Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Brookfield

City of Brookfield

Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring

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)

In 2013, Brookfield acquired an additional 0.34 acres of wetlands for park and conservation use. On Nov. 15, 2011, the City of Brookfield adopted and approved the transfer of ownership and related conservation easements between Brookfield and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) stemming from Brookfield’s Wetlands Acquisition Fund. The easement of these newly acquired properties provides an additional 50+ acres of habitat for parks and forestry conservation.

D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.

The 2013 summary of their Open Space Plan explicitly mentions that environmental corridors and isolated natural resource areas should be protected by public acquisition or zoning.

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.

The City of Brookfield's website has information on the control and removal of invasive species.

Community Forest Management

A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.

The City of Brookfield continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1998.

Limiting or Removing Threats to Birds

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 handout "You Can Save Birds from Flying into Windows" is being offered to residents at three Civic Center locations. There are also a number of wildlife links on the City’s website.

C. Show that your municipality practices Integrated Pest Management, using natural pest control and the best available science to minimize pesticide and herbicide use.

One of the goals of the Parks Recreation & Forestry Department is to manage the Parks and city vegetation in a manner that increases the value of real property and improves the quality of life in the City of Brookfield. To accomplish this, the department uses a variety of tools and techniques. One of these tools is pesticides.

     Pesticides are used to protect the city’s landscape assets from loss due to diseases, insects, weeds and other pests, and to maintain the parks in a condition that is expected by the users. Pesticide use is governed by federal and state laws and regulations which the division complies with at all times. In addition, it is the department’s position that a responsible approach to pesticide use in the landscape is essential and desirable. Therefore the department holds to three fundamental concepts in its pest control operations.

     First, the department follows a “least use” policy. It strives to minimize the need for pesticides by using a holistic approach known as The Plant Health Care Management System or PHC. PHC is a strategy that utilizes all available management techniques together, rather than separately, to maintain plant health. These tools and techniques may include proper plant selection, tolerance of low pest levels, use of resistant plant varieties, improvement of the environment, alteration of maintenance procedures, use of mechanical controls and use of chemical controls. PHC minimizes the need for pesticides, but they are still a necessary component of a PHC program. It must be recognized that the suburban landscape can be an artificial environment. The pest control systems that exist in natural settings can be missing here. To maintain the parks and environment at the level desired by the residents, there is sometimes no alternative but to use pesticides.

     Second, the department follows a “least risk” policy when selecting and using any pesticide. This policy states: “If a pest control action involving a pesticide is deemed necessary, the department will use the pesticide or formulation posing the least risk to applicators, the public and non-target organisms which still provides adequate control of the pest.” If the department determines that a particular pesticide poses too great a risk regardless of safety precautions taken, it will discontinue use of that pesticide even if an equally effective alternative does not exist. As a result of this policy, parks and recreation has reduced its use of traditional pesticides in a favor of “bio-rational” pesticides such as soaps, horticultural oils and biologicals.

     Third, the department provides extensive training to its application personnel to assure that a pesticide is applied safely and correctly. The department requires that all full time employees be certified as pesticide applicators by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection in category 3.0 (landscape and ornamental). Each crew is given a training session prior to any spray operation detailing requirements and procedures specific to that particular program or pesticide.

     The department recognizes that the public has a right to know when and what pesticides are being used. The department routinely provides the public with information about its spray programs through press releases to the media whenever a major pest control operation begins. State law now requires the posting of small signs on treated areas following pesticide applications. Large signs are used where there is the possibility of higher concentrations of people.

     Brookfield, Parks, Recreation & Forestry believes that pesticides plan an integral part in the management of park vegetation. Reductions in pesticide use can be achieved through alternative management techniques. However, indiscriminate reduction or elimination of pesticides will have three serious potential consequences:

Pest control will be significantly more expensive because of the inefficiency of alternative methods and the increased labor, equipment and material costs of those methods. A lower quality landscape will result and therefore a decreased level of service will be achieved because the effects of alternative methods tend to be less uniform and complete. Greater losses of landscape plants, turf, and their associated benefits will result where no or inadequate non-chemical pest control methods exist.

In summary, the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department takes an approach to pesticides that reflects the current demands and concerns of the residents of the City of Brookfield, while continuing to be responsive to changes in public opinion, governmental policy, and environmental technology. The department remains a leader in safe and environmentally sound management of the parks and city landscape.

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.

Brookfield makes its conservation-oriented web links easier to find than many community web sites. Click on "Residents" then "Wildlife in Brookfield" and you find a lot of good links and information.

To enhance appreciation and maintenance of backyard habitat, the site provides several web links. You can find information on bird identification, how-to's (such as preventing bird window strikes), and other useful articles on protecting the environment. These links follow:

Bird City Wisconsin
Elmbrook Humane Society
Wisconsin Metro Audubon Society
Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative
Wisconsin Society for Ornithology
American Bird Conservancy
University of Wisconsin Extension
National Wildlife Federation

E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.

The Elmbrook School District’s Nature Center (where Brookfield held its first two IMBD events) has had a longstanding practice of offering students an opportunity to study birds in their natural habitats as well as other plant and wild life topics. Brookfield Elementary and Burleigh Elementary regularly have field trips to the Nature Center, generally in the months of April and May but even in December.

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 first Saturday in June (7:30 am – 12:00 pm), the City of Brookfield celebrates IMBD at the Brookfield Farmer’s Market in a cooperative effort with the Village of Elm Grove, another Bird City. The educational event allows residents to learn about birds, ask questions about backyard habitat and plants, and pick up helpful articles on birds in our area. Over the past several years the IMBD in Brookfield has been held at the Brookfield Farmer’s Market to garner increased interest and awareness of the importance for caring for the wildlife in their community. The majority of vendors for this specific Saturday are related to birds.

Joined Bird City: 2010

Population: 37,982

Incorporated: 1854

Area: 27.59 mi2

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