City of Green Bay

City of Green Bay


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 City of Green Bay is in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use planning and resource management and has been for numerous years now.

2020: Green Bay continues to be in compliance with Wisconsin's "Smart Growth" law for land use planning and resource managment.


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)

There are several different organizations in Green Bay that take part in bird monitoring activities:

The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary has an annual “May Day of Birding.” The sanctuary was created by the City of Green Bay in 1935 to provide an urban wildlife refuge where people can interact with wildlife and plants through environmental education and recreation. Since then, over 50,000 birds, mammals and herps have been rehabbed and returned to their natural habitat. The sanctuary also recognizes the declining Purple Martin population and hosts a successful nesting colony.

Volunteers for the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation conduct bird monitoring activities and offer year-round bird hikes and educational programs in the Baird Creek Parkway. The foundation was created in 1997 to save 34.5 acres with rare tree species and abundant wildlife from commercial development.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Cofrin Center for Biodiversity also has bird monitoring activities underway, as well as documentation from the past performed at Point au Sauble. Bird banding and surveys are being conducted to understand how birds use the point during the nesting and migration seasons. An ongoing blog complete with pictures is available online. Also, Point au Sauble Bird Banding results are available online for 1999-2001.

In 2013, the City of Green Bay was represented in both the mid-winter Bald Eagle monitoring and also the annual Crane Count in April. A total of 68 Bald Eagles were counted in the Eagle survey and 324 Sand Hill Cranes in the Crane Count, establishing a new record for Brown County.

2015: The Brown County crane count resulted in 287 cranes identified. A total of 42 volunteers covered 43 sites in the county. See section D for more monitoring results.

The 2016 Brown County crane count resulted in 180 cranes identified. A total of 28 volunteers covered 19 sites in the county.

2017 Bird Surveys: January Bald Eagle Survey: 22 eagles counted from Wrightstown to the mouth of the Fox River and Wildlife Sanctuary. Brown County Crane Count: 19 sites, 118 Cranes, 20 volunteers. Backyard Bird Count: February, 17-20, 2017, community wide surveys conducted and promotional efforts on television and newspaper.

2018 The city of Green Bay and UW-Green Bay partnered in banding songbirds at its annual May event, "Springs Wings," at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. There were about 100 people in attendance and observing this research. There was also Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program bird monitoring at the Ken Euers wildlife area.

2019 In addition to the surveys and research going in on parkways mentioned above, there is also an annual bird survey conducted in the Baird Creek Greenway every May.

2020: Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Started work on complete replacement of bird nesting boxes on the WLS property including creation of a monitoring program. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary also participated/partnered with Kaytee Products, Inc in bird seed preference and selection study over the summer of 2020. UW-Green Bay also conducted bird monitoring for the Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program. Some sites were located in lower Green Bay. They also assisted the USFWS with monitoring nesting Piping Plovers at Cat Island. Osprey Point also continued to monitor their blue bird nesting boxes through the Izaak Walton League Board of Directors and membership.

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 2012, the City of Green Bay amended sections 8.11 and 28.204(6) of the Green Bay Municipal Code, relating to noxious weeds and unmanaged plant growth, to allow for "planned natural landscaping", defined as a planned, intentional and maintained planting of native species, ornamental grasses and groundcovers, rain gardens, shrubs and trees.

2020: This ordinance exists yet today for the City of Green Bay.

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.

Among other outlets, the UW-Extension office in Green Bay offers literature and workshops regarding the removal of invasive plant species in the community.

2017: The Green Bay Botanical Garden offered a class to the community on how to identify and remove buckthorn. The UW-Extension office continues to offer literature and workshops regarding the removal of invasives


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.

Brown County is well-known for its plethora of Important Bird Areas and Green Bay is no exception. Within and around the Green Bay city limits there are a total of 6 listings in the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail Guide-Lake Michigan Region. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Barkhausen Wildlife Preserve, and the Cofrin Arboretum, at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, are all wonderful birding areas that boost a wide range of different species. Due to the proximity to Green Bay and the inland forests: rare waterfowl species and songbirds frequent the area both during the migration and wintering seasons.

2020: this designation and listings still exist today.

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

A dedicated community member and local teacher, Ned Dorff, has been active on restoring prairie lands with his students in the area of 9th Street and Ashland Avenue on the west side of Green Bay, in the Baird Creek Greenway, and on site at Franklin Middle School. He and his students have removed many invasive species in said areas, conducted a seed-scattering initiative, and promoted his efforts through local media outlets, creating greater prairie- awareness in the Green Bay area. Baird Creek Preservation Foundation also purchased 28.83 acres in December, 2010. This property is in Eaton, and has frontage along a tributary of Baird Creek. This property contains wetlands.

In April, 2012, approximately 24 acres were added to the Baird Creek Parkway (BCPF) inside the City of Green Bay. This acquisition was made possible through the Baird Creek Preservation Foundation (BCPF), the City of Green Bay Parks and Recreation department, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. This property is adjacent to current Baird Creek Parkway property and contains a variety of habitats including wetlands. In November, 2012, approximately 34 acres was purchased by BCPF in the Town of Humboldt and in November, 2013, they again purchased another 34 acres. Currently, the land is agricultural, but the goal of BCPF is to restore it to native plants and wetlands within five years.

A small group of dedicated individuals: Nancy Nabak, Ned Dorff, and a grad student from UW-Green Bay, Dan McSwain, are working on creating a Pollinator Corridor to connect all sides of the city to natural prairie “stepping stones” within one half mile from each other. Currently, 34 sites have been identified as part of the corridor and in the three short years of creating this program, 4 new public sites were added in 2012 (school lawns and city parks), and three more public locations are on the agenda for this spring. The Pollinator Committee has also committed to begin putting up signage at some of the more visible locations this spring as well. Plans are underway to create a contest within some of the schools for the sign design.

Pollinator Corridor is an ongoing project. More urban native gardens were created and 10 “Butterfly Crossing” signs were posted in the gardens in the summer of 2013. Local labels were created for the signs and Pollinator Corridor t-shirts were printed and worn at public gardening events to create further awareness. New native gardens include:

Kueler Place (E. Mason and Baird) - exotics removed, area woodchipped, 100 native seedlings planted

Historic Hazelwood House (1008 S. Monroe) - native shade plants rescued after overstory cut; plants relocated to Fox River Trailhead 

Gathering Place (1001 Cherry St) - ongoing work on a small native garden

Three Corners Community Garden (University Ave. between Webster and Irwin) - 4 small native plant gardens added inside the corner fence posts of the community garden

Seymour Park Community Garden (S. Ashland Ave, south of School Place) - several native plants added this year

West High School Diversity Garden (966 Shawano Ave., near greenhouse) - a small native garden adjacent to vegetable garden to attract pollinators

Downtown Green Bay, Inc. Plantings (100 block of South Washington St.) - native plant installations in beds

Community Treatment Center (3150 Gershwin Dr.) - butterfly garden and Monarch Watch seed kit installed

New Kavarna Restaurant Site (Old Locktender's house, De Pere riverwalk) - large area planted in prairie mix with further native plantings coming in 2014

Phase II of Bird City’s Backyard Bird Habitat demonstration was built across from the entry to the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. Various native plants and grasses were planted in a butterfly garden on one side of the walkway leading to the Bay Beach Amusement Park and a rain garden was planted on the other side. This site is considered one of the connecting stepping stones in the Pollinator Corridor.

2015: The local chapter of the Wild Ones planted native gardens at the National Railroad Museum. The Pollinator Corridor “stepping stones” were maintained and re-planted where necessary.

2017: Green Bay Forest Department has been replacing ash trees and has selected replacement trees that they can tailor to the site with long range effectiveness in mind.  They've been planting varieties of crabapple to fit along narrow streetscapes.  The crabapples have “persistent” fruit that provide birds a food source throughout the winter and into early spring. 

Aldo Leopold School/Teacher, Ned Dorff: Planting native plants at Aldo Leopold Community School, 622 Eliza St. and also the trailhead of the Fox River Trail, near the intersection of Adams and Porlier Streets.

The intended impact of the project is to increase habitat for native Wisconsin insects, migratory birds, and other native wildlife. It also serves educational purposes with signs explaining how the native plants provide ecological functions. Several thousand people per year will encounter these gardens, both at the school and on the trail.

2018 & 2019:  Aldo Leopold school conducted several native planting projects and invasive species removal, both on Aldo campus and along the Fox River Trail  - roughly a mile long strip.

2020: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation purchased 15+ acres of farmland to restore to prairie habitat and purchased 12 acres of creek/forest to keep it from development.

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

The City is actively working on controlling invasive species through many avenues. The Wildlife Sanctuary hires two interns every summer specifically to control invasive species at the Wildlife Sanctuary. Bird City Green Bay is working with a Sustainable Green Bay intern in developing an invasive species control plan for the City. The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation received a donation of 12,000 plant plugs over the summer to help re-establish native plant communities throughout the Baird Creek Greenway and fend off invasive plant species. Volunteers assisted in four separate plantings to complete the program. (Baird Creek Preservation Foundation assists the City of Green Bay in acquiring land in the Baird Creek Parkway and to help enhance the Parkway's value as an ecological, recreational, and educational resource for Northeastern Wisconsin).

The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation funded a full-time summer intern to remove invasive plants and help organize volunteers to replace the invasive species with thousands of donated native plants in the Parkway. The native plants were donated by Prairie Nursery in Westfield, WI and the volunteers came from the BCPF Board members, local high school student groups, and faculty and staff members of the University of Wisconsin Green Bay. The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary also had two interns working on invasive control once again.

The John Dewey Learning Academy held a Garlic Mustard pulling competition at the Wildlife Sanctuary in May, 2013. The 5 teams pulled a combined 1,705 pounds of Garlic Mustard. The winning team pulled 548 pounds alone.

In December, 2013, a group of 18 volunteers got together and removed 20,000 sq. feet of Buckthorn from the Wildlife Sanctuary property. The Baird Creek Foundation also has a team of volunteers that remove invasive species and then plants native varieties each year. The Bay Beach Wildlife sanctuary also employed 3 interns to remove invasive species from the property.

UW-Green Bay, (Matt Dornbush, Ph.D., and students), has also teamed with the Wildlife Sanctuary in regards to research on Garlic Mustard. Four publications have been written and continue to gain increasing attention, including among land managers. In addition to the students listed on the publications, numerous undergraduate students and an additional graduate student have conducted research at the Wildlife Sanctuary. The next step is to discuss the findings in these papers, and the implications that they have for designing large-scale understory restoration strategies that may be useful for reducing long-term investments in invasive species control. The papers are available upon request.

2015: The Brown County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League conducted invasive species removal projects at Osprey Point and on property just north of Osprey Point, across from the Rite Place.

In conjunction with the Brown County Invasive Species Coordinator, Baird Creek Preservation Foundation had two full-time summer interns removing invasive plants for approximately 11 weeks in 2015. Specific removals: Crownvetch-6 acres, Phragmites-6.5 acres, Garlic mustard-9.5 acres (this is not a solid stand of garlic mustard, but includes woods with garlic mustard thinly spread out), Buckthorn-1 acre, Reed canary grass-0.25 acres, and Japanese hedge parsley-0.5 acres. Baird Creek also hosted schools and community groups in assisting with invasive species removal.

The Bay Area Bird Club and other volunteers removed one third of an acre of buckthorn at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary property.

2016: The Baird Creek Preservation Society worked on a relatively small area (1/2 acre) that needed additional seeding to encourage native plant growth. They purchased a seed mix containing big grasses to compete with the crown vetch and not die when sprayed with Transline. The cost for the mix was $545. Their interns and/or volunteers prepared the soil and spread the mix. Bird City Green Bay paid the full $545 in a grant to the Baird Creek Society.

Buckthorn removal at Wildlife Sanctuary –Thursday, March 3, 1/3 of an acre was successfully removed.

2017: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation continued to remove invasives by treating many acres of prairie for crownvetch, cutting buckthorn and honeysuckle, spraying and pulling garlic mustard and dame's rocket. Buckthorn removal efforts were also conducted at Osprey Point by the local chapter of the Izaak Walton League, removing 1/3 acre of buckthorn.

2018: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation workd on removing 8 acres of honeysuckle, buckthorn and garlic mustard. Oprepy Point also removed about .5 acres of buckthorn from it's Preserve. 
2019: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation removed about 30 acres of Buckthorn and honeysuckle for woodlands restoration to continue. It also conducted a controlled burn on 40 acres to eliminate some invasive species and rejuvenate native ones. 30 acres of savanna habitat were also restored. Osprey point also cleared .5 acre of buckthorn from its trails.

2020: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation removed 10 acres of buckthorn invasive species in the Greenway Park through a contractor and had two full time staff from May to August removing and treating invasives. The Green Bay Botanical Garden hired NES Ecological Services for $1,100 to continue the removal of reed canary grass, giant reed grass, and hybrid cattail from the 3 storm water basins associated with the Schneider Family Grand Garden. Staff also controlled purple loosestrife and dame’s rocket to contain the existing populations of those species and prevent them from spreading. The Izaak Walton League, Osprey Point, continued to work on various invasive species removal projects including buckthorn, phragmites, and reed canary grass. UW-Green Bay continued invasive species removal at the Cofrin Memorial Arboretum and Point au Sable.

O. Document a program to support the establishment of natural lawns and native landscaping, possibly including public presentations of Audubon’s Plants for Birds Initiative (contact them for a presentation kit).

Community volunteers and members of the Bird City Committee are currently helping Green Bay re-write its “weed” ordinance to become one of a “natural landscaping” ordinance in nature. Letters of support for such a move have been written to city council members and the City’s assistant attorney on behalf of Bird City Green Bay. The City approved an amended noxious weed ordinance in April, 2012, which includes specific language regarding natural lawns. Currently, this law remains in place and is ongoing.

P. Demonstrate the implementation of a program to preserve Chimney Swift nesting and roosting sites (preferred) and/or to construct Chimney Swift towers.

Green Bay held its first Swift Night Out program in August and September of 2011 (sponsored by Bird City Green Bay and Bird County Brown County), with such success that Bird City Green Bay committed to building a Swift tower in 2012. A sub-committee was formed to raise the funds for this project through grant requests and a birdathon event in cooperation with their Spring’s Wings program in May, 2012.

Green Bay held its second Swift Night Out with amazing volunteer assistance and results in 2012. Over 1,900 swifts were observed and 1,450 were seen going into the chimneys. They also built a concrete Swift tower near the fishing area at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, a highly visible spot. They had an incredible mason volunteer help with their efforts. Through a partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Construction and Trades Department (NWTC), an educational kiosk will also be built near the tower. They are also discussing the opportunity for NWTC’s marketing department to develop the educational information to be put on the kiosk with weather- proof materials.

In 2013, Green Bay held their third Swift Night Out where over 1,600 Swifts were counted. The City’s hope is to continue to build this program yearly. In addition, the Swift tower has been built and they are now working with NWTC to get a kiosk built. After the kiosk is built the camera will be installed.

2015: See monitoring results under Basic renewal.

2016: See monitoring results and narrative under Basic renewal. Nancy Nabak and Lori Bankson also belong to the statewide Chimney Swift Working Group and continue to bring ideas to the community and learn more about the decreasing swift population.

2018 & 2018: Nancy Nabak continues to serve on the statewide Chimney Swift Working Group committee and they are developing plans to work with chimney sweeps statewide. The committee is also looking at the definition of "habitat" and what that means to a swift and future implications and opportunities for conservation.

2020: Nancy Nabak, Green Bay Bird City representative, continues to work on the statewide Chimney Swift Working Group. They developed a chimney a chimney swift survey last year for the residents of Wisconsin to determine chimneys at risk of being lost. The next stage of this is to create funds to work with home and business owners to repair broken chimneys instead of demolishing or leveling them. This is a great starting point for determining chimneys at risk and then funding their preservation. Statewide funding partners are now being sought out, as well as new key awareness players. 

R. Show how your community aids a local youth group (e.g., Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of USA, 4-H Club, etc.) or conservation group in bird conservation projects (e.g., bluebird trail, habitat restoration, Wood Duck nest boxes, etc.).

Green Bay is piloting a program regarding natural rodent population control by erecting kestrel boxes/platforms. The hope is to attract nesting kestrels that will feed on the downtown west side mice population, and to eventually attract larger birds of prey to help with urban pest control. This was approved by the Green Bay City Council in November, 2012.

As of 2013, 50 kestrel houses have been built and half of them were made by Scout troops and school classrooms. There were approximately 15 houses up at that time. The program is hoping to find a couple of strong monitoring partners to keep the idea moving forward. The hope is that classrooms will adopt and monitor once they build the kestrel house.

In September, 2012, members of the local Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin (BRAW), set up approximately 15 nest boxes in the grounds surrounding Aurora Bay Care Hospital. The Oconto county coordinator, Gene Birr, has offered to monitor these until someone local can take over. In Howard, northern neighbor of Green Bay, Chris Clark, Village Forester, has been helpful in offering vacant property sites, the Village Green Golf Course, and a newly developing wildlife area for Bluebird trails. Also, in partnership with BRAW, the Green Bay Botanical Garden hosted a family event on Feb. 9th, 2013, which included a presentation on Bluebirds. BRAW’s hopes are to increase overall Bluebird awareness and to attract more monitors for the trails.

Bluebird monitoring is ongoing through BRAW. Delta Waterfowl monitors the Wood duck nesting boxes annually at the Wildlife Sanctuary. The local Izaak Walton League chapter has created a new master plan, which will include further hiking trails, butterfly gardens, and more hands on activities in a natural environment. A few local birders are working on creating a bird check-list for the Ike property as well. Bird City Green Bay hopes to take an active part in seeing this master plan come to fruition.

2015: An Eagle Scout planted 240 trees of various species (Swamp White Oak, Burr Oak, Shagbark Hickory, River Birch, and American Chestnut) at Osprey Point, land preserved by the local Izaak Walton League. The local BRAW continues to monitor Bluebirds on various trails throughout our Greater Green Bay area. At least one individual is working on kestrel monitoring and has put up nest boxes in various locations in the greater Green Bay area. His results are being sent to William Mueller of Western Great Lakes Bird & Bat Observatory.

2016: Ongoing maintenance and monitoring of 2015 activities continue. New Wood Duck nesting boxes will be erected at Osprey Point this year.

2017: The Brown County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League built wood duck houses and mallard houses that were  installed at Osprey Point. There are also beginning efforts toward habitat restoration at Osprey Point which will have much bigger impact in the coming year.

2018: An Eagle Scout helped Baird Creek Preservation Foundation build an extensive boardwalk build on the trail system which helped prevent erosion and preserve the habitat.

Community Forest Management

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

The City of Green Bay continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1982.

2020: The city of Green Bay is still recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation.

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 City of Green Bay does not allow any animals to be at large within the City. This can be seen in the “Animals to be Confined” document from the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry department. Also, the City of Green Bay opposes the trap, neuter, and release program for cats. Educational brochures about the dangers of free roaming cats and dogs to wildlife are available at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and at Bird City booths at various events.

2017: The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is actively urging citizens to talk to local officials about the dangers of free roaming cats and the potential threat of a local organization fighting our current ordinance.

2020: The City of Green Bay does not allow any animals to be at large within the City. This can be seen in the “Animals to be Confined” document from the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry department. Also, the City of Green Bay opposes the trap, neuter, and release program for cats. Educational brochures about the dangers of free roaming cats and dogs to wildlife are available at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and at Bird City booths at various events.

F. Demonstrate that your community enforces an ordinance that requires domestic cats to be kept indoors, on a leash, or in an enclosure to prevent them from preying on birds and other wildlife and spreading disease.

See 3A for High Flyer level actions.

I. Demonstrate that your community has enacted a bird collision monitoring program and has treated problem windows to reduce collisions with municipal and commercial buildings.

In addition to the efforts noted in the basic criteria section, Bird City Green Bay offered free window strike decals at IMBD day as well as distributed them through committee members and some community businesses. They partnered with the Humane Society and the Wildlife Sanctuary to promote the Humane Society’s program and window strike decal purchases.

During their May Spring’s Wings celebration, Bird City had a window-strike booth where they offered information on how to prevent strikes and had families make their own window decals from kits purchased through Bird City Green Bay funding. Earlier in the week, Nancy Nabak participated in a two-day “Hands on Nature” program with the Aldo Leopold School where the kids also made window clings and learned how to prevent strikes in their homes.

2015: Ongoing effort through brochures available at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and the IMBD Bird City booth.

2016: Ongoing through brochures at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

2017: Ongoing efforts through brochures at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

2018 & 2019: Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary continues to offer free brochures about keeping cats indoors.

2020: The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary replaced its hawk silhouettes on the nature center windows and new DRFLCC addition windows to reduce bird strikes. There are also window-strike brochures available at the Sanctuary to educate the public.

Public Education

A. Demonstrate that schools in your community participate in a nationally-recognized environmental education program (e.g., Flying WILD, Audubon Adventures) or that your community organizes its own substantial education and outreach program for young people. 

2019: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation offers field trips, hikes, and summer camps in the Greenway for school age children focusing on nature-based education and conservation practices. Green Bay Botanical Garden received 25 youth binoculars from Bird City Green Bay to use with their education programming. They were able to include nature/bird watching with a few small guided groups as well has promoting the activity to general Garden Guests. During seasonal hikes with school groups in the early spring and outdoor exploration time during their summer camps, they used the binoculars on 4 occasions with about 50 students.  They also created a bird watching station, which included several pairs of binoculars as well as information on why birds look different and how to identify them by using identification books.  These bins were out in the Garden from mid-September to mid-October, and were available to all visitors during that time, including during one of their free admission days on Fall Family Festival. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary offered: summer camps with birds as a topic for ages ranging from 4-11, public birds of prey tours, animal ambassador on display during Walk for Wildlife (fundraiser) -songbirds having a station to highlight them. On Earth Day,  Birds of Prey were out for people to see (Raven, Crow and swallows). During Frosty Family Fun Night, birds of prey were out for people to see. During the summer there were free programs: once a week in June, July and August: Cool Corvids, Wonderful Waterbirds, and Talon Talks (Birds of Prey). They also visited Wild Birds Unlimited twice with their bird ambassadors.

2020: The Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary offers educational camp programs for kids involving bird watching and bird identification and behavior. The Green Bay Botanical Garden presented a Facebook educational video on watching for bluebirds in the spring, including creating a bird house. They also held a discussion about birds and their use of trees during their Living the Life of the Lorax summer camp with 7 youth aged 8-11. They also presented a blog and Facebook Live video about where animals go in the winter, including birds. The Baird Creek Preservation Foundation also held summer camps about wildlife and birds in the Greenway.

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.

Our local chapter of Wild Ones has a wonderful blog that shows a variety of ways to landscape for birds and to enhance the use of native plantings.

2020: Wild Ones website for Green Bay chapter: The Bay Area Bird Club also sends out monthly newsletters and in season, will have tips for backyard habitats.

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).

The Northeast Wisconsin Audubon Society has held a Christmas Bird Count in Green Bay since 2000. Brown County has also held a Crane Count, coordinated by the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, since 1981. Green Bay also started participating in Swift Night Out in 2010.

In 2013, their third annual Swift Night Out was held in August (and September) with over 1,600 swifts seen entering chimneys and 46 volunteers monitoring them. Thirty-five new locations were added to the list as potential roosting sites for swifts. Their local newspaper covered the event before and after the monitoring took place.

Also in 2013, the Wildlife Sanctuary hosted a public GBBC and captured media attention in the local paper and on television. Bird City Green Bay also actively promoted this to all of its member organizations as well.

2015: The Green Bay Christmas Bird Count results: 69 species identified and 22,057 birds in total.

Swift Night Out: Monitored 32 chimneys with 27 volunteers – witnessing 1,172 swifts roosting on August 8, 2015.

Nancy Nabak also monitored a pair of Peregrine Falcons (teaming up with Greg Septon) near the De Pere Bridge in hopes of finding positive indications of successful nesting. Unfortunately, no evidence was found, but there is hope for a nesting box to be installed at Expera, the corporation next to the bridge in 2016.

Once again, the Great Backyard Bird Count was covered by our local newspaper and television stations.

Many local citizen scientists were also involved in the first season of the Breeding Bird Atlas II monitoring. In 2016 the Christmas Bird Count tallied 12, 633 individual birds from 61 species and included 12 volunteers who watched their feeders.

Last year’s Swift Night Out event monitored 27 chimneys and counted 745 swifts going into chimneys. This is very low compared to other years. We had many "skunks" in chimneys that were being used in the past. Also, participants observed lower numbers all around, including in those that were still being used. (This is the same weekend as in the past as well that we've monitored). Unfortunately, there was a minimum of 5 chimney cappings and destructions within the last year.

The Great Backyard Bird Count received TV coverage from TV 11 and Channel 5. Two people counted birds at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

Many local citizen scientists were involved in the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II, Green Bay’s second year contributing to the project. Local individuals have also been key sponsors of the Atlas to support the project. Bird City Green Bay sponsored the Kentucky warbler at $1,000 in honor of Noel Cutright.

2017: Many local volunteers continue to contribute to the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II through monitoring and covering the counties to provide complete survey results. The Christmas Bird Count was conducted in December with over 13,000 species counted in Brown County (survey results attached). We also conducted our 7th Annual Swift Night Out with nearly 30 volunteers. Over 700 swifts were documented as roosting. 

2018: Local volunteers have contributed to the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II, the 8th annual Swift Night Out, and the Christmas Bird Count. Green Bay also conducted its very first Aerial Insectivore Survey monitoring fall migration of chimney swifts, purple martins and Common Night Hawks. (Results of this monitoring were discussed at the Aerial Insectivore Conference.) 

2019: Green Bay conducted its 9th Annual Swift Night Out, with added focus to documenting the loss of chimneys. This continues to be a growing concern. Nancy has committed to work at the state level with the Chimney Swift Working Group to find solutions to this trend. Green Bay volunteers were also very active in the Christmas Bird Count and wrapping up Atlas activities. 

2020: Green Bay once again was involved with the Swift Night Out monitoring program in August - monitoring 78 different times throughout the month at 47 locations with over 20 volunteers, mainly from the Bay Area Bird Club. Green Bay also conducted its Christmas Bird Count on December 19. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Participated in the GBBYBC in February at the feeders at the Nature Center and Observation Building. Volunteers also conducted an aerial insectivore survey in the fall, monitoring migrating nighthawks, purple martins and chimney swifts on the move.

D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.

The Spring’s Wings event was held in May, in conjunction with the City’s International Migratory Bird Day. The event featured bird hikes at 4 different locations across Green Bay. Also, each location had informational booths and activities. Many of the activities were centered on Ducks, backyard birds, and Ospreys. Events ran from the early morning until the early afternoon.

2017: The IMBD celebration is held annually in May alongside Bay Beach sponsored, "Springs Wings." Three different bird hikes were scheduled throughout the day with over 300 participants. Booths and vendors were at this event with demonstrations, bird house building, bird banding demonstrations and wildlife presentations in the amphitheater. The annual Big Bay Birdathon also coincides with IMBD which is a fundraiser to support Bird City initiatives. Bird City Green Bay kicked off the IMBD celebration by granting $2,500 in the local community to four worthy projects: Red-shouldered hawk DNA research, native planting projects at a local school, kestrel monitoring, and support of a Wisconsin Wildlife book creating awareness around leading naturalists in the state.

2018: Green Bay held its annual Springs Wings at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary to tie in with International Migratory Bird Day. This event included: songbird banding demonstrations, children's "banding" activities, nest box building, and wild, non-releasable birds on display. It also was part of the Big Bay Birdathon, Green Bay's annual fundraiser specifically created for Bird City Green Bay and funding bird conservation, education and research projects. To date, this fundraiser has put more than $10,000 in local bird-related projects.

2019: The annual Springs Wings event took place at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and included song bird banding, children's banding demonstrations, birding tips and educational birds. The Big Bay Birdathon was once again part of the event, 24 hours of birding for pledges to create funds for local Bird City initiatives.

2020: The Big Bay Birdathon, an event held to raise funds and awareness about IMBD, was cancelled due to the pandemic. This event has been going for 10 years, funding over $10,000 in avian program support in the Green Bay metro area. A Big Day was held so individuals could go out and bird on their own, keeping their passion alive and the concept going in their hearts so the event can return without losing energy, momentum or passion.

F. Demonstrate that your community understands the critical ecological role of pollinators by documenting your Bee City USA status or by describing another substantial effort to promote pollinator health (for ideas visit the Xerxes Society and the Pollinator Partnership).

2019: See previous documentation about the Pollinator Corridor. This is still actively continuing in the community.

2020: The pollinator corridor still exists within the City of Green Bay.

I. Show that your municipality promotes and supports a bird club or other environmentally/ecologically-minded club. (Exclusions: Garden clubs, unless you demonstrate a strong focus on native plants)

2017: The City of Green Bay publishes the Bay Area Bird Club & Audubon Society bird-related monthly lecture series during the winter months and Bay Area Bird Club led hikes in the spring and fall.

2018: The Bay Area Bird Club and NEW Audubon collectively host the Natural Lecture Series from September - April, speakers are focused on topics that relate to bird conservation, awareness and education.

2019: The Bay Area Bird Club and NEW Audubon continue to host the city's Nature Lecture Series from September thru April, with speakers focused on bird conservation, education and awareness. The Bay Area Bird Club also leads the city's sponsored bird hikes at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary each spring and fall migration period.

2020: The Bay Area Bird Club and NEW Audubon continue to host the city's Natural Lecture Series, but virtually this year due to the pandemic. Attendance has been exceptional and the virtual presentations a major success. The Bay Area Bird Club also leads migration hikes in the spring and fall at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary.

K. Demonstrate that your community actively raises awareness of its bird assets. Examples include placing a remote web camera on a nest platform, offering bird watching field trips, or creating a significant educational resource on your community's bird life.

On Arbor Day 2011, Bird City GB partnered with “Tree City USA” and planted 30 trees in a highly visible location between Bay Beach and the Wildlife Sanctuary specifically chosen for bird habitat, food source and shelter. This was phase one of a three phase project designed to educate the community on how to attract birds to their backyards. Phase 2 will include the planting of butterfly gardens in the same general area in spring, and phase 3 will include permanent educational signage on a woodchip walkway throughout the tree planting area. Stories and photos were posted on the Bird City website and shared with Bird City partners for their membership to promote. Bird City Green Bay will also be presenting a program regarding urban habitat for migrating birds at the Neville Museum in May as part of its Natural History Lecture Series. The Wildlife Sanctuary will also be involved with Cornell’s Backyard Bird Count in February, 2012, and is currently working on publicity angles and unique promotional ideas.

Along with a couple of other communities throughout the state, Green Bay has participated in the Birds N Beers social event at Titletown Pub. Up to a dozen folks have shown up for conversation, camaraderie and chats in the spirit of bird preservation. In nice weather, members bring their binoculars and bird from the depot. (This is also the gathering spot after Swift Night Out where they compile their statistics and discuss their experiences).

In the spring of 2012, Mike Reed conducted a presentation at the Neville Museum regarding urban bird habitat for migrating birds. This was in partnership with the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and Bird City.

Green Bay held its First Annual Big Bay Birdathon to coincide with its annual Spring’s Wings (and IMBD) celebration the second week of May, 2012. Flyers, websites, bird clubs, the local newspaper and social media were used to promote the contest and the IMBD event. They also conducted a photography contest to align with the birdathon. This was promoted throughout the above-mentioned sites as well as Marketing and Photography classes at NWTC. Funds were raised to cover the costs of the butterfly and rain gardens as well as the Chimney Swift tower. The Spring’s Wings event was also promoted on the Channel 11 Morning Show.

Building on past successes, events continued to progress in 2013 including:

Birds N Beers is expanding with nearly monthly gatherings and a growing number of attendees. An educational game component has been added so that “bird learning” fits somewhere into the night’s event.

Jodi Sperudo from the Wildlife Sanctuary continues to offer “Owl Prowls” during late fall/early winter.

During “Learning in Retirement” patrons experienced a day of “Birds of Prey” and a day of “Landscaping for Birds” at the Wildlife Sanctuary in the spring of 2013. They were also educated on the bird-friendly demonstration plot planted across from the Wildlife Sanctuary and the purpose of the Chimney Swift tower, which is on Sanctuary property. The final phase of the bird-friendly demonstration plot was completed when educational signs regarding the trees, butterfly garden and rain garden were put into place over the summer of 2013. Visitors can now observe and learn what to plant in their yards in order to attract insects, butterflies and birds.

Mike Reed and Nancy Nabak offered a look at the birding “hot spots” in Green Bay on the Natural Resources Foundation tour in May, 2013.

Their second annual Birdathon/Photography contest was a success and raised funds for bird conservation/education programs.

The Green Bay Botanical Garden designed a large bird panel for the Horticultural Resource Center. The display includes these hands on elements:  a mount of feather types, stuffed toy birds that sing (and are common to the Garden), a bird song identifier that will sing over 120 different bird calls, a field guide that features common birds with pictures and info, a bird skeleton display, and bird pictures that kids can create crayon rubbings. Jack Swelstad has also put together a list of birds seen at the Garden and the Botanical Garden will be turning it into a brochure for more experienced birders to check off. Trails by the pond and prairie will be included on the brochure to get birders into those habitats as well.

The Baird Creek Foundation once again hosted its Spring Bird Walk the morning of the Spring’s Wings event in 2013. In addition, Bird City Green Bay, its programs and Nancy Nabak were highlighted in a Green Bay Press Gazette article in May, 2013 entitled “An Eye to the Sky.”

Once again, they will be actively promoting the 2014 Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out, IMBD and other events as they address them throughout the year. They also plan to lead another NRF tour in the Green Bay area.

2015: WSO and Bird City shared an informational booth during a Wild Ones plant sale in August.

Bird City Green Bay donated $500 to the local Izaak Walton League chapter to purchase a camera to be placed on the Osprey nest platform at Osprey Point.

Bird City is working with the local forestry department to create awareness around the Emerald Ash Borer - what home owners should look for and how to treat their trees for prevention.

Our 3rd Annual Big Bay Birdathon was held in May to support Bird City activities and community programs based on urban bird conservation.

Nancy Nabak spoke to a local Optimist group in July on urban bird conservation as a Bird City representative.

A joint effort between Bird City, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary and NEW Audubon offered a birding tour at the Cat Island Restoration project on September 12, 2015.

Birds N Beers continues to be a great social gathering of birders who are also citizen scientists, and the fun networking helps keep the “family energy” alive and well.

2016: The forestry department is looking into social media aspects and videos regarding prevention and control of the Emerald Ash Borer and its impact. The department should have a video for homeowners by next spring on treatments and frequently asked questions. The Department is also surveying “Champion Trees” in Brown County. Nancy would like to see this concept tied to birds in some capacity.

The Brown County Ikes sponsored a booth at the Science Expo in Green Bay where children made and took home 750 bird feeders going through 500 pounds of bird seed. We talked to hundreds of folks about the importance of birds and bird conservation.

In conjunction with IMBD, local birders participated in the 4th annual Big Bay Birdathon and Photography Contest in May. This was sponsored by Northeast Wisconsin Audubon Society, Bird City and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. The funds raised will support urban bird conservation projects in the coming year.

Once again, a joint effort between Bird City, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, WSO, and NEW Audubon offered a field trip to the Cat Island Restoration project giving attendees a chance to visit an area that is off-limits to the general public, but has great rare birds nesting there or migrating through.

Birds N Beers continues to be a positive birder gathering where social engagement is the priority. This sense of “community” keeps our birders enthused about the future of avian conservation.

2017: A joint effort between Bird City, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, Bay Area Bird Club, WSO, and NEW Audubon offered a field trip to the Cat Island Restoration project giving attendees a chance to visit an area that is off-limits to the general public, but has many rare bird sightings. There were 65 people in attendance. The Brown County Izaak Walton League sponsored a booth at the Science Expo in Green Bay where children made and took home 1,000 bird feeders - going through 600 pounds of bird seed. They talked to hundreds of folks about the importance of birds and bird conservation. They also conducted demonstrations on the impact of groundwater contamination and how lawn chemicals can have a great impact on our ecosystem. Birds N Beers happens on a semi-regular schedule with nearly 30 in attendance on average. Nancy Nabak worked with Titletown Brewing to create a beer dedicated to the Chimney Swift. The brewing company agreed and in August tapped their "Swifts' Night Ale." Tshirts and pint glasses were made and sold, promoting the value of our swifts and Swift Night Out monitoring. Every TV station and newspaper in Green Bay covered the story. Nancy Nabak offered a "Beginning Birders" presentation to the local Wild Birds Unlimited store and then took participants on a short bird hike in the field.

2018: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation offers monthly hiking opportunities in the Greenway, the Bay Area Bird Club leads the city's bird hikes at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary during both spring and fall migration.

2019: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation continues to offer monthly hikes in its Greenway and the city partners with the Bay Area Bird Club to lead bird hikes during spring and fall migration. Nancy also maintains the Bird City Green Bay Facebook page. 

2020: Baird Creek Preservation Foundation continues to offer monthly hikes in its Greenway. Nancy Nabak maintains the Bird City Green Bay Facebook page. Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary has a new songbird informational display on Nature Center wall. It also offers public education programs “talon talks” with Birds of Prey throughout the summer. Birds of Prey “tours” are offered through the exhibit areas, including artifacts and education of individual raptor species. It also hosts a Walk for Wildlife Event which raises money and awareness for all wildlife including all types of birds: we had water birds, songbirds, and various raptors. It also offers the great gift of rehabilitation programs admitting hundreds of injured songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, and other birds annually.  Most of these injured or orphaned birds are released back into the wild. Ongoing social media posts include wild bird facts and information, Facebook live events with various types of birds and educational information, and Youtube videos created with various bird related educational focus.  NEW Audubon posts regularly about birds and conservation on their Facebook and Instagram pages and website blog. It also mailed two newsletters to its members and adopted a Land Acknowledgment Statement. It also co-coordinated and managed the nest camera and box for nesting Peregrine Falcons on the UW-Green Bay Cofrin Library. Project SOAR gave 3 presentations to students enrolled in the UW-Green Bay Lifelong Learning Institute. The Bay Area Bird Club sends an 8-page newsletter monthly to its membership and the City. It also hosts a Facebook page for community wide access of birding events and happenings. 

N. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

2018: During summer of 2018, Green Bay Botanical Garden hosted the touring exhibit Nature Connects: Art with Lego Bricks.  As several of the sculptures were of birds, the exhibit allowed them to educate visitors about the nature lessons these sculptures held. A large peacock sculpture was a great example of dimorphism, and how the difference in appearance could be seen in more familiar birds like cardinals, goldfinches and mallard ducks. A sculpture of a bird bath created discussions of how people can help wildlife and birds in their own yards. They shared the importance of hummingbirds as pollinators, and their unique flying abilities near the hummingbird sculpture. They were also able to talk about the symbiotic relationship between the Darwin finch and Galapagos tortoise. Thanks to these short lessons, thousands of visitors now have a better connection with these birds! NEW Audubon and UW-GB partnered in forming the Green Bay Audubon Student Conservation Chapter at UWGB, first ever in the country. They also led a bird hike for Ashwaubenon High School at Bay Beach. In partnership with Bird City funding, they also installed 3 prothonotary warbler nest boxes at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary. Clean Water Action Council, NEW Audubon, Bay Area Bird Club and Baird Creek Preservation Foundation sponsored the showing of The Messenger at the Brown County library. NEW Audubon worked with the Mayor Jim Schmitt, to sign a Year-of-the-Bird proclamation for Green Bay.

2019: NEW Audubon has also conducted these efforts: hosted two Lecture Series speakers, gave 9 presentations on Project SOAR, gave an introduction talk on birding at the Brown County library, held two atlasing field trips, sponsored and showed the movie, "Green Fire." Held two Christmas Bird Counts. They also met with representative Mike Gallagher and Ron Johnson's staff. Members also went to Washington D.C. to advocate for laws protecting forage fish, which then protect seabirds. Nancy Nabak gave presentations on Chimney swifts to Wild Birds Unlimited, a garden club, a church, and a native plant sale. Nancy was contacted by eBird regarding the Chimney swift monitoring checklists. Here's what they had to say, "Today, the eBird Science team released new and exciting data products that let us see migration at the scale of continents for the first time for more than 600 species! Not only can we see the paths birds take we can also see where they are most abundant for every week of the year. And YOU helped make this vast body of work possible. Observations from 179,273 eBirders went into these new analyses. The eBird Science team used your eBird checklists for Chimney Swift. " 

2020: Project SOAR captured and relocated 3 Great Horned Owls and 2 Snowy Owls from airports where they were posing as hazards and won the WSO Special Recognition Award.

Energy & Sustainability

C. Document that a municipal building is LEED certified (silver or higher).

2017: According to Berners & Schobers Architecture firm, the following are Silver and Gold LEED certified:  Silver – Green Bay WI VA Clinic, Salvation Army Kroc Community Center, Brown County Communications Center, Sailor’s Creek Visitor Center. Gold – Wells Fargo Frankenthal Building, Austin Straubel International Airport SRE building, Brown County Community Treatment Center, Commercial Investor – Ashwaubenon, WDNR NE Regional Headquarters

2020: All locations that are deemed LEED certified are still in existence.

F. Demonstrate that your community participates in a community solar program or that a municipal building receives a significant percentage of its electricity from renewable energy.

2017: All four Green Bay high schools have solar systems and corresponding curriculum, including participating in the Solar Olympics program.

2020: In addition to the high schools having solar systems, Ned Dorff from Aldo Leopold School (grade) worked to get a large array of solar panels for the school. When all grants are in, they will cover a 13.69kW system. 

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.

Our World Migratory activities have been documented in previous narrative. I am attaching the graphic flyer for the Big Bay Birdathon for both 2018 and 2019 that accompanied this event. 

2020: Our Big Bay Birdathon and Springs Wings were cancelled due to the pandemic. We have held these events more than 10 years now in celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. Our hope is to come up with something safe and meaningful in 2021.

Joined Bird City: 2010

Population: 104,057

Incorporated: 1854

Area: 55.96 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Facebook Page

Community Map