D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.
The City is currently planning the development of the Steinhorst Micro-Park Initiative at 249 S. Concord Avenue. The park will include natural bird habitat, rain gardens, bird houses, a trail with interpretative signs, and a Little Free Library and will be designed and managed under a Natural Landscape Management Plan.
E. Describe your community’s ordinance demonstrating that your community does not restrict natural/native landscaping that emphasizes native plants and non-turf lawns.
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 publishes documentation on the emerald ash borer, Watertown’s efforts to control the emerald ash borer, and gypsy moth on our website and our semi-annual “City Connection” publication that gets mailed to every household in the city. In 2017, 2018, and 2019 the city applied for and received a Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Assistance grant providing an incentive for property owners to treat ash trees on their property to try and save the trees rather than removing them.
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.
The newly landscaped micro park at 249 S. Concord Ave was designed not only for birding but also nature.
I. Document a recent project that created or restored bird habitat in your community. (Exclusions: Bird feeders and small-scale artificial nesting structures)
The micro park located at 249 S. Concord Ave, was landscaped in a manner that creates numerous ecological and community benefits, including a rain garden water capture area, ephemeral ponds, meander paths, public access to the river, bird and bat habitat, and native plants. The intent was to create a community asset that respects Nature and creates ecological and social capital for our community.
Community Forest Management
A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Watertown continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1989.
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.
Jeff Pirkel is now our certified Arborist and has completed the Community Tree Management program.
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.
B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).
The American Bird Conservancy’s window collision flyers are available in the Parks and Recreation Office and provided to participants in our enrichment programs.
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.
The City of Watertown’s website has several links to organizations concerned with conservation, birding, and bird habitat.
E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.
The City offered an educational program to teach children to make pipe cleaner bird feeders and the importance of birds. Included is a discussion of the prevention of bird/window collisions and the Cats Indoors initiative. Other flyers on various birding topics are also available.
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 Watertown sponsored multiple events to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day, including: nature walks in Lunde Woods, Tivoli Island and the River Walk on June 12, 2018 (all open to the public and publicized). Brochures from the Bird City Wisconsin website were handed out and participants observed and identified a variety of bird species and their habitat during the walks. The Girls Scouts participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February 2017. The Parks and Recreation Department manned a booth at the local farmers market on May 22, 2018 to promote IMBD in which educational information was available. Participants were also able to make cheerio bird feeders. David Webb was on hand on June 7, 2018 to present his Wisconsin Birds presentation to help educate participants. A birding display case was visible throughout the month of May to all who visited our office. The scouts also built and painted numerous bird houses to be placed in the Brandt Quirk Park along the trail through Lund Woods. Hoo's Woods Raptors brought in some live birds for their presentation to the public on June 12, 2018.