By Jacob Mathias
In a small gathering on Tuesday morning, the Village of Plover leadership and about a dozen 4-year-old kindergartners met at the Woyak Sports Complex to celebrate a belated Arbor Day and Plover’s inclusion as a Tree City USA and Bird City Wisconsin.
“Thank you very much for coming today. I think what you found out today is the Village of Plover thinks that trees are very important,” said Village Supervisor Dan Mahoney to the kids. “Not only do they give us shade, not are they only a great place to play but they give us oxygen, they give us wood for making houses. They’re just very important.”
Don Kissinger, North Central Regional Urban Forestry coordinator presented the Village of Plover with a Tree City USA flag and spoke with the children about the importance of trees in the community.
Dr. Kent Hall, a retired UWSP professor, presented Village President Tom Davies with Plover’s fourth consecutive Bird City Wisconsin Award, Sustained Flight Award.
Hall brought black cap chickadee eggs and chicks to show the children. He will be placing chickadee birdhouses around Roosevelt Elementary School to increase bird populations in the area.
“We have a variety of these next boxes in Plover, in fact almost 100,” said Hall. “Plover has been very generous about letting us use cul-de-sacs and other places that attract bluebirds especially. But we raise tree swallows, house wrens and chickadees as well.”
“From a stand point of bird watching, the Audubon Society and some of the bird watching groups definitely have events during the course of the year where they do specific bird watching,” said Mahoney. “By helping grow the species, there’s more opportunities for them to see unique bird life.”
Plover is part of the largest bluebird trail in America that has 1,420 bird boxes and spans seven counties.
There are 91 Bird Cities in Wisconsin.
To become a Bird City, cities and town must meet criteria in the the following:
- Creation and protection of a bird habitat
- Participation in programs promoting effective community forest management such as Tree City USA
- Limit or remove hazards to birds
- Public education
- Celebration of International Migratory Bird Day
The Tree City USA Program was founded by the Arbor Day Foundation to provide direction and public attention to urban forestry programs. Cities and towns become Tree Cities by having the following:
- A tree board or department
- A tree care ordinance
- A community forestry program with an annual budget of $2 per capita
- An Arbor Day observance and proclamation
Wisconsin has 192 Tree Cities. This year marks Plover’s 22nd year with the designation.