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 at Mosquito Hill Nature Center and Hatten Park.
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, 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.”
D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.
The New London City gardener worked to create a clover-leaf shaped garden at Memorial Park in the summer of 2018. The lobes of the clover radiate from the 9-11 Memorial. Each lobe features plants that offer birds berries or seeds in the fall/winter and cover/nectar in the summer. The land surrounding the memorial is currently turfgrass.
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 has information posted throughout the property, including in the main interpretive building and in several spots along trails, regarding the removal and control of invasive species.
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 which is the western border of the City of New London. Site 64 is the Waupaca County Sturgeon Trail which is directly southwest of the City.
L. Show that your community has restored at least two acres of woodlands, wetlands, or prairie.
In the fall of 2018, staff at Mosquito Hill Nature Center began work on restoring a 10+ acre area of old field back to prairie and oak savanna for bird and butterfly habitat. The first phase of the project included mowing and using a brush hog to remove brush and brambles that were over taking the area. During the winter of 2018/2019 efforts were made to eliminate invasive species encroaching on the edge of the restoration project. There are plans in place for prescribed burns to happen during the spring of 2019 followed by continued monitoring and removal of invasive species. Native prairie seeds and savanna tree species will be planted throughout 2019 and into 2020.
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. Staff and volunteers at Mosquito Hil Nature Center worked throughout the park property to remove several invasive species in 2018 including wild parsnip, buchthorn, autumn olive, and barberry. Efforts and plans are in place to continue removal and to monitor for new infestations into 2019.
R. Show how your community aids a local youth group (e.g., Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of USA, 4-H Club, etc.) or conservation group in bird conservation projects (e.g., bluebird trail, habitat restoration, Wood Duck nest boxes, etc.).
The 7th graders from St. Nicholas School in Freedom helped with Wood Duck box monitoring and cleaning in February of 2018. Students from Catalyst Charter School in New London will be helping with wood duck box monitoring on March 1st, 2019.
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. This includes signs along the trail at various locations that highlight 24 bird species. Each sign has detailed information about the biology of that species and its habitat. There are maps available to help guide visitors through the trail.
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.
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.
New London offer brochures on "Cats Indoors" at the Park and Recreation office and the plea to keep cats indoors was put into the Winter/Spring park guide for 2017/2018.
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 screens were put in place by the Northeast Wisconsin Birding Club.
A. Demonstrate that schools in your community participate in a nationally-recognized environmental education program (e.g., Flying WILD, Audubon Adventures) or that your community organizes its own substantial education and outreach program for young people.
Schools from New London and several other local communities and beyond come to Mosquito Hill Nature Center annually. While at Mosquito Hill, students participate in a wide variety of environmental education lessons led by trained staff and volunteer naturalists. Some lessons were developed at Mosquito Hill to highlight specific aspects that the unique property has to offer. Other lessons taught come directly from programs including Flying WILD, Project Learning Tree, Project WET, Project WILD, and Project WILD Aquatic, to name a few.
The City of New London participated in three different bird counts in 2018. Events were as follows:
Midwest Crane Count: April 13, 2018, from 5:30 - 7:30 a.m. from Mosquito Hill Nature Center
Christmas Bird Count - Shiocton: December 14, 2018, from 7:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. from Mosquito Hill Nature Center
Chimney Swift Counts: August 14 - 23 at 6 downtown locations and 1 urban residence
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 (speakers) to the community approximately six times per 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 nest boxes on Nature Center property. St. Nicholas School students from Freedom helped Mosquito Hill staff monitor Wood Duck nest boxes in February of 2018.
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).
Mosquito Hill Nature Center has interpretive displays highlighting the importance of bees and other pollinators. These displays include 4 outside honey bee hives and 1 honey bee hive located inside the interpretive building. Each year in September, Mosquito Hill hosts a "Honey Sunday" event which is a day celebration that invites the public to learn about bee keeping, how honey is made, and the important role bees and pollinators play in the environment and our lives.
H. Document a substantial regular program that educates young people on any of the following topics: climate change, energy efficiency, green/bird-safe buildings, or environmental sustainability.
Mosquito Hill Nature Center has an interpretive display that hightlights clean energy and energy efficiency. The display includes a pedal-power bike that allows users to experience the amount of energy needed to power different types of light bulbs and othe household items. The display also includes a solar panel and wind turbine that charge a battery and demonstrate clean electricity. Also highlighted in the display are energy efficient and environmentally friendly building supplies for residential homes.
When school groups eat lunch while at Mosquito Hill Nature Center they participate in a "Lunch Waste" program. Nature Center staff members discuss with students what happens to the various items they bring in their lunches. Students learn the difference between trash going to a landfill, recyclable items, and compostable items. Staff then help students understand what items from their lunch can go in each category. This lesson is designed to teach students ways of being more sustainable in their daily lives and limiting what they send to landfills. This lesson is complimented by large, interpretive compost displays at Mosquito Hill.
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.
Four spring bird hikes were offered at Mosquito Hill Nature Center in 2018. These hikes are led by staff naturalists and both novice and advanced birders alike are invited to take part. There are 4 similar hikes scheduled for April and May of 2019.
Mosquito Hill hosts several public programs each year that include a live bird programs put on by The Feather Wildlife Rehabilitation/Education Center. There were two live raptor education programs in 2018 and 3 scheduled for 2019 at Mosquito Hill.
The New London Public Museum has a Bird Trunk available to be checked out by area teachers. Classes that borrow the trunk often follow-up with a tour of the Bird section of the Museum during which they compare feet and beaks of different birds on exhibit.
Additionally, three bird-based scavenger hunts are available at the museum for visitors to interact with the avian exhibits.
An Earth Day event at the museum had visitors making hummingbird feeders out of recycled materials. Materials on avian migration and stopover points was available for study as well.
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.
Mosquito Hill Nature Center provides environmental education programs and lessons to several schools and organizations in the local area that have diverse student bodies. The Center has served several schools from more urban settings in the past year include Appleton High School English Language Learners, Lincoln School in Appleton, Washington Middle School in Green Bay, and Tipler Middle School in Oshkosh. Mosquito Hill has also served several local schools including Tigerton Elementary School, Weyauwega-Freemont Elementary School, Lincoln School in New London, and Catalyst Charter School in New London. These schools regularly schedule field trips to Mosquito Hill.
Mosquito Hill Nature Center provided environmental education lessons to youth from the Appleton and Green Bay Boys and Girls Clubs.
Mosquito Hill Nature Center hosts a Memory Cafe event the second Wednesday of each month. These events welcome individuals experiencing early stage dementia, mild memory loss or cognitive impairment, as well as family and friends of those affected. The Memory Cafe events are held at the Nature Center and frequently include presentations and activities led by staff naturalists.
Energy & Sustainability
A. Document an energy audit for a municipal building and show that your community is working to implement its recommendations.
The New London Aquatic & Fitness Center has been making progress towards updating the efficiency of its building for a few years. In 2017, the electrical systems were updated as the foundation of the planned 2018 updates including HVAC units, chemical controllers, lights, and some other smaller projects.
Mosquito Hill Nature Center has plans to update and replace lighting in the Great Room, a large gathering/meeting room, with energy efficient LED lighting in 2019. The Nature Center will continue working towards replacing old, balasted florescent tube lights throughout the building with LED lights and changing over light bulbs to efficient LED bulbs throughout the coming years.
International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)
A. This community's municipal body passed the required International Migratory Bird Day resolution.
New London will recognize World Migratory Bird Day on May 11, 2019. There will be an event held at Mosquito Hill Nature Center. Plans for the day include a bird hike, migration program, climate change program, and plant sale. Additional educational and recreational opportunities will be held for young and old and those in between! Loaner binoculars will be available.