Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

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 (NFL) 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.

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 last year the Village of Chenequa has also been hard at work cleaning up invasive species along our county right of ways. This restoration has been a combined effort of Village, County and private land owner resources.

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.

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.

Chenequa Village President Jo Ann Villavicencio once again hosted a bird walk to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at her home on May 9, 2019. Guests walked through woodland, meadow, and shoreline habitats to count the various bird species found in each of those habitats. This was the seventh bird walk held at the Villavicencio home and interested birders should keep early May in mind for future bird walks.

Additionally, Chenequa village foresters met with a special needs group from Pantheon Industries to demonstrate how to properly plant and maintain trees. They then grouped everyone up and gave each group a sugar maple to plant, mulch and water. During this demonstration, Chenequa emphasized the importance of trees and discussed the close relationship that birds and trees share.

Joined Bird City: 2010

Population: 588

Incorporated: 1928

Area: 4.71 mi2

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