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:
Highlights of Trempealeau's Bird Conservation Efforts
Below are links from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that provide supporting documentation:
1C. Evidence that existing bird habitat has legal protection: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/RegulationsPolicies/treatlaw.html#dckstmp
1F. Public information on control and removal of invasive species:
1G. Community contains a segment of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail: http://www.wisconsinbirds.org/Trail/misschipmap.htm
The Village of Trempealeau has four areas listed in the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail Guide within and around the village limits. These areas are: the Great River State Trail, Perrot State Park, Trempealeau Lakes State Wildlife Area and Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge. The vast majority of these areas are heavily forested bluffs and ravines located along the Mississippi River and cover more than 5,000 acres. This habitat allows visitors to observe many species from Bald Eagles and Black Terns to Grasshopper Sparrows and Orchard Orioles. The mix of elevation, marshes and grasslands within the forests allow many opportunities for any birding enthusiast.
1H. Local Chamber of Commerce (or a similar group) takes an active role in the planning process for protecting and enlarging favorable bird habitat: The Friends of Trempealeau Refuge http://www.friendsoftrempealeaurefuge.org/mission.html is comprised of local village residents. Each year, the Friends actively supports the refuge's bird festival as well as other educational events.
2B. Trempealeau County implements forest planning guidelines within its codes and ordinances. The Trempealeau Chamber and local elementary school work with Perrot State Park and the Trempealeau Refuge in a joint effort conforming to the county’s forest management regulations. Also, the Mississippi Valley Conservancy has a technical committee member of the Wisconsin Mississippi River Parkway Commission. In addition, the Village of Trempealeau partners with other organizations for the Arbor Day celebration in Trempealeau.
Category 3: Limiting or Removing Hazards to Birds
3C. The Village of Trempealeau maintains an active partnership with Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge and promotes refuge activities and its website. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provides a substantial amount of information related to Hazards to Birds @ http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/CurrentBirdIssues/Hazards/BirdHazards.html
Category 4: Public Education
4A,B, D, E, F. Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge has taken a very active role in providing educational materials, programs, festivals, and activities for area schools, organizations and visitors about conservation and bird ecology: http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/EducationOutreach.html
Each year refuge employees are invited to participate in area school environmental education awareness days for all grade levels. For 10 years, the refuge has coordinated a region-wide environmental education event called River Education Days which has brought close to 10,000 fifth grade students out to the refuge for a day of conservation programs on Invasive Species, Bird Migration, Basic Birding, Bird Banding, Mammals of the Upper Mississippi River. Through the refuge, they are instilling a sense of wonder, land stewardship, and pride in the rich resources surrounding the Village of Trempealeau.
Category 5: Celebration of International Migratory Bird Day
On May 11, 2013, the Village of Trempealeau celebrated International Migratory Bird Day with a Life Cycles of Migratory Birds themed event. This was preceded by the Redstart Rendezvous event held May 10 at Elmaro Vineyard (an IMBD partner). This evening event featured birding presentations by biologist Melissa Meier and wine tasting. The main IMBD event followed migratory birds from nesting and migration to breeding and raising young highlighting the need for conservation to aid birds in every phase of their lives while addressing key hazards that can be diminished by humans.
This celebration, as well as other conservation activities, was carried out by by the Village of Trempealeau, the Friends of Trempealeau Refuge and various federal, state and local agencies. The event ran from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and was held at Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge. Bird hikes, literature, live bird presentations and even a canoe tour kept patrons busy and enthused during the day.