City of Rice Lake

City of Rice Lake

Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring

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 Rice Lake adopted a comprehensive plan on June 14, 2016 that has incorporated principals from Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law regarding land use planning and natural resource management. The designated “Smart Growth” areas are suitable for redevelopment activities which can take advantage of the existing infrastructure in the area. They also are well suited for compact, mixed use development which would complement existing facilities. The Rice Lake comprehensive plan will be in effect from 2016-2040.

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)

Wolfinger Bird Sanctuary Park is a non-developed resource area located on the Eastern outskirts of the City. The natural features of the area are woodlands and wetlands, with Rice Lake frontage on two sides of the parcel.  In 2018 our Community Services Department took up the task of removing invasive species from the sanctuary. Buckthorn and Black locust trees were completely taken out of the park and in 2019 new native trees were planted in the park. 

Along with our designated “Bird Sanctuary Park,” the City of Rice Lake has also put forth city ordinances that offer additional protection to birds:

Ordinance 170-1 states that, “No person shall kill, injure, or disturb or attempt to injure or disturb waterfowl, birds or animals, wild or domestic, within any park.”

Ordinance 70-16 protects all birds within in the City by proclaiming, “No person, except a police officer or health or human officer in the pursuit of his duties, shall within the City shoot or kill or commit an act of cruelty to any animal or bird or disturb any bird’s nests or birds eggs."

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 City of Rice Lake has available multiple resources and educational sources on the Emerald Ash Borer. In December 2010, a readiness plan was developed for the City that highlights extensive information on the EAB including: general discussions and history, pre EAB activities, community education, and confirmed infestation activities. While there is no official percentage of native trees to be used to replace ash trees, Rice Lake is showing a clear preference for native tree species and their cultivars. Residents can also find additional information on the EAB on the City website’s forestry link.

N. Show that your community works on public lands to control invasive species that have significant negative impacts on bird habitat.

In the summer/fall of 2022 a joint effort between the City of Rice Lake, Rice Lake Rotary, UWEC-BC and Barron County removed 4.7 acres of buckthorn along the CedarSide Trial in Rice Lake. The project revitilized a large section of public woodlands and created a more open habitat for local birds. 

Community Forest Management

A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Rice Lake continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1991. By clicking here you will be directed to the Arbor Day Foundations Tree City directory. Scroll down to see that The City of Rice Lake is currently a member, and has been an active member in Tree City USA for 31 years. 

E. Show that your forester, a member of your tree board, or another person currently responsible for managing your community’s trees has completed the Wisconsin DNR’s Wisconsin Tree Management Institute.

City of Rice Lake Forester, Michael Ashlin, completed required work in the Wisconsisn DNR's Wisconsin Community Tree Management Institute in 2010.

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 City of Rice Lake has a link on its website to educate residents about the threats that outdoor cats pose to human health, wildlife, and cat welfare.

B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).

The City of Rice Lake distributes brochures with guidance on how to reduce window collisions and also has a link on its website.

Public Education

G. Provide a link to your community’s Bird City Wisconsin webpage, which must be visible from the main page of your municipal website (it may be located at the first level of a drop down menu on the main page but cannot be any less visible) OR demonstrate that your Bird City effort has a significant social media presence.

The City of Rice Lake proudly promotes its membership with Bird City Wisconsin on our city's website. By hovering over the "Parks, Recreation, and Cemeteries" section on the main page of our website it will produce a drop down menu. Located on that drop down is a link directly to our Bird City Wisconsin info page. On that page links are provided to the official Wisconsin Bird City website, and a link to our own membership page. 

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)

A. This community's municipal body passed the required World Migratory Bird Day resolution.

B. Document and describe your event that incorporates the annual IMBD theme in some fashion. If the event has not yet occurred, please share your detailed plans. For information on the current year’s theme and event materials, please visit the World Migratory Bird Day website. To see what other Bird City communities have done in the past, please view some other profiles on our website.

The Rice Lake Common Council officially adopted Resolution 16-18 on October 25, 2016 stating that the second Saturday of every May is to be recognized as World Migratory Bird Day. This resolution was recertified on February 9, 2021. A new resolution will go before the City Council on February 14th, 2023.

In 2022 the City of Rice Lake held a WMBD celebration at the Rice Lake Public Library. During this time participants were able to play a game that put them on the wings of a migrating bird traveling back to Wisconsin from its winter grounds. The event event also saw the return of the "The Great Rice Lake Bird Search".. Participants in the search were asked to visit local parks, water ways, and green spaces and locate ten birds. They were than to document the bird in a bird book provided by the city. Once ten birds were located, participants were entered into a drawing to win a bird feeder and bird food donated by a local business. 

The City of Rice Lake will be holding its annual WMBD celebration on May 13th, 2023. This year we are working with Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary and offering a presentation from one of their birding experts called "The Birds We Share". Following is a brief summary of the presentation:  

"Spring marks the arrival of some of the brightest birds like the Baltimore Oriole, Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager, and many more. These tropical travelers migrate around 3,000 miles from their winter homes in Central America to their breeding grounds in Wisconsin. Join Sage Dunham of Hunt Hill Audubon Sanctuary to learn about the incredible journey that these birds take and how you can spot these birds in your own backyard!"

This event will also see the return of the very popular "Great Rice Lake Bird Search" .. The presentation will run from 11am-12pm, and the bird search booklets will be handed out after the presentation. This all takes place at the Rice Lake Public Library.

Joined Bird City: 2017

Population: 8,438

Incorporated: 1887

Area: 9.7 mi2

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Community Bird City Page

Community Map