Village of Brown Deer

Village of Brown Deer

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 Village of Brown Deer has completed and published a comprehensive plan, entitled “Village of Brown Deer Comprehensive Plan 2030.” This document serves as a guide for future Village land use decisions and contains the nine required elements of the state of Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law. An update to the Comprehensive Plan is currently underway and scheduled to be adopted in May 2023.

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

The second chapter of the Village of Brown Deer’s Comprehensive Plan specifically addresses the need to identify, protect, and enhance the Village’s natural resources and habitats. It describes the relative scarcity of habitats due to decades of development, and the need to protect those that remain. The chapter also includes a listing of natural resource goals and specific objectives to satisfy those goals. Objective 1.5 identifies the need to promote an increase in the urban tree canopy and Village street tree population. Later in the chapter, the Village delineates recommendations for natural resources and specifically identifies the need to promote natural area restoration. This includes measures to connect isolated natural areas wherever possible and to work with private landowners to control or eradicate invasive species encroaching upon those natural habitats.

The Village also developed a Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (CORP) that includes specific recommendations protecting avian habitats. The Department of Natural Resources approved this plan in January 2016, qualifying the Village to apply for state and federal aids to improve green spaces and open space programming. Chapter 7 of this document is dedicated to the goals and objectives identified by the community to improve natural areas and public recreation resources. Goal #9 calls on the Village to “protect, enhance, and restore natural environments and historic and cultural resources associated with Village parks, playfields, trails, and open spaces.” Each goal is accompanied by “supporting objectives.” Goal #9’s “Supporting Objectives” are listed as follows:

  • Restore, protect, and enhance Natural Areas (this includes wetlands, woodlands, and grasslands).
  • Protect riparian lands along waterways.
  • Manage invasive species.
  • Identify, protect, and enhance natural habitats for native plant and animal species identified in the Comprehensive Plan (Table 2.1) as endangered or rare in Milwaukee County.

E. Describe your community’s ordinance demonstrating that your community does not restrict natural/native landscaping that emphasizes native plants and non-turf lawns.

Section 38-3 (d)(4)(e) of the Village’s Code of Ordinances specifies that regulation of lawns and uncut grass will not apply to any natural lawn or land managed to preserve or restore native Wisconsin grasses, forbs, trees, shrubs, wildflowers, or aquatic plants.

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 Village of Brown Deer maintains a public kiosk containing literature, brochures, pamphlets, and flyers to promote public health and education. The Village currently provides the public with brochures concerning the management and monitoring of West Nile Virus and also brochures detailing efforts to contain the Emerald Ash Borer. The Village of Brown Deer will also update the Village website to include links to information on ways to improve backyard habitat for birds, reduce bird/window collisions, and to prevent or reduce invasive species. The Village website also provides information on invasive plant species like Dutch Elm Disease, Oak Wilt, Garlic Mustard, and Emerald Ash Borer.

I. Document a recent project that created or restored bird habitat in your community. (Exclusions: Bird feeders and small-scale artificial nesting structures)

In 2019 the Village naturalized another section of Beaver Creek a tributary of the Milwaukee River. As a part of this naturalization the concrete lining of the channel was removed and replaced with native vegetation that will provide habitat for birds and other wlidlife.  This effort is the third such naturalization effort along Beaver Creek bringing our total lineal distance over 1 mile of newly naturalized habitat. Another stream bank stabilization project is scheduled for 2023 along Beaver Creek.

L. Show that your community has restored at least two acres of woodlands, wetlands, or prairie.

The Village acquired 2 acres of excess right of way from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) for the creation of a new public park adjacent to the Milwaukee River. Badger Meter River Park, preserved the river bank and associated native vegetation while making it publicly accessible . The park also has been landscaped with indigenous wildflowers and tree species that provide habitat for birds, whereas before the land was dirt and gravel covered often used a staging ground for DOT construction projects. The Village is seeking to partner with the YMCA and Audubon Society to open access to 60 plus acres of adjacent land which will be preserved and restored and provide for hiking and birding opportunities. A new one acre park along the Oak Leaf Trail is currently in final planning stages. This site is a redevelopment of a formaer railroad storage yard.

U. Show that your community maximizes the value of right-of-way space (e.g., power lines, pipelines, etc.) by planting them with native grasses, shrubs, herbs, and other prairie/grassland plants.

The Village has naturalized three sections (to date) of Beaver Creek a tributary of the Milwaukee River. These sections were previously concrete lined and heavily eroded with some intrusion of invasive species. The Village restored the natural flow and meander of the waterway while removing concrete and invasives and replacing with native vegetation. Similar efforts were conducted along two drainage easements that led to Beaver Creek and Southbranch Creek respectively. Finally, the Village recently reconstructed W. Bradley Road and created a new green bioswale median that captures stormwater runoff before going into the storm sewer system. The bioswales are planted with native vegetation to help absorb pollutants and excess water and replace one concrete travel lane. In 2022, the new Village librabry parking was redone with biolswales, pervious pavement and planted with native vegetation.

Community Forest Management

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

The Village of Brown Deer continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1997 and looks forward to continuing their dedication to forest management.

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).

The Village continues to provide free copies of the American Bird Conservancy brochure, “You Can Save Birds from Flying into Windows!” to the public. Copies are distributed via a kiosk at the Village Hall, and more are distributed at the public library.

Energy & Sustainability

A. Document an energy audit for a municipal building and show that your community is working to implement its recommendations.

The Village undertook a complete mechanical systems analysis with Bray Architects in 2016.  This analysis included all municipal buildings including the Library, Public Works Facility and Village Hall.  A final report was prepared that included recommendations for improved mechanical efficiencies and energy savings.  A major recommendation was for the building of a new Public Works facility that would utilize all new mechanicals and energy efficient devices. Construction of the new facility is complete and was awarded recognition by the Wisconsin Focus on Energy program. An additional plan recommendation to update Village Hall lighting is also underway following the advice of the Focus on Energy program.  Finally the new Village library which was constructed in 2020 was awarded recognition by the Focus on Energy program for the energy efficiencies decisions made to help the HVAC and lighting systems throughout the facility.

B. Show that your community goes above and beyond in its support for, and implementation of, green transportation (e.g., bike trails, rideshare programs, bike trails/lanes, etc.). Be sure to utilize the narrative to illustrate why your community is exceptional because standard practice will not receive credit.

The Village has systimatically increased its percentage of sidewalks, bike trails, bus stops and bike lanes in the last 5 years through municipal projects, private developments and coordinated multi-jurisdictional efforts. Recent roadway reconstruction projects have included road diets (on more than 1 mile of roadway) where bike lanes have replaced travel lanes on W. Dean Road and W. Bradley Road.  New sidewalks have been added adjacent to redevelopments on W. Schroeder Drive and Teutonia Avenue, along with Dean Road as part of a Safe Routes to School project with our School District. Working with Milwaukee County Transit, a new cross town bus route and accessible stops have been added in the community. Additionally a new signalized intersectio at Deerbrook Trail and Brown Deer Road will be added in Spring 2023 to help Oak Leaf Trail recreational users safely cross the 6 lane highway. Finally, all recent commercial developments have included at least 1 bike rack and sidewalk connections to building entrances.

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.

The Village will be working with our Special Eevents Committee to identify Bird City events later in 2023.  Anticipated activities include the reading of the proclamation announcing the Village’s commitment to International Migratory Bird Day distribution of relevant literature, bird decals, and tree seedlings for public use. Information about the connection between cats and avian population decline along with literature about invasive species and pesticide protocols that affect both trees and avian populations would also be distributed.

Joined Bird City: 2014

Population: 12,067

Incorporated: 1955

Area: 4.4 mi2

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