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1993. In 5 of those years the city also received the Arbor Day Foundation’s Growth Award.
C. Document an ongoing community program to incorporate a significant number of native trees, native shrubs, native herbaceous plants, and/or cultivars of native species in public or large-scale private landscaping.
This year the City gardener planted cotoneaster in Pfeiffer Park, butterfly bushes at the boat launch restroom facilities, removed barberry and planted native phlox, and added a ninebark at River Trail Park.
Limiting or Removing Threats to Birds
B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).
Mosquito Hill Nature Center and City Hall in New London provide brochures to help residents understand what they can do to prevent window strikes. Windows along the birdseed feeding areas near the building at Mosquito Hill Nature Center offer a visual demonstration of one type of bird strike prevention.
The City of New London participated in three different bird counts in 2016. Events were as follows:
Midwest Crane Count for Outagamie County April 16, 2015, 5:30-7:30 a.m. from Mosquito Hill Nature Center
Christmas Bird Count –Shiocton; December 16, 2015, 7:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. from Mosquito Hill Nature Center
Chimney Swift counts; August 29 and September 3, 7:30 - 8:10 p.m. and 7:35 – 8:15 p.m. at 3 downtown sites
D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.
Feather Fest 2016, was held on May 1 at Hatten Park, with these activities:
Invasive plant species ID hikes,
A small sit (Like a Big Sit but on a smaller scale!)
Horse-drawn wagon rides
Wood Duck nest box building
Kid’s activities: Bird Trunk fun, a Scavenger Hunt, building a bird feeder, and games.
E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.
Members of the Northeast Wisconsin Birding Club participate in many of the bird monitoring programs and efforts throughout the year. They also bring educational offerings to the community ~6x/year. Mosquito Hill Nature Center and The Feather Rehab staff and volunteers monitored 2 American Kestrel nest boxes along Rogers Road and 8 Prothonotary Warbler next boxes on nature center property. St. Nicholas School students from Freedom helped Mosquito Hill staff monitor Wood Duck nest boxes in February.
K. Demonstrate that your community actively raises awareness of its bird assets. Examples include placing a remote web camera on a nest platform, offering bird watching field trips, or creating a significant educational resource on your community's bird life.
Six spring bird hikes were offered at Mosquito Hill Nature Center serving 19 persons.
The New London Public Museum’s Bird Trunk was lent out to Lincoln Elementary School’s 4k classroom in April. The class followed up with a tour of the Bird section of the Museum also in April during which they completed a snowy owl paper craft project. Additionally, Girl Scout Troop 2173 visited the museum and completed the environment-based scavenger hunt (Earth Day Badge requirements). In May, a group of homeschooling families visited and while there toured the bird section, made bird feeders, and either learned about beaks and feet or dissected owl pellets. During a Harry Potter themed event in December ~50 kids created the snowy owl (Hedwig) paper craft. Eight birds were sponsored for restoration in 2016.
New London passed Resolution #1328 in recognition of International Migratory Bird Day and held Feather Fest on May 20, featuring a hike and/or bike along the Newton Blackmour trail. Maps, iced tea and a few pairs of (loaner) binoculars will be available. Distances of up to 5.2 miles are available.