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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2017 the City celebrated its first IMBD by holding a bird walk event, craft and birding stories for children, and a special birding program. The program was titled “The Great Migration Challenge” in which participants took roles as birds facing migration challenges. We had an excellent turnout and the program was received positively by the bird loving community. The following two years we held similar events showcasing WMBD and it's importance. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, all WMBD events that were planned in 2020 had to be cancelled. We had planned on having a short birding program at our local Library, followed by games and small bird walk near our lakeshore. In 2021 the City was able to hold an event outdoors celebrating WMBD. Youth participated in a crafting project and produced bird feeders. Youth also had the option to take the "Great Rice Lake Bird Hunt" where they were tasked to find and document birds locally within our parks system. Once they found 10 birds they were entered into a drawing to win a fun briding prize. 2022 WMBD planning has alrady began, and exciting birding activites are in the works.