Bird City - Kenosha - Year 3: Sustained Flight

To achieve annual certification as a "Bird City," communities need to demonstrate in a written application that they have met at least seven of 22 criteria, including three from Category 1 and one from each of the other four categories:

Approved Application

Highlights of Kenosha's Bird Conservation Efforts

Category 1: Creation and Protection of Habitat

The annual Fall Fest at Pringle Nature Center in Bristol Woods Park helps provide funds for ongoing educational programs at the center. The 2014 event also celebrated International Migratory Bird Day, in recognition of Kenosha County and Kenosha each being recognized as a “Bird City Wisconsin” community. Visitors had the chance to learn about gthe enevironment and especially about birds (and see them up close) from representatives of the Hoy Audubon Society, RootPike-WIN/Respect Our Waters and the Hawthorn Hollow Nature Center and Arboreteum.
1A. The Kenosha Common Council on April 19th, 2010, adopted a “Comprehensive Plan for the City of Kenosha: 2035,” Ord. No. 28-10. The Plan was based on state requirements -- often described as the “Smart Growth” law -- to adopt a comprehensive plan.

Chapter 8 summary about Natural Resources notes that the City’s goals and objectives include: preserving and enhancing the City’s natural resources, including park and open sites; continue development of a comprehensive system of parks and open spaces to enhance the environment and life;  encourage preservation of natural features and open space in future development proposals;  protect and enhance natural resource areas including wetlands, wildlife habitat, woodlands, open spaces and flood plains, and encourage protection of Lake Michigan’s water quality and shoreline.

1B.  Bird counts occur at regular intervals by at least one city resident at the Kenosha Dunes, which is within the City of Kenosha boundaries.  These intervals typically occur in the summer months.

1D.  The City of Kenosha has worked with Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network in Racine to arrange for rain gardens to be established on some city property but also in the Poerio Park neighborhood. The neighborhood is one key in the reduction of pollution that is carried via the Pike River to Lake Michigan at Pennoyer Beach.

Rain gardens can provide excellent bird habitat, according to Susan Greenfield, WIN’s executive director. She wrote recently to John Krerowicz, a Hoy Audubon member who, with his wife Pauline Waara, helped prepare this application, noting:

“Yes, rain gardens with native plants and other naturally landscaped areas, including restored prairies, create habitat for birds (and butterflies, dragonflies, and other wonderful creatures) often where none existed before because the gardens replace turf grass. The native plants can provide food and shelter year around."

The gardens include plants such as Asters, Purple Coneflower and Blazing Stars, all considered attractive to birds. As of 2011, there were 17 rain gardens totaling 3,949 square feet set up in Kenosha, including two (adding up to 1,200 square feet) on city property at Anderson Park, 8730 22nd Ave. Most of the gardens are on private property and were coordinated by WIN.

WIN plans to continue pursuing sites in Kenosha for rain gardens.

Category 2: Participation in Programs Promoting Effective Community Forest Management

2A.  The City of Kenosha has been a long-time participant in the Arbor Day Foundation’s “Tree City USA” program, and is one of the longest participants in Wisconsin.  2014 will mark their 32nd year of receiving the honor.

Category 3: Limiting or Removing Hazards to Birds

3A.  Pauline Waara has delivered the American Bird Conservancy pamphlets “Cats, Birds and You” to eight veterinarians and pet groomers in the City and the Safe Harbor Humane Society.  She encourages them to share the pamphlets with customers and others to help them become aware of hazards cats pose to birds.

Category 4: Public Education

4D.  A summary of the Great Backyard Bird Count results shows Kenosha has been represented in that count for at numerous years. Their usual observed results from the count are around 300 birds and 17 different species.

4F.  In previous years the Kenosha Public Library has hosted a presentation by members of the Hoy Audubon Society of Kenosha/Racine regarding “Attracting Backyard Birds in Winter.” The program drew 35 people and critiques filled out after the presentation overwhelmingly thought it was superb. Future bird-related topics are being discussed.

Category 5: Celebration of International Migratory Bird Day

The 2013 International Migratory Bird Day was held at the Kenosha Public Museum on Saturday May 11th to celebrate urban birds and IMBD. Its highlights included a Bird Faire featuring vendors and organizations specializing in birding information and products, family crafts, a citizen science opportunity, two live raptor events and presentations on attracting bluebirds, the planting of bird-friendly native gardens, Pike River planning  and the birds of Chiwaukee Prairie.  The event was co-sponsored by the museum and the Hoy Audubon Society.

The city of Kenosha and the county of Kenosha are planning a joint IMBD event on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 at the Pringle Nature Center in Bristol Woods County Park, Bristol. It will be in conjunction with Pringle's annual fall festival and will be titled “Fall Fun Fest: Birds & Butterflies -- A Celebration of International Migratory Bird Day: Why Birds Matter"
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