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 in December of 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 expansion 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 Urban Forestry ordinance, Algoma Municipal Code Chapt. 16, Article II. - Urban Forestry, states the purpose of the ordinance is “to regulate and control the planting, maintenance and protection of trees and shrubs in all public areas of the city." The ordinance promotes new tree growth and proper grooming of trees on public and private property.  Algoma City Adminstrator Matt Murphy has completed the DNR Tree Trimming and Pruning and Safety Certification which supports the maintenance of a healthy urban forest in Algoma.  A 2017 street tree survey by Ranger Services Inc. showed that street tree planting sites are 75% stocked.  The 2017 "Street Tree Management Plan Update" and "Urban Forestry Management Plan: Parks Risk Tree Assessment" prepared by Ranger Services Inc. and funded by an Urban Forestry grant from the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forestry Program lays out a five year tree management plan for the city including the identification of planting sites.  

During 2022, 250 Burr Oak trees were planted at Peterson Park, an Algoma city park which lost many trees to EAB.  Additional trees will be planted at Peterson Park in spring of 2023: 1 Eastern Red Bud; 2 Early Glow Buckeye; 2 Yellow Buckeye; 1 Cucumber Tree Magnolia; 6 Hackberry; 1 Crimson Sunset Maple; 12 Sugar Maple; 2 Sterling Silver Lindens; 5 Black Walnut; 2 Northern Catalpa; 5 Northern Yellow Birch; 7 Paper Birch; 5 White Oak; 12 Red Oak.  

In December of 2022 the city approved a new tree planting program.  Using Urban Forestry grant funding, the city will establish a tree replacement list for those who have a tree removed from their tree lawn. The property owner will be able to pick a tree that they would like planted and it will be planted by the City, using these grant funds, in an area agreed upon by the owner and the city. Once the tree is planted it would be the responsibility of the owner to maintain and care for the tree. The tree would belong to the property owner.  Some tree removal areas are no longer appropriate for replanting.  This program will maintain the city's urban forest by supporting planting on more appropriate sites on nearby private property.

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

Algoma Muncipal Code, Chapter 26, Article I, Section 16-1 Landscape Maintenance, subsection (b)(2)-(7) describes 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.

Public information is part of the Friends of Crescent Beach "Crescent Crew" volunteer effort described in section 1I of this application.  Crescent Crew receive training and information about invasive plant control as part of this volunteer effort.  Crescent Crew t-shirts are worn by volunteers while they are at work on the beach.  Beach visitors strolling the boardwalk bordering the restoration areas often stop and ask questions about the project which provides an opportunity for volunteers to engage with the public about invasive species.  In addition, many of the volunteers apply what they have learned to their own properties.  Friends of Crescent Beach shares information about controlling invasives at public events, Algoma World Migratory Bird Celebration and Algoma Night Out.  Friends of Crescent Beach is a member of the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA) group.

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.

Crescent Beach is the 7.5 acre, 3/4 mile long Lake Michigan beach along the eastern border of the City of Algoma.  The beach is a city park.  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 2017 and is ongoing.  See 1I below for details.  In 2021 FOCB in cooperation with the Algoma Area Chamber of Commerce provided volunteer labor and native plants and bushes to add to the landscaped area next to the Algoma Visitor Center which is located on the bluff overlooking Crescent Beach.  The group continued to maintain the area through 2022.  

The City of Algoma along with LNRP and FOCB is currently engaged in a planning process to restore natural areas at Olson Park, located on the banks of the Ahnapee River.  WI Coastal Management grant funds have been received to support the project (Green Bay Press Gazette article about grant announcement.)

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) coordinated 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 FOCB. The overall project goal is to stabilize the shoreline and restore a diverse natural dune habitat by controlling non-native, invasive species and establishing native vegetative cover on the southern portion of Crescent Beach. The project was initiated in 2017.  Volunteers remove invasive plants and help to plant beach grass and native shrubs.  Over 15,000 beach grass plugs have been planted as well as Juniperus communis (common juniper), Juniperus horizontalis (creeping juniper) and Dasiphora fruticose (shrubby cinquefoil). One area was also seeded with a native plant mix. The group also purchased informational signage for the restoration areas. This is an ongoing effort. In 2021 FOCB formed the volunteer Crescent Crew restoration team to maintain and continue the work based on a professionally prepared maintenance plan developed by Stantec. Crescent Crew volunteers meet weekly May through September for one hour sessions to do weeding and plantings.  Twenty-two volunteers signed up to participate for a planting event and the weekly sessions.  154 volunteer hours were recorded for 2021.  465 native flowering plants were added to the restoration area in 2021.  964 native plants were added in 2022 supported by 160 volunteer hours.

N. Show that your community works on public lands to control invasive species that have significant negative impacts on bird habitat.

See section 1I for information about the restoration effort being carried out by Friends of Crescent Beach that includes identification and removal of invasive plants from Crescent Beach and Boardwalk, a city of Algoma park.  

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” effort to encourage bird friendly gardening practices and habitat creation in city yards, on business property and in public spaces. There are bird bistro gardens at the Algoma High School and Algoma Public Library as well as in residential yards. Beginning in 2020, there has been a Bird Bistro gardening project at the Algoma Community Garden where Bird City Algoma Committee member Mary Goodner has increased the diversity of native plants in the butterfly garden by adding New England Asters, Monarda, Coreopsis and Gay Feather.  Pathways were reconfigured and re-woodchipped, and in doing so, Black-eyed Susans were removed and replanted at the Algoma Library Bird Bistro, adding more diversity to that planting as well.  Bird City Algoma Committee volunteers maintain the library Bird Bistro garden area. Free native plants grown at the community garden have also been distributed to the public. Bird Bistro information is available on the Bird City Algoma website. The Bird City Algoma Committee promotes this activity with displays at community events and programming in addition to the plant give-aways. Videos of past bird friendly gardening programs are available on the Bird City Algoma website.   

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 Administrator Matt Murphy has completed the Wisconsin Community Tree Management Institute and Public Services Manager Casey Groessl has completed part 1 of the three part class.

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 purchased by the Bird City Algoma Committee are available for free on the pamphlet rack at Algoma City Hall and at Algoma Public Library. The Bird City Algoma Committee distributes the brochures at Algoma events and from the library’s annual WMBD celebration display.  Copies of the brochure have also been provided to the Algoma Police Department 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).

American Bird Conservancy flyers on preventing window strikes have been purchased by the Bird City Algoma Committee and are available for free on the pamphlet rack at Algoma City Hall and at Algoma Public Library. The Bird City Algoma Committee distributes the flyer at community events.

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 Chapter 6 - Animals, ARTICLE I includes laws that limit cat ownership and prohibit free-roaming cats.    The Algoma Police Department animal control officer traps free-roaming cats in response to resident complaints.  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” funded by the Bird City Algoma Committee in 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.  Penny describes the students' most recent efforts as follows: At the Algoma Middle/High School, students were involved in creating and maintaining a 40' x 40' Pollinator Plot in collaboration with the Fish and Wildlife / Pheasants Forever Office in Green Bay.  Approximately 45 different native species were planted to attract and create a habitat for pollinators.  Students were involved in planting the seeds during the fall of 2020.  Students now utilize the plot as they observe nature and learn about pollinators and the insects that provide nourishment for our migratory and residential birds.

The Bird City Algoma Committee also donated $100.00 to Algoma Public Library for the purchase of children's and young adult books about birds or nature appreciation, fiction or non-fiction, to honor the memory of their committee member Jane Kuhn. The library incorporated some of the books into a story time program about birds.

 The Bird City Algoma Committee also partnered with Algoma Public Library on grab and go kit activities.  The committee provided a craft, packets of native plant seeds and informational handouts to include in a bird themed kit and packets of butterfly weed seeds to include in a butterfly themed kit.

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 provides links to the Bird City Algoma Commitee's archived WMBD programs including those on bird friendly landscaping: ‘Butterfly Garden’ with native plants with speaker Karen Newbern of Door County Landscape and Nursery (2019);  Don Pritzl 'Saving the Bluebird' (2018);  “Birdscaping” presented by Karen Newbern of Door County Landscape and Nursery (2017); "Bird Bistros: Plant a Bird Friendly Feast" with Kim Grveles (2016); Bird-Arachnid Connections with speaker Dr. Michael Draney (2015).  The City of Algoma website has Bird City links under the "Residents" heading that offer information about Bird City Algoma activities as well as resources on the Bird City Wisconsin website.  Bird City Algoma also posts information on its Facebook site.

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 (CBC). 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.  Bird City Algoma Committee volunteers participate in the count annually.  On December 28, 2022 six volunteers identified 34 bird species in the Algoma count area.  

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

Since first applying for Bird City Wisconsin recognition in 2013 the Bird City Algoma Committee has presented an annual World Migratory Bird Day celebration. This is a daylong event with speakers, a display area for community organizations, vendors, food and activities for all ages. The 2022 celebration was held on May 14th.  Charlotte Lukes, Door County nature writer and inductee into the Wisconsin Conservation Hall of Fame, was a featured speaker.  Charlotte provided a presentation about how to attract, feed and house birds.  Local nature photographer, John Walch, presented the program 'Birding by the Lakeshore', highlighting local birdwatching opportunities.  The Open Door Bird Sanctuary was on hand with live birds.   

F. Demonstrate that your community understands the critical ecological role of pollinators by documenting your Bee City USA status or by describing another substantial effort to promote pollinator health (for ideas visit the Xerxes Society and the Pollinator Partnership).

See the description of the Algoma School District pollinator plot in section 4A.  The Bird City Algoma "Bird Bistro" movement encourages native plant gardening that supports pollinator health.  While Algoma is not an official "no mow May" community, in spring of 2022, the Bird City Algoma Committee promoted a "Slow the Mow" effort to encourage residents to allow grass to grow unmown for the month of May to create habitat for early season pollinators.  Algoma students conducted their own study at the school pollinator garden which illustrated that mowing could be delayed and lawn heights still be in compliance the city ordinance.

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

Energy & Sustainability

A. Document an energy audit for a municipal building and show that your community is working to implement its recommendations.

According to City Administrator Matt Murphy, the city is currently working with Focus on Energy on an energy audit for the Algoma Waste Water Treatment Facility.

F. Demonstrate that your community participates in a community solar program or that a municipal building receives a significant percentage of its electricity from renewable energy.

The Algoma School District installed a 185 kW-dc solar photovoltaic fixed-tilt ground-mount system at Algoma High School. The project will generate 253 megawatt-hours of solar energy annually, saving the district money on its annual utility costs and increasing sustainability by offsetting an estimated 38.5% of the facility’s annual electricity consumption.   Peninsula Pulse news article on Algoma School District installation of solar panels.

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.

The Bird City Algoma Committee will hold its daylong event on Saturday, April 29, 2023 with speakers and the opportunity for local organizations and businesses to offer display tables.  Local nature photographer, John Walch, will highlight local birdwatching opportunities.  Raptor Education Group, Inc. (REGI) will be on hand with live birds.  Plans are in progress for a third program.  Speakers will be informed of the WMDB theme and information relevant to the theme will be offered at the Bird City Algoma display/welcome table.  New this year, the Bird City Algoma Committee will also be offering a school WMBD program in cooperation with Algoma teachers on Friday, April 28.  Open Door Bird Sanctuary will present a live bird program and other activities are being planned by students and teachers.  The goal of this school program is to increase our outreach to youth.  

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 3,167

Incorporated: 1879

Area: 2.51 mi2

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