Village of Waunakee

Village of Waunakee

Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring

C. Provide evidence (e.g., official designation of natural areas, easements, etc.) that existing bird habitat within community limits has legal protection. (Exclusions: Leash laws; prohibitions against disturbing nests and wildlife; areas consisting primarily of mowed grass)

The Bolz Conservancy was started in 2001 when the 12.83 acre parcel was donated to the Village.  The Natural Heritage Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the land to ensure it is protected as a natural area for the public.  Many volunteers, along with the Village Center and Public Works department, have put a lot of hard work into making the prairie what it is today. 

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.

Many invasive species such as Siberian elm, thistle and wild parsnip are periodically located and thoroughly removed in all public areas in the Village, and especially in conservancy areas.

L. Show that your community has restored at least two acres of woodlands, wetlands, or prairie.

The Village has restored an area on the west side of Ripp Parks into prairie.  The seeds used were harvested from the Bolz Conservancy.  Many native prairie plants were also planted. The area is approximately 2 acres, however the area continues to expand every year.

Community Forest Management

A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

Waunakee has been recognized as a Tree City for 18 years.

C. Document an ongoing community program to incorporate a significant number of native trees, native shrubs, native herbaceous plants, and/or cultivars of native species in public or large-scale private landscaping.

The Public Works department plants many trees each year in public parks and around Village facilities.  In 2016, a rain garden was planted in a retention area in Village Park that consisted of planting hundreds of plants and grasses.  The Bolz Conservancy as well as Ripp Park prairie are continually maintained with native seeds and plants every year.

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 Karls, a member of the Public Works department, completed the DNR's Wisconsin Community Tree Management Institute in 2018.

Public Education

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.

An article in The Waunkee Tribune was written about the IMBD event and included information linked to the National Wildlife Federation which offers information on how to make backyards welcoming for birds.

Energy & Sustainability

B. Show that your community goes above and beyond in its support for, and implementation of, green transportation (e.g., bike trails, rideshare programs, bike trails/lanes, etc.). Be sure to utilize the narrative to illustrate why your community is exceptional because standard practice will not receive credit.

The Village of Waunakee has many miles of paths and sidewalks throughout the community that connects many destinations.  The Village's goal is to reduce motor vehicle dependency by encouraging various forms of transportation.  This is accomplished by creating access to biking and walking routes for all who choose or require them. 

I. Document that your community is part of the Energy Independent Community program.

Waunakee Utilities is part of the Energy Independent Community program. 

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)

A. This community's municipal body passed the required World Migratory Bird Day resolution.

B. Document and describe your event that incorporates the annual IMBD theme in some fashion. If the event has not yet occurred, please share your detailed plans. For information on the current year’s theme and event materials, please visit the World Migratory Bird Day website. To see what other Bird City communities have done in the past, please view some other profiles on our website.

On May 11-12 2023, the Village of Waunkee Public Works and Village Center are hosting a WMBD tree planting event in the Castle Creek Conservancy.  Classes of Ecology students, from Waunakee High School, are volunteering their time to help plant a variety of trees and shrubs that will provide food and habitat for migrating birds in the Castle Creek Conservancy.  This 36 acre conservancy is located within Waunakee, and has the Six Mile Creek running through it, which makes it a great habitat for migrating or year round birds.  The Castle Creek Conservancy has been going through prairie restoration the past few years, and the addition of food and shelter sources for birds is needed. Some of the the variety of species  include Serviceberry, Dogwood, Viburnum, and Hemlock.  

Joined Bird City: 2018

Population: 13,755

Incorporated: 1870

Area: 6.39 mi2

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