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 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 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." Algoma Public Works Director 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.  The Algoma Tree Tribute program encourages the donation of trees to the city.

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.

With funding from the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), the Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission treated approximately 1,000 acres of invasive phragmites, wild parsnip and Japanese knotweed in Kewaunee County and worked with the County to establish a permanent management strategy.  More information is available on the Bay-Lake RPC website. Algoma is included in the management area. Kate Nelson, Kewaunee County Conservationist, is also available to provide information and advice.  Kate consulted and assisted with removal of invasives on Algoma's Crescent Beach in 2020. Cathy Pabich, a member of the Bird City Algoma Committee, served on the Kewaunee County Invasive Species Advisory Committee to provide input on developing a county-wide plan

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 2017 and continued into 2020.  See 1I below for details.  Crescent Beach and Boardwalk is an Algoma city park located on the shores of Lake Michigan.

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 and continued throughout 2020. Volunteers removed invasive plants and helped 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. Now that the grant funded portion of the project is complete, FOCB plans to form a volunteer team in 2021 to continue the work based on a professionally prepared maintenance plan developed by Stantec. FOCB joined the Lakeshore Invasive Species Management Area (LISMA) group in 2020.

M. Demonstrate that your community offers a program for private property owners who are interested in dealing with invasive plants that have significant negative impacts on bird habitat.

Bay-Lake Regional Planning Commission invasive species management project is an EPA GLRI funded project to manage phragmites, Japanese knotweed, and wild parsnip in Kewaunee County. This project included two seasons of herbicide treatment on public and private land from 2018-2020. Click here for details.  

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.  New for 2020 was a Bird Bistro gardening project at the Algoma Community Garden where, as reported by community gardener and member of the Bird City Algoma Committee Mary Goodner, work was done during the summer to increase 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.

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.  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 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 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 and from the library’s annual WMBD 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 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.

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); "Safe Lawns" with Patrick Fitzgerald (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.   Eight Bird City Algoma Committee volunteers participated in the most recent count on December 29, 2020.  The volunteers traveled 75 miles and identified 34 species. 

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 serves as Algoma’s World Migratory Bird Day celebration.  This is a day long event with speakers, a display area for community organizations, vendors, food and activities for all ages.  Due to the pandemic the celebration planned for April 2020 was cancelled.  Instead, the committee offered a virtual celebration during the month of September.  At the request of the Bird City Algoma Committee, the City of Algoma proclaimed September as International Migratory Bird Month in Algoma with the City Council's approval of Proclamation 2020-04  which was read by Mayor Schmidt at the September 2020 Council meeting.   Bird photos and stories were solicited for a prize drawing and Facebook posts offered a reminder that videos of past ABC presentations were available on the Bird City Algoma website and encouraged referencing other online information sources.

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

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.

A draft 2021 resolution is attached to this application.  The annual Algoma Bird Celebration (ABC) described in the Public Education section of this application celebrates WMBD in Algoma.  The Bird City Algoma Committee is in the process of developing a plan for the 2021 ABC that would be adaptable to changing public health concerns due to the pandemic.  WMBD will be celebrated in Algoma during 2021, but it is to be determined if it will be in-person or virtual.

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 3,167

Incorporated: 1879

Area: 2.51 mi2

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