Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

Village of Fontana-on-Geneva-Lake

Village of Fontana-on-Geneva-Lake

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 boasts 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 the Fontana Park Commission enhanced the area by erecting new birdhouses and planting vegetation in municipal parks that attracts birds that feed on ticks. 

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.

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

The Village recently replaced the bird feeders located on the perimeter of the Nature Conservancy in the Village. 

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. The Village has contracted with TallGrass until 2021 at the Fontana Fen and Oak Savanna  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 holds volunteer day(s) to pull invasive species from the Hildebrand Nature Conservancy. This year, the Geneva Lake Conservancy held a work day in late fall to pull buck thorn and weeds. A second work day was held in the "Village Triangle," a natural area within the Village. Any invasive species allowed to run rampant has the ability to throw off the natural food chain since native insects are less common.

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 area that's known as the "Village Triangle" exists between two roads with utilities underneath. The Garden Club conducts a seed sowing each fall to keep the area natural. They also hold a volunteer day to pull invasive species from the area. 

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 website 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, 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.

E. Illustrate a program that involves schools, garden clubs, or other organizations in bird conservation activities.

The Fontana Park Commission (Tree Board) has partnered with the Fontana Garden Club to rehabilitate the Oak Savanna and grassy triangle area. This includes pulling invasive species and planting natural vegetation. One of our Park Commission members is the liason between the Commission and the Club so they can support the effort together. 

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.


Energy & Sustainability

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.

We reconstructed a main thoroughfare through the Village this year with anticipated completion next spring. The road has been widened with a three-foot shoulder to allow for bike lanes to encourage pedestrian and bike traffic. 

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 of Fontana typically partners with the Fontana Elementary School to celebrate Earth Day and International Migratory Bird Day. That did not take place this year due to COVID but is planned for next year on Friday, April 23, 2021. The students put on a play regarding conservation, trees, birds, etc., and the Village landscape company donates trees for each of the students to take home and plant. 

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 1,672

Incorporated: 1994

Area: 3.39 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Map