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. Policies listed under the plan’s “Agricultural, Natural, and Cultural Resources” goals include

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 Tree Planting-Maintenance-Removal section 8.09(1) of the City of Algoma Municipal Code declares it to be the policy of the City “to regulate and control planting, maintenance, removal and protection of trees, shrubs and plants within all public areas”. In 2014 Mayor Schmidt appointed two members of the Bird City Algoma Committee, Dale Goodner and Cathy Pabich, to serve on the Tree Management Committee which operates under 1(1)(f) of this code section. The purpose of this committee is to “promote and preserve the urban forest within the City of Algoma.” The Bird City Algoma Committee is grateful to have representation on a committee that 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 received a 2017 Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Grant matching grant for $15,202.15. Projects include: 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; public service announcements on good tree care practices on the local cable television station; working with the Algoma Public Library to highlight and improve on the 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.

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.

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 affiliated with the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership. 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.

V. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

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. In its first year, nine gardeners participated including a high school science teacher who worked with her students to create a “Bird Bistro” at Algoma High School. Committee members Mary Goodner and Cathy Pabich installed the first “Bird Bistro” on city property at the Algoma Public Library.  

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. Arbor Day Foundation Tree City USA listing

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.

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 several community events, including: Algoma’s Night Out, Algoma Bird Celebration (the City’s IMBD celebration), and on the Library’s annual IMBD display.

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 was distributed at the same events and locations listed under Category 3 A. above.

L. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

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. According to Mike Decur, Public Works Director, his department uses no chemicals on turf and continues to drag the beach in the summer to aerate the sand and avoid the accumulation of Cladophora.

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.

Both the Bird City Algoma and City of Algoma websites provide links to the “Best Practices” section of the Bird City Wisconsin website.

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 our Bird City Algoma Committee participated this year by monitoring sites in and around Algoma on January 3, 2017. Thirty-three species were spotted in Algoma.

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 under Category 5.

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.

Annual Algoma Public Library Migratory Bird Display

Algoma Public Library’s collection includes magazines, books and online resources on birds and bird-related topics.

2016:  Coordinated a library program on the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas.

Bird City Algoma and Friends of Crescent Beach volunteers demonstrate proper mulching techniques to preserve tree health to City employees (2015). A Bird City Algoma member donated a copy of Birdscaping in the Midwest to the Parks and Recreation Department for their reference (2015).

Elementary School Bird Program for Third Graders (2014)

The Bird City Algoma Committee was invited to participate in a morning of educational programming about birds for Algoma Elementary School’s third graders on May 9, 2014. Bird City Algoma Committee members Dale Goodner, Mary Goodner and Cathy Pabich organized a session about birding and bird habitat in and around Algoma and  gave each student informational literature about feeding birds and the dangers of free roaming cats. Third grade teacher Chuck Bretl arranged for each student to build a birdhouse. A representative from Open Door Bird Sanctuary in Jacksonport also spoke.

Algoma Public Library hosted a Wisconsin Stopover Initiative traveling exhibit. (2014)

Kim Grveles, Wisconsin DNR Wisconsin Stopover Initiative, led a bird walk in and around Algoma. (2014)

N. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

Through his wildlife photography Bird City Algoma Committee member Bob Kuhn continues to make significant scientific and educational contributions by submitting photos to the DNR. Bob’s bird photos continue to be featured in the local newspaper, Kewaunee County Star-News “Snapshots Spotlight” feature. Bob’s efforts along with the cooperation of the Star-News greatly enhance awareness of birds and the importance of bird conservation in our community and beyond.

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) was started in 2015 and serves as Algoma’s International Migratory Bird Day celebration. The 3rd annual ABC will be on April 8, 2017. In prior years the Bird City Algoma Committee partnered with the Algoma Main Street Program to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day in Algoma at the annual Dig-In Garden Show.

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Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 3,167

Incorporated: 1879

Area: 2.51 mi2

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