Village of Chenequa

Village of Chenequa

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 Chenequa has adopted the “Smart Growth Plan” for Waukesha County and has been in compliance for numerous years.


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)

Tall Pines Conservancy has protected 164 acres within the Village of Chenequa under conservancy. Although some lands are under agricultural cultivation, important wetlands and dense forests are also under conservation agreements. Additionally, they have a 40-acre prairie restoration parcel, maintained by the owner. Also, 47.96 acres within the Village of Chenequa of forest land is enrolled in the Wisconsin Managed Forest Law (MFL) program. This program administered by the WI-DNR is a long-term contract with the property owners which insures sound forest management.

To further protect critical wildlife habitat, the Village of Chenequa has two ordinances which protect shore lands and wetland. The “Removal of Shore Cover” ordinance regulates the cutting of trees and shrubbery within 75 feet of the shoreline and no more than 20% of the shoreline may be cleared of natural vegetation. The “Shore land-Wetland” ordinance provides protection to wetlands and shore lands, defining accepted land use practices.

In addition to Tall Pines and MFL, some residents have also made the effort to practice conservation within their property by preserving oak savannas, prairies and forested areas, all conducive to enhancing bird populations.

In the fall of 2021, the Village of Chenequa was involved in a Waukesha County Hwy realinement project. During this project several roads were abandoned creating a large green space. The Village of Chenequa took advantage of this green space to plant 55 trees and shrubs to help reforest the site. In addition, Waukesha County laid down a pollinator seed mix. 

Chenequa’s monthly newsletters address pertinent seasonal information. For example, spring's general focus is regarding shoreline restoration and improvement. In regards to reducing erosion as well as preserving wildlife habitat. Summer's general focus typically aims to answer resident questions and concerns. This is also a great time to recommend the use of less/no insecticides and alternatives to using insecticides, tree diseases and what can be done regarding them. Fall's general focus is on preservation of bushes/trees for winter, etc. It is their intention to include in future newsletters landscaping recommendations and plantings conducive to attracting and feeding song birds.

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

The Village of Chenequa has no ordinance which mandates the cutting of grass or prohibits natural lawns. In fact, the use of natural landscaping and perennials is encouraged especially along shorefronts. Doing so creates a natural, bird friendly riparian buffer zone.

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 Chenequa's website offers multiple links and recommendations for the community on the control and removal of invasive species.

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

We are still in the process of working with a village resident to convert a 10-acre agricultural field into an oak savanna. This is a very costly, time-consuming process. However, when complete, the new site will draw a diverse variety of unique wildlife. In addition, Chenequa has assisted this resident in removing all invasive species on the remaining 40 acres of the property. This has been a huge project for the homeowner and will be a significant financial investment for many years to come.

The Village of Chenequa also has great pride in the restoration efforts that have been made on Village grounds. The Village owns approximately 7.8 acres of land in which are extensively managed to eliminate invasive species and encourage the growth of native grasses, trees and shrubs. On a quick walk around the Village of Chenequas grounds you will find rain gardens, native prairie grass/wildflowers, native trees/shrubs and most importantly little to no invasive species. 

In the fall of 2021 the Village recontstructed the Pine Lake Launch site. We took advantage of this project to restore a healthy buffer along the lake frontage. It was our goal to introduce native flowers, grasses, srhubs and trees in an attempt to inspire residents to do the same on thier properties.

During the summer of 2021, the Pine Lake Yacht Club formed a board known as the "Pine Lake Preservation Team". This board has been working close with the Village of Chenequa to provide clear and concise infromation to Pine Lake residents about what a shoreline buffer is, why it is important and how they can preserve and improve it. 

There are many other properties in Chenequa that have used the assitance of our highway/forestry department to develp a plan to restore their woodlands. It seems that the enthusiasum to restore woodlands/praries it at an all time high.  

Community Forest Management

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

The Village of Chenequa continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1985.

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 Village of Chenequa's website promotes "Cat Indoors" and links to "Wildlife in Need" which residents have used several times a year to aid birds in distress found on their properties.

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 of Chenequa's website also has a link for information on how to prevent bird window strikes. The information on both cats and window collisions are found on the American Bird Conservation link the Village provides.

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.

The Village’s website has a short article and a link that talks about landscaping your yard with bird friendly trees/shrubs.

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.

Traditionally, our Chenequa Village President Jo Ann Villavicencio hosts a bird walk to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day at her home on the first Saturday in May. Guests walk through woodland, meadow, and shoreline habitats to count the various bird species found in each of those habitats.

Also in 2021, our Village Forester spoke in front of 150 students from Swallow School district. During this time, he explained the importance of our natural resource professionals and went on to share why we need to work to preserve and protect the natural recources that we have. 

In 2022, we plan to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day in two ways. 1). Village President Jo Ann Villavicencio will be hosting her bird walk on her property the first Saturday in May. 2). The Chenequa Village forester will be meeting with students from a nearby school to demonstrate to the students how to properly plant and maintain trees. During this demonstration, we plan to emphasized the importance of trees and shrubs and explain the close relationship that birds and trees share.

Joined Bird City: 2010

Population: 588

Incorporated: 1928

Area: 4.71 mi2

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