Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

Village of DeForest

Community Achievements

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 DeForest has adopted and approved a comprehensive plan that is in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use planning and resource management. Below is a link to the updated Comprehensive Plan.

B. Describe organized bird monitoring or data obtained from researchers or volunteers in the local park system. (Exclusions: Programs that receive credit under 4C: Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out)

Ed Saur, a DeForest resident and Wisconsin Society for Ornithology member, has compiled species lists and monitored birds along the Upper Yahara River Trail for many years. The trail runs along the river for 2.37 miles and meanders through 142 acres of public conservancy in the Village of DeForest. In 2013, he observed and listed 113 species in the area. Below is a link to this ongoing list.

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

In 2015 the Village hired Scott Taylor of Taylor Conservation, LLC to update our Ecological Assessment and Management Plan. The plan provides a road map to improving habitat in all of our conservancy parks. Birds are noted as key elements of the desired wildlife habitat plan.

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

In 2016, the Village amended our ordinance to allow planned native prairie plantings: Ordinance 2016-15.

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

The Village is actively restoring a 40 acre wetland and prairie complex called the Marvin and Marie Schweers Natural Area.  The restoration plan was developed with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and initital matching funds were provided by FWS, Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters, Wisconsin Waterfowl Association, Dane County.  Over $10,000 worth of prairie seeds were donated by the Madison Audubon Goose Pond Sanctuary.

N. Show that your community works on public lands to control invasive species that have significant negative impacts on bird habitat.

The Village annually contracts out natural area management work in 13 different areas. Work includes prescribed burns, herbicide applications, and invasive brush removal.

Community Forest Management

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

The Village of DeForest continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 2005.

E. Show that your forester, a member of your tree board, or another person currently responsible for managing your community’s trees has completed the Wisconsin DNR’s Wisconsin Tree Management Institute.

Kelli Bialkowski, Public Services Director is a graduate of CTMI

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 website maintains a “Birding in DeForest” webpage that includes a link for tips on helping birds avoid collisions with glass and buildings. The information is provided by the American Bird Conservancy.

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 previously mentioned webpage also provides visitors with a link for tips on creating a backyard bird-friendly habitat demonstrating DeForest’s commitment to enhancing natural landscapes. The information is provided by the National Wildlife Federation.

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.

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the Village of DeForest celebrated International Migratory Bird Day with a bird walk along the Upper Yahara River Trail beginning at Sunfish Pond. The walk was led by local resident Nolan Kollath and was conducted from 7 to 9 am. Seven people attended (not including the leader) and they saw 26 species of birds.  That number was low because the migrating song birds were not back yet due to spring weather.

Photo Gallery

Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2014

Population: 9,223

Incorporated: 1891

Area: 7.49 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Map