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 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”.   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.

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 Initiative (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 and help 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.  Algoma's Friends of Crescent Beach Committee, a watershed partner in the Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership, offered the program “Bridging the Gap: Vital Steps for Invasive Species Management and Habitat Restoration in Kewaunee County” with speaker, Kate Nelson, from Kewaunee County Land and Water Conservation Department on May 22, 2019 at Knudson Hall in the Algoma Community Center building as part of the Friends of Crescent Beach “Art of Water” month speaker series.  Projects underway in Kewaunee County regarding invasive species and habitat improvement projects, as well as education and resources for landowners were included in this free, public program.

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 continued 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 FOCB.   The project was initiated in 2018 and continued throughout 2019.  Invasive and non-native plants were removed.  To date a total of 72 community volunteers have helped to plant beach grass and native shrubs.  Approximately 10,000 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. In addition, the City of Algoma has contracted with Smithgroup to consult on a restoration/storm drain mitigation project on the north end of Crescent Beach.  That project is awarded Fund for Lake Michigan and Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding and planning efforts are currently in progress.

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 will include two seasons of herbicide treatment on public and private land from 2018-2020.  Details are available at

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 now bird bistro gardens at the Algoma High School and Algoma Public Library.  Bird Bistro information is offered at the Bird City Algoma display table at the Algoma Bird Celebration and Algoma Night Out.  75 free New England aster plants were distributed at the 2019 night out event.  The Bird City Algoma Committee has made it a practice to offer at least one gardening program at its annual IMBD Algoma Bird Celebration.  The 2019 program focused on using native plants in your landscape to attract butterflies presented by speaker Karen Newbern of Door County Landscape and Nursery.

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.  A tribute tree dedicated to the Algoma Class of 2027 was planted for the annual Arbor Day Celebration in May of 2019. 

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” 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.

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 efforts and supporting information.  That website suggests visiting the resources on the Bird City Wisconsin website and links to Algoma's International Migratory Bird Day (Algoma Bird Celebration) archived presentation videos including: ‘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), as well as Bird Bistro information.  The City of Algoma website has a Bird City link under the Residents heading and offers information about our activities as well as the link to the resources 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 Bird City Algoma Committee volunteers participated in the most recent count on January 3, 2020.  The volunteers traveled 53 miles by car and 1 mile on foot.  Twenty-six species were identified.  


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 International Migratory Bird Day celebration. The 5th annual ABC was held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 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 crafts 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 an opportunity to meet live owls, hawks and falcons at the family friendly ‘Hunters of the Sky’ program provided by Open Door Bird Sanctuary.   A ‘Butterfly Garden’ program with speaker Karen Newbern of Door County Landscape and Nursery completed the programming for the day. The United Methodist Men provided lunch, refreshments and snacks. Middle and high school students competed in a photo contest with photos of wild birds taken anywhere in Kewaunee County.  The 2019 celebration acknowledged the WMBD theme "Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution" with a display of "plastic art" made by 5th graders (using the activity sheet idea from the WMBD online resources list) and offering a free prize basket drawing for each child that signed a plastic pledge form.  The 2020 ABC will be held on Saturday, April 18 at the Algoma Youth Club from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Sales of bird related products, information tables provided by local organizations, activities and food will be available throughout the day.  Bob Kuhn will be back with his program on song birds, shore birds and waterfowl spotted in the area, Open Door Bird Sanctuary will again present a family friendly live bird presentation and Charlotte Lukes, well known Door County naturalist will speak about how to attract, feed and house birds using native plants.

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 2019" 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, 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. Algoma Public Library story times the week before the celebration feature stories and activities about birds.  Bird City Algoma places a tabletop display at the library during the month of April.  The display highlights Algoma Public Library’s resources which include magazines, books and online resources on birds and bird-related topics.  The Bird City Algoma Committee has donated books to improve the library's collection.

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.



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 on the current theme are distributed from the Bird City Algoma Committee display table and on display around the venue.  The "Birds Connect Our World" theme will be used on the event poster and other promotional materials.  Free IMBD coloring pages downloaded from the WMBD website are distributed to children.  The ABC event always opens with a slideshow highlighting birds sighted in and around Algoma throughout the year by photographer Bob Kuhn.  Handouts on bird migration will be offered.

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 3,167

Incorporated: 1879

Area: 2.51 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Bird City Facebook Page

Community Tourism Page

Community Map