Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

Village of Fontana-on-Geneva-Lake

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.

Fontana-on-Geneva Lake adopted the “Fontana-on-Geneva Lake Comprehensive Plan 2009-2030”.

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)

While the Village of Fontana is small in terms of area, it boosts quite a few natural areas that support local wildlife and especially birds. Fontana Fen, the Duck Pond Recreation Area and the close proximity to Geneva Lake provide an excellent habitat for waterfowl and also for rare wetland plant species. Hildebrand Nature Conservancy has walking trails available and in 2014 the Fontana Park Commission plans to enhance the area by erecting new birdhouses and planting vegetation in municipal parks that attracts birds that feed on ticks. A map of the area can be found online.

Also, the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy, located in nearby Williams Bay, offers a bevy of educational programs and opportunities for visitors to enjoy and discover nature.

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

Ordinance No. 10-03-11-02 prohibits “all noxious weeds and rank growth of vegetation” that exceed one foot in height but specifically exempts native plants from this ordinance: “Areas of native ground cover approved by the Village are exempt from this requirement.”

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.

Available on Fontana’s website is an extensive amount of invasive plant species information. Color identification photos are provided and so is information for removal, disposal, and also for reporting.

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

The Village of Fontana is home to the Fontana Fen which is continually being restored to mimic an actual fen. Ecologist Josh Skolnick has been working at the Fen for two years and has strived to remove invasice species and reintroduce native species to restore the area to its natural state.

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

Every year, the Garden Club and/or Geneva Lake Conservancy hold volunteer days to pull invasive species from the Hildebrand Nature Conservancy. This year, the Geneva Lake Conservancy held two work days; one in May and one in September to pull buckthorn and weeds. Any invasive species allowed to run rampant has the ability to throw off the natural food chain since native insects are less common.

Community Forest Management

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

Fontana continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1988.

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 most notable part of the Village of Fontana's documentation was the creation of a special section on the village web site devoted to bird conservation.

B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).

The most notable part of the Village of Fontana's documentation was the creation of a special section on the village web site devoted to bird conservation.

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

Due to increased tick concerns this year, the Park Commission has recommended planting tick repelling plants in lieu of spraying the ball fields at Duck Pond Pavilion and Reid Park. The suggested plants include lavender, garlic, pennyroyal, pyrethrum, sage, American beautyberry and eucalyptus. In order to attract birds, the Park Commission recommended planting dill, white Dutch clover, and New England aster.

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.

This information is also included in the special section of the village’s web site devoted to bird conservation.

G. Provide a link to your community’s Bird City Wisconsin webpage, which must be visible from the main page of your municipal website (it may be located at the first level of a drop down menu on the main page but cannot be any less visible) OR demonstrate that your Bird City effort has a significant social media presence.


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 Village of Fontana 2017 Migratory Bird Day Celebration was again conducted in conjunction with the Village of Fontana/Fontana Area Elementary School Arbor Day Program. It has been again scheduled for Friday, April 27, 2018.

The Village of Fontana annual Migratory Bird Day program commences with a presentation of the Bird City Wisconsin Renewal Certificate, followed by short presentations on creating backyard habitat and on bird protection measures. The students who perform the annual Arbor Day Program are the recipients of Bird Buddy Bracelets and IMBD Posters that the Village purchases each year from Environment for the Americas, Boulder, CO. 




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Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 1,672

Incorporated: 1994

Area: 3.39 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Map