Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

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 16 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.

G. Provide a link to your community’s Bird City Wisconsin webpage, which must be visible from the main page of your municipal website (it may be located at the first level of a drop down menu on the main page but cannot be any less visible) OR demonstrate that your Bird City effort has a significant social media presence.

A weblink to Bird City Wisconsin is located on the front page of the Village of Waunkee government website.

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. http://energyonwi.uwex.edu/energy-independent-communities

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)

A. This community's municipal body passed the required International 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 International Migratory Bird Day website. To see what other Bird City communities have done in the past, please view some other profiles on our website.

Our WMBD event was held at Prairie Elementary school with the 4th grade class.  Paul Noeldner of Friends of Urban Nature Group shared his knowledge of birds along with a nature hike to a nearby conservancy area on the north side of Prairie Park in Waunakee.  The 4th graders then made hummingbird feeders out of recycled materials they could take home.  The event was organized thanks to the Village Center, Public Works, and Prairie Elementary teachers.

Joined Bird City: 2018

Population: 13,755

Incorporated: 1870

Area: 6.39 mi2

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