Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Algoma

Community Achievements

Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring

A. Comply with Wisconsin's "Smart Growth" law for land use planning and resource management. This criterion is an option only for applications submitted before July 1, 2017.

The City of Algoma approved an updated Comprehensive Plan on December 4, 2017 (Ordinance Amendment No. 798 – 2017/  The plan was prepared to meet the requirements of Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law.   Objectives listed under the  “Agricultural, Natural, and Cultural Resources”  section of the plan include: the preservation and protection of natural areas; the preservation, improvement and protection of Algoma's park system; the promotion of practices that protect the environment and natural resources; encouraging residents to use native, non-invasive plant species for landscaping; and promoting proper tree planting and maintenance.

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 newly revised City of Algoma tree ordinance, Common Council Ordinance No. 800-2018, titled "Urban Forestry" declares it to be the purpose of the ordinance “to regulate and control the planting, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs in all public areas of the city”.  The purpose of the City of Algoma Tree Management Committee which operates under this ordinance is to “promote and preserve the urban forest within the City of Algoma.” Responsibilities delegated to the Tree Management Committee by the ordinance include: establishing and maintaining tree cover on public lands; protecting trees in public areas from undesirable and unsafe planting, removal, treatment and maintence practices; and protecting city trees from disease, insects or pests. Two members of the Bird City Algoma Committee served on the Tree Management Committee throughout 2017 and Cathy Pabich will continue to serve her term through 2020.  The committee has a key role in maintaining bird habitat. 

D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.

The Tree Management Committee applied for and the City of Algoma was awarded a 2017 Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry matching grant for $15,202.15. Throughout the year the committee worked on projects to meet grant requirements including: revision of the tree ordinance to include the incorporation by reference of an arboricultural specifications manual; three tree care workshops for City staff and residents (spring and fall tree care and emerald ash borer programs); working with the Algoma Public Library to highlight and improve on the tree care resources they have to offer; developing a Tree Management Committee webpage on the City’s website; and working with the school district, other city departments and the public to encourage the planting of more trees and to improve the diversity of tree species.  The Committee also funded a Park Tree Survey which will be the basis for Parks and Recreation Department and the Cemetery Committee tree maintenance and planting plans.  In December of 2017 the City of Algoma Community Development Committee voted to contribute $2500.00 to the Tree Management Committee for new street tree purchases to supplement the committee's existing budget.  

E. Describe your community’s ordinance demonstrating that your community does not restrict natural/native landscaping that emphasizes native plants and non-turf lawns.

Ordinance No. 780-2015 created Section 12.09 Landscape Maintenance, Algoma Code of Ordinances.  Section (2) b. through g. describe the “natural lawn” application process.  Owners and operators of any land in the City of Algoma may apply for approval of a land management plan for a natural lawn.

G. Document that there is a segment of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail or a designated Important Bird Area within or adjacent to your community.

Algoma contains a segment of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. The Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail Guide for the Lake Michigan Region includes a reference to Algoma as a trailhead on the Ahnapee State Trail and lists Algoma Harbor as Waypoint No. 20. Algoma Harbor is noted for its “clatter of gulls” and reference is made to grebes and teal that can be seen flying overhead. The beach area is also identified as a site for “more avian adventures.”

H. Show that the local Chamber of Commerce or a similar group (e.g., an Audubon chapter, Wild Ones, etc.) takes an active role in the planning process for protecting and enlarging favorable bird habitat.

The Friends of Crescent Beach (FOCB) group was organized in 2015. It is a member of the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP). The mission of FOCB is “to promote through advocacy, education and activities the improvement, support, protection and enjoyment of Crescent Beach”.  The vision of FOCB is to see Crescent Beach transformed through government and citizen cooperation into a vibrant, healthy destination beach that is enjoyed by residents and visitors alike and recognized as a model for best beach management practices. Their efforts to promote beach health support a healthier habitat for birds and other wildlife.  FOCB communicates with city government on beach issues and advocates for improvements, writes letters in support of grant funding of restoration projects, educates the public on issues affecting beach health, and coordinates beach clean-ups and restoration efforts.   FOCB helped publicize an information session on Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and the Ahnapee River presented by Wisconsin DNR representatives and Rep. Joel Kitchens. Rep. Kitchens later credited FOCB for their efforts on this issue in a press release by stating “What began with the effort by myself and the Friends of Crescent Beach to have a TMDL study done for the Ahnapee River has expanded into a proposal to study all of the tributaries of Lake Michigan in Kewaunee, Manitowoc and Sheboygan Counties”.  FOCB Steering Committee Coordinator Cathy Pabich received a 2017 Champion of Conservation award from the Lake Michigan Stakeholders organization.

I. Document a recent project that created or restored bird habitat in your community. (Exclusions: Bird feeders and small-scale artificial nesting structures)

Algoma's Friends of Crescent Beach (FOCB) group is a member of the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP).  In 2017, LNRP arranged for $22,500.00 in grant funding to remove invasive plants from the south end of Crescent Beach and restore the beach with native beach grass, plants and bushes.  In the fall of 2017, Stantec was hired to to treat phragmites and remove other invasive plants from the beach.  There will be a community planting project in spring of 2018 to restore the area with native grass, plants and shrubs.  The City of Algoma Parks and Recreation and Public Works Department, LNRP and FOCB are working cooperatively on this project.  The City of Algoma is in the process of hiring a firm to carry out the restoration of the north end of Crescent Beach.  That project was awarded Fund for Lake Michigan and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding.

O. Document a program to support the establishment of natural lawns and native landscaping, possibly including public presentations of Audubon’s Plants for Birds Initiative (contact them for a presentation kit).

At the 2016 Algoma Bird Celebration the Bird City Algoma Committee launched its “Bird Bistro” project to encourage bird friendly gardening practices and habitat creation in city yards, on business property and in public spaces.   There are now bird bistro gardens at the Algoma High School and Algoma Public Library.  Nine gardeners have planted bird bistros in their yards.  Participants met throughout the summer of 2017 to share information and go on garden tours.  Bird Bistro information is offered at the Bird City Algoma display table at the Algoma Bird Celebration and Algoma Night Out.  This year free New England aster plants were distributed at the night out event.  Bird City Algoma committee members gave presentations on bird friendly gardening as part of the Algoma Public Library summer reading program for adults and at the 2017 Grosbeaks Galore workshop.

Community Forest Management

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

Algoma continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 2001.  Algoma s included in Tree City USA Directory on the Arbor Day Foundation website at

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.

City of Algoma Tree Management Committee member Gary Paape completed the Wisconsin DNR's Wisconsin Community Tree Management Institute.  A copy of the certificate of completion is included in this application.

F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The Algoma Tribute Tree program has solicited donations to help the city increase tree plantings on public property since it began in 2007.  Two tribute trees were planted in 2017.  The Tribute Tree program brochure has been updated and the City of Algoma Tree Management Committee is working with arborist Dan Traas of Ranger Services to develop an accompanying tree list that promotes the selection of diverse tree species.

Limiting or Removing Threats to Birds

A. Describe your community’s educational program to control free-roaming cats and/or the manner in which you actively publicize the Cats Indoors! initiative.

American Bird Conservancy’s “Cats, Birds, and You” brochures are available on the pamphlet rack at Algoma City Hall and at Algoma Public Library. The Bird City Algoma Committee distributes the brochure at Algoma Night Out and the Algoma Bird Celebration and from the library’s annual IMBD display.  Copies of the brochure have also been provided to the Algoma Police Department's animal control officer for distribution to people retrieving their cats from the city animal shelter.

B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).

An American Bird Conservancy flyer on preventing window strikes is available on the pamphlet rack at Algoma City Hall and at Algoma Public Library. The Bird City Algoma Committee distributes the flyer at Algoma Night Out and the Algoma Bird Celebration and from the library’s annual IMBD display.

F. Demonstrate that your community enforces an ordinance that requires domestic cats to be kept indoors, on a leash, or in an enclosure to prevent them from preying on birds and other wildlife and spreading disease.

The Algoma Municipal code includes laws that limit cat ownership and prohibit free-roaming cats. Section 9.09  limits the number of pets and section 11.02 3(g) prohibits at large animals.   The Algoma Police Department animal control officer traps free-roaming cats in response to resident complaints.  The cats are held at the Algoma animal shelter for eight days and if not claimed delivered to a local veterinarian who evaluates the cats to determine if they are adoptable as pets.

Public Education

A. Demonstrate that schools in your community participate in a nationally-recognized environmental education program (e.g., Flying WILD, Audubon Adventures) or that your community organizes its own substantial education and outreach program for young people. 

The Bird City Algoma Committee arranged and paid for a “Flying Wild Workshop” to be held at Algoma Elementary School on March 24, 2017. Instructors from the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point traveled to Algoma to present the workshop on a teacher in-service day. In addition to the workshop, the seven participating teachers each received a copy of the curriculum guide Flying WILD: An Educator’s Guide to Celebrating Birds.

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.

The Bird City Algoma website includes a link to information about the Bird City Algoma Commitee's bird bistro effort and supporting information.  That website also links to the International Migratory Bird Day Algoma Bird Celebration archived presentation videos including: “Birdscaping” presented by Karen Newbern of Door County Landscape and Nursery (2017); "Bird Bistros: Plant a Bird Friendly Feast" with Kim Grveles (2016); and "Safe Lawns" with Patrick Fitzgerald (2015).  The Bird City Algoma website and City of Algoma websites provide links to the “Best Practices” section of the Bird City Wisconsin website.  

Bird City Algoma website:

City of Algoma website Bird City link:


C. Demonstrate that your community is represented in at least one citizen science bird monitoring program (e.g., the Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out).

Algoma is included in the Christmas Bird Count. Kewaunee County CBC is centered just south of Alaska Lake 44.5333N, -87.5W which means that the full City of Algoma is included in that count area. The count region ends near the Ahnapee River Trails Campground. Four members of the Bird City Algoma Committee participated in the count.  They spent six hours and covered 46 miles monitoring sites in and around Algoma on January 3rd. They covered the area from the Ahnapee River, south to cover some of the open fields and west to about County D. Thirty-three species were spotted in Algoma.

bluejay………..  12

bufflehead……  4

black duck……  9

Canada geese…  512

cardinal…………    2

chickadee………     12

cedar waxwing….   5

crow……………..    55

eagle, bald……    3

goldfinch………  48

goldeneye……..   65


gull ring billed…   6

gull herring…….  3

hawk, rough leg…  5

hawk,  red tailed…  3

hawk, Cooper’s…..  1

house finch……….  2

junco…………….  27

mallard…………………..… 138

merganser common………  105

merganser red breasted…    5

mourning dove…………….   10

nuthatch white breasted….   5

pine siskin…………………. 12

raven………………………..  2

redpoll……………………….  65

rock dove……………………  5

robin…………………………  1

shrike northern………………. 1

sparrow english……………… 13

sparrow tree ………………….  10

turkey wild…………………….  60

woodpecker downy………….  6

woodpecker hairy……………. 2

woodpecker red bellied……… 2

D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.

The annual Algoma Bird Celebration (ABC) was started in 2015 and also serves as Algoma’s International Migratory Bird Day celebration. The 4th annual 2018 ABC will be on Saturday, April 7, 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. at the Algoma Youth Club.  Information displays and items for sale will be available throughout the day. Children are invited to enjoy free origami and coloring pages in addition to a very special visitor to the children’s area this year.  Children’s book author/illustrator Janet Tlachac-Toonen will be reading stories from her wonderful picture books. Programs begin at 10:00 a.m. starting with Bob Kuhn ‘Getting the Picture’, followed by Don Pritzl from the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin at 11:00.  At 12:30, Kim Diedrich, joined by birds and other creatures from the Green Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, will provide a family friendly program for all ages.  The United Methodist Men will provide lunch, refreshments and snacks. A new item added to the event is a photo contest for all Kewaunee County middle and high school students. Photos of wild birds can be taken anywhere in Kewaunee County.

For more details about the 2018 Algoma Bird Celebration visit the Bird City Algoma website at  Photos and videos of past Algoma Bird Celebrations can also be found on the website under archives.

E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.

The Bird City Algoma Committee has offered a variety of educational opportunities since becoming a Bird City Wisconsin in 2013 in addition to programming at its annual International Migratory Bird Day celebration events described in 4D.

The Bird City Algoma Committee has a display table at the annual Algoma Night Out

The Algoma Night Out event promotes crime prevention and neighborhood camaraderie. Many community organizations host and staff displays at this well attended event. Informational literature about birding, bird habitat and tree maintenance and care are distributed.

The Bird City Algoma Committee does an annual International Migratory Bird Day display at Algoma Public Library.  In 2017, the children's librarian also did a bird storytime the week of Algoma's IMBD celebration event called the Algoma Bird Celebration.  Algoma Public Library’s collection includes magazines, books and online resources on birds and bird-related topics.  

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.

Bird City Algoma website:

City of Algoma website Bird City link:

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.

The annual Algoma Bird Celebration (ABC) described in 4 D of this application celebrates IMBD in Algoma.  Information about the significance of the IMBD effort and supporting materials are distributed from the Bird City Algoma Committee display table and the ABC event always opens with a slideshow highlighting birds sighted in and around Algoma throughout the year by photographer Bob Kuhn.


Photo Gallery

Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 3,167

Incorporated: 1879

Area: 2.51 mi2

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