Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Algoma

City of Algoma

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 andprotection 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.

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

The 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. A member of the Bird City Algoma Committee serves on the Tree Management Committee. The Tree Managment Committee has a key role in maintaining and adding to bird habitat. Throughout 2018 the Tree Management Committee worked on projects to meet the requirements of an Urban Forestry Grant awarded to the City in 2017 with a focus on improving the diversity of tree species.  Twelve trees were planted in 2018 including: hackberry; ironwood; serviceberry; red oak; and white spruce.

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.

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.

With funding from the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Iniative (GLRI), the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission will treat at least 1,000 acres of invasive phragmites, wild parsnip and Japanese knotweed in Kewaunee County in 2018 and 2019 and help the County to establish a permanent management strategy.  Parts of Algoma were included in the 2018 treatment area.  More information available on the Bay-Lake RPC website .

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.   A restoration project on the south end of Crescent Beach funded by grants secured by LNRP began in 2018 and will continue into 2019.  See 1I below for details.


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), a member of the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership (LNRP) is coordinating a project to restore wildlife habitat and native plants on the south end of Crescent Beach.  Stantec Consulting Services, Inc. was hired with grant funds secured by LNRP to create, coordinate and implement the plan with the assistance of Algoma Parks and Recreation and Public Works Departments and volunteers organized by Friends of Crescent Beach.   During 2018 removal of invasive and non-native plants continued and in October of 2018 a planting project brought over 40 volunteers to the beach to plant beach grass and native bushes.  The restoration area was also seeded for native plants.  Three thousand dune grass plugs, 6 Juniperus communis (common juniper), 10 Juniperus horizontalis (creeping juniper) and 6 Dasiphora fruticose (shrubby cinquefoil) were planted.  In addition, the City of Algoma has contracted with Smithgroup to consult on the restoration of the north end of Crescent Beach.  That project was awarded Fund for Lake Michigan and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding and planning efforts are currently in progress.

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 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.  Free New England aster and coneflower plants were distributed at the night out event. The Bird Bistro Project and Algoma Public Library co-hosted the program "Compost Tea: A Healthy Lawn Care Alternative" with speaker John Meredith, RLA, BSLA, ASLA on May 5, 2018 attended by 15 people.

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 is included in Tree City USA Directory on the Arbor Day Foundation website.

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.  

F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The Algoma Tribute Tree program solicits donations to help the City increase tree plantings on public property.  The program has been in existence since 2007.  Three tribute trees were planted in 2018.  The Tribute Tree program brochure includes a recommended tree list that promotes the selection of diverse tree species.  The list was updated in 2018 with the assistance of arborist Dan Traas of Ranger Services.

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.  The Bird City Algoma Committee has provided copies of the American Bird Conservancy’s “Cats, Birds, and You” brochures to the Algoma Police Department's animal control officer for distribution to people retrieving their cats from the city animal shelter.

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. 

Seven Algoma School District teachers were trained in a  “Flying Wild Workshop” 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.  The Bird City Algoma Committee works closely with science teacher, Penny Lemberger, to provide native plant gardening tours, advice and plants for the students' native plant garden located on school grounds.

The  Bird City Algoma Committee also works with local schools to create awareness and interest by offering a bird photo contest

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. Six 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 3, 2019. Thirty-five species were sighted.  The volunteers covered about 2 miles by foot and 45 miles by car over a 7-hour period.

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 ABC was held on Saturday, April 7, 2018 from 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. at the Algoma Youth Club.  Information displays and items for sale were available throughout the day. Children were invited to enjoy free origami and coloring pages in addition to a very special visitor to the children’s area, children’s book author/illustrator Janet Tlachac-Toonen. Programs began at 10:00 a.m. starting with Bob Kuhn "Getting the Picture’: Song birds, Shore birds, Waterfowl" 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, provided a family friendly program for all ages.  The United Methodist Men provided lunch, refreshments and snacks. A new item added to the event was a photo contest for all Kewaunee County middle and high school students.  Students competed with photos of wild birds taken anywhere in Kewaunee County.  The 2019 ABC will be held on Saturday, April 6 at the Algoma Youth Club from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Bob Kuhn will return with his "Getting the Picture" program.  Open Door Bird Sanctuary will provide its "Hunters of the Sky" raptor program and Karen Newbern, of Door County Landscape, will speak about butterfly gardening.  Sales of bird related products, information tables provided by local organizations, activities and food will be available throughout the day.

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

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

The Bird City Algoma Committee offers a variety of educational opportunities at its annual International Migratory Bird Day celebration events described in 4D.  In addition to programming, organizations such as Wild Ones, the Algoma Community Garden, Friends of Crescent Beach, Algoma Tree Management Committee, Friends of the Algoma Public Library Book Corner used book store, the  Bluebird Restoration Association and local plant nurseries have information tables at the event. 

The Bird City Algoma Committee has a display table at the Algoma Bird Celebration and 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 2018, the children's librarian working with a member of the Bird City Algoma Committee also did a bird storytime the week of Algoma's IMBD 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.

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 3,167

Incorporated: 1879

Area: 2.51 mi2

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