Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Rice Lake

Community Achievements

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 14th, 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.  

Along with our designated “Bird Sanctuary Park”, the City of Rice Lake has also put fourth 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.

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

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.

After a 37 year absence, the City of Rice Lake held a Christmas Bird Count in 2015. This will continue to be an annual event with birders congregating on our many trails and wooded areas. The 2016 CBC included record 4,649 birds found, and four new species for the count.

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)

A. This community's municipal body passed the required International 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 International 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 25th, 2016 stating that the second Saturday of every May is to be recognized as International Migratory Bird Day. 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.  

Photo Gallery

Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2017

Population: 8,438

Incorporated: 1887

Area: 9.7 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Map