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 Bayfield has adopted a smart growth comprehensive plan for 2001 – 2021 and is in compliance with the Wisconsin Smart Growth laws.
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 local park system includes Dalrymple Park and campground, East Dock Park, and Big Ravine Park with the Gil Larsen Nature Trail, all owned by the city. The Bayfield Regional conservancy manages trails on a 35-acre parcel on the edge of the Big Ravine and the Brownstone Trail that follows the old railroad right-of-way leading into Bayfield. The Bayfield Heritage Association manages the Fountain Garden Park at the south entrance to the city. The Bayfield Memorial Park along the city’s lakefront is managed by the Bayfield Civic League.
City ordinances also mandate the protection of park property:
No person shall kill, injure or disturb or attempt to injure or disturb waterfowl, birds or animals, wild or domestic, within any park…No person shall climb any tree or remove flowers or fruit, wild or cultivated, or break, cut down, trample upon, remove or in any manner injure, deface, write upon or ill use any tree, shrub, flower, flower bed, turf, soil, sand, fountain, ornament, building, structure, apparatus, bench, table, official notice, sign or other property within any park.
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.
The City of Bayfield contains the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore Headquarters. This is site #11 on the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail. The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is also listed as one of Wisconsin’s Important Bird Areas.
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.
Bayfield prides itself on being an eco-municipality and one of the greenest communities in Wisconsin. The City and Town of Bayfield have more Travel Green certified businesses than any other community in Wisconsin. The City’s website has a link to an article called “It’s Easy Being Green” that endorses green landscaping for historic properties:
Using native plants in your historic landscape design has benefits that go beyond complementing your building’s historic character, however. Local and regional plantings have evolved and adapted to local climate and conditions. They often perform much better with less water than plantings that have been transported from other locales. There is a term for this approach to landscape design, and it is called xeriscaping. It is the landscape equivalent of the philosophy of sustainable design for buildings. The idea is that in typical conditions the only water these plants should require, after propagation, is that which is supplied by rainfall, and that they are adapted well enough to their environment not to require chemical inputs. Using native plantings has the benefit of helping to maintain the genetic diversity against invasive species, and it also helps to maintain appropriate levels of birds and insects that have evolved in conjunction with the plants.
The website also features a link to an Earth Care publication that encourages city residents to install rain gardens, “These gardens, which are filled with native plants, also become attractive areas of landscaping in home yards, inviting birds, butterflies and other wild species.”
Community Forest Management
A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
Bayfield continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 2000.
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.
The city has an ordinance (126-6 C.) that restricts animals (dogs and cats) from running at large. Brochures to publicize the “Cats Indoors” program that helps educate the public about the problems associated with free roaming cats are available at the public library and city hall. A link to the American Bird Conservancy “Cats Indoors” program has been established on the City's Bird City page.
B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).
The City provides a variety of web links to the following important websites relating to birds and window collisions on its Bird City page.
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 City of Bayfield has been represented in the Christmas Bird Count for 55 years. In 2020, 23 species were documented in the Bayfield area bird count. Over the 55 year history of the count, at least 70 different species have been identified. The local park system includes Dalrymple Park and campground, East Dock Park, and Big Ravine Park with the Gil Larsen Nature Trail, all owned by the city. The Bayfield Regional conservancy manages trails on a 35-acre parcel on the edge of the Big Ravine and the Brownstone Trail that follows the old railroad right-of-way leading into Bayfield. The Bayfield Heritage Association manages the Fountain Garden Park at the south entrance to the city. The Bayfield Memorial Park along the city’s lakefront is managed by the Bayfield Civic League. These areas have been included as part of the WSO Christmas Bird Count for the entire Bayfield area for the past 54 years. Neil Howk was one of the observers monitoring these areas in the last eight counts. Species that were noted on these counts in the City of Bayfield included: Black-capped Chickadees, American Crows, Pine Siskins, Goldfinches, Blue Jays, White-breasted Nuthatches, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Herring Gulls, Common Goldeneyes, Evening Grosbeaks, Pine Grosbeaks, House Sparrows, Mourning Doves, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Bald Eagles, Dark-eyed Juncos, Northern Shrikes, Starlings, Bohemian Waxwings, Northern Cardinals, and a Brown Thrasher.
Unfortunately, the events scheduled to mark International Migratory Bird day in Bayfield were cancelled when the annual Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival was called off due to the pandemic. We hope to hold a scaled down or a virtual event in 2021.
The Bayfield Area Trails group extended the Gil Larsen Trail and link it with the East Rim Trail along the top of the Big Ravine in the City of Bayfield. A native plant garden was established at the Washington Avenue trailhead to the Gil Larsen Trail and work crews helped clear out invasive species along the beginning of that trail. A grant from Bird City Wisconsin is also paying for one of the interpretive signs that will be installed at the trailhead in 2021. Research and design of the sign is complete and it is ready for fabrication.
D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.
Bayfield hosts several of the events included in the annual Chequamegon Bay Birding and Nature Festival. Bird hikes are held along the Brownstone Trail in the city, at the Bayfield Fish Hatchery just south of Bayfield, scientists present talks about birds at the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore headquarters, and the Stockton Island cruise departs from the Bayfield city dock.
The City of Bayfield has been recognized as a Green Tier Legacy Community since the pilot in 2010. The City of Bayfield, along with four other communities, was listed as one of the first Legacy Communities! There is a link on our Eco Municipality page at http://www.cityofbayfield.com/eco-municipality.html
E. Show that your community has implemented a sustainability plan that improves your community’s energy efficiency and/or increases the use of renewable energy. (Exclusions: Smart Growth comprehensive plans)
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 City of Bayfield has been working with SolSmart which is a national designation program designed to recognize communities that have taken key steps to address local barriers to solar energy and foster the growth of mature local solar markets. In December 2017 the City of Bayfield was awarded a Bronze status designation and is striving to work towards Silver and eventually Gold. A map of the communities can be found on the SolSmart website http://www.solsmart.org/our-communities/designee-map/
International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)
A. This community's municipal body passed the required International Migratory Bird Day resolution.
Typically, the City of Bayfield celebrates International Migratory Bird Day in May with two bird walks within the City of Bayfield limits where partcipants watch and listen for birds. However, the City of Bayfield cancelled the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic to limit groups of people congregating. Neil Howk, observer, still went out to document and observe birds on his own. The City of Bayfield plans on having either a scaled down or virtual event in 2021.