Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

Village of Grantsburg

Village of Grantsburg

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.

Grantsburg has adopted a comprehensive plan and is in compliance with the Wisconsin “Smart Growth” law.

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)

An ongoing list of birds seen at Memory Lake Park in Grantsburg has been kept by the local high school biology class.

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 Crex Meadows Education and Visitor center offers several brochures that highlight the control and removal of invasive species. Crex Meadows also hosts 5th Grade Conservation days every fall, where the students will learn about invasive species in Wisconsin.

G. Document that there is a segment of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail or a designated Important Bird Area within or adjacent to your community.

The Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail Guide and listings of Wisconsin’s Important Bird Areas show local birding areas including Crex Meadows. This 30,000-acre state wildlife area is the largest property in the Glacial Lake Grantsburg Wildlife Management Complex. Over half of this acreage consists of wetland communities, primarily sedge marshes and sedge meadows, but also deep-water marsh and flowages. There also are significant acreages of grassland, restored brush-prairie, and forests of oak, jack pine, and aspen. Barrens, shrubland, and grassland restorations are ongoing. Crex Meadows offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the state.

This site provides critical habitat for numerous high-priority species. It is the original release site for the Wisconsin trumpeter swan recovery program and maintains a robust population of trumpeters. The extensive sedge meadows and marshes contain breeding American bitterns, yellow rails, red-necked grebes, black terns, blue-winged teal, ring-necked ducks, hooded mergansers, sedge wrens, Le Conte’s sparrows and Nelson’s sharp-tailed sparrows. Barrens, shrublands, and grasslands host sharp-tailed grouse, northern harrier, upland sandpiper, American woodcock, short-eared owl, red-headed woodpecker, brown thrasher, golden-winged warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, Connecticut warbler, field sparrow, and bobolink, among others.

Thousands of staging waterfowl and sandhill cranes use the wetlands during migration. In addition, shorebird staging habitat is promoted though drawdowns on approximately 10% of the wetlands on an annual basis, providing habitat for species such as marbled godwit, Hudsonian godwit, stilt sandpiper, short-billed dowitcher, greater yellowlegs, and lesser yellowlegs. Crex Meadows is one of the few sites in Wisconsin that provides landscape-level management opportunities for pine-oak barrens, northern sedge meadows and marshes, and emergent marsh/wild rice habitats. It is considered a critical IBA.

Located nearby the Crex Meadows, approximately six miles to the north, is Governor Knowles State Forest/Brant Brook Pines State Natural Area. This is a prime 190-acre stand of old growth red pines along the St. Croix River and provides excellent habitat.

Community Forest Management

F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

Grantsburg’s village forest lands are managed through a forest management plan prepared by Wisconsin DNR foresters since 1998.

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.

Copies of the American Bird Conservancy brochure “Cats, Birds and You" are distributed from the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area Visitor Center.

The Grantsburg Animal Hospital has offered to have a link on its website highlighting this information as well.

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

Copies of the American Bird Conservancy brochure “You Can Save Birds from Flying into Windows!” is available to the public at the Crex Meadows Wildlife Education and Visitor Center.

Public Education

C. Demonstrate that your community is represented in at least one citizen science bird monitoring program (e.g., the Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out).

A Christmas Bird Count has been held at Grantsburg for many years, and is coordinated by Dennis Allaman. Crex also holds a volunteer Sandhill crane count in the spring, with a training session the evening before.

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

Crex Meadows State Wildlife Area offers an annual bird festival at the Crex Meadows Education and Visitor Center. This event takes place in May, usually on the third weekend.

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.

Grantsburg celebrated IMBD on May 20, 2017 with our Crex Meadows Bird Fest. There were several events offered, including Songbird Banding, a Birding Tours, a presentation on migrating cranes, and a program on birds of Brazil.

Joined Bird City: 2012

Population: 1,341

Incorporated: 1887

Area: 3.0 mi2

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