Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring
The City of Darlington developed and approved the “City of Darlington Comprehensive Plan” in January 2023. This plan is in compliance with elements set forth in Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law concerning land use planning and resource management. Darlington remains in compliance with this plan to this day, July 18, 2022.
John and Phyllis Sonsalla are residents of the Darlington area. A couple of years ago, they started to restore a portion of their property to prairie. It was previously a pasture. Their property is located on the outskirts of Darlington. The Sonsalla's continue to work to restore this area.
Darlington has established a walking trail located in one of the parks that follows along the Pecatonica River in the downtown area. The City continues, in 2023, to maintain the trail. The trail is lit and paved. The trail is used by visitors and local people. Nest boxes for cavity-nesting birds are placed along the trail where bluebirds, wrens, and tree swallows fledge from the boxes. An educational kiosk, provided by a C. D. Besadny Conservation Grant in cooperation with the North American Bluebird Society and the Lafayette County Bluebird Society, was constructed by the Darlington High School shop class and is focused on bluebirds. The Darlington Garden Club also maintains plots located along the trail. Many of the plots contain native prairie plants. The trail has a campground with water and electricity and is used by families, outdoorsmen, and nature enthusiasts. The walking trail is a perfect example of what a community can do to encourage and promote native birds and native plants.
Community Forest Management
The City of Darlington employs a Parks and Recreation director who oversees the several parks in the community. He is trained to identify diseased trees and removes them. He works with the Wisconsin DNR whenever he has questions. A variety of trees have been planted in the city parks, including Tamarac trees. Much thought is put into replacing and maintaining the trees. In recent years, the city has followed the tree placement guidelines of the Arbor Day Foundation.