Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Green Lake

City of Green 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.

The Green Lake City Council has developed and approved a Comprehensive Plan in accordance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law regarding land use planning and resource management. The Comprehensive Plan was approved in November, 2002, and the City of Green Lake has been in compliance ever since.

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)

Local birders have conducted an annual Green Lake Christmas Bird Count every year since 1983.

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

The City of Green Lake does not prohibit “natural” lawns for landscaping. The regulation of natural lawns is extensively detailed in Section 8-1-6 of the City of Green Lake Municipal Code.

H. Show that the local Chamber of Commerce or a similar group (e.g., an Audubon chapter, Wild Ones, etc.) takes an active role in the planning process for protecting and enlarging favorable bird habitat.

Green Lake Conservancy and Green Lake Sanitary District are actively (and jointly) involved in the control of invasive plant species on Green Lake’s conservancy lands. For the past nine years we have conducted weekly volunteer work sessions every Saturday morning during the fall months. Many hundreds of hours of clearing invasive species have been donated by individuals. The main targets have been Common Buckthorn, Oriental Bittersweet, and honeysuckle.

V. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

Green Lake’s “Green Team” (with help from Alliant Energy) built and installed four Osprey nesting platforms around the Green Lake area. In 2017 all four of these platforms had pairs build nests on them, and three of the four nests produced Osprey chicks.  We have been annually banding Osprey chicks, including in 2020, again with help from Alliant Energy.

Community Forest Management

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

Green Lake continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 2006.

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.

Green Lake's Bird City page has a link that provides information about the Cats Indoors! initiative.   

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

The City of Green Lake website has a Bird City page with a link that shows where community members can get information on the DANGERS of WINDOWS to wild birds, and how to protect them from window strikes

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).

Green Lake has conducted an annual Christmas Bird Count each winter since 1983. Typically, we have around 12-25 observers and they record roughly 50-69 different species each year. The count on Dec. 31, 2020 totaled 70 species, with an additional six species added during count week. 

Many of our area birdwatchers also participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count.

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

The City held their first annual Green Lake Bird Festival in the spring of 2013.  The festival is traditionally held on the last Saturday in April, and the 2019 event was held on April 26-27. This annual festival has included a Friday evening social gathering, followed by an early-morning field trip at a local conservancy property.  Immediately following the hike there are several bird-related presentations at Town Square in Green Lake during the remainder of the morning. The event has been co-sponsored by the Green Lake Bird and Nature Club, and Green Lake’s “Green Team”.  Unfortunately, the 2020 Green Lake Bird Festival was cancelled, due to COVID concerns and health restrictions.

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.

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)

Green Lake has an active bird club, called the Green Lake Bird and Nature Club, which meets monthly and holds periodic field trips.  (Unfortunately the 2020 activities of this organization were limited, due to COVID-19.)

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.

In January of 2015 we started a Green Lake Bird and Nature Club, which meets monthly at Town Square (2nd Tuesday at 6 PM, September through May) and conducts periodic field trips. Anyone interested in the wonderful world of nature is welcome to attend our meetings for bird or nature-related presentations, or go on our field trips. Participation in the club has steadily grown, and we have an active Facebook page.  For more information you can contact Tom Schultz at .

N. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The City of Green Lake provides information about the dangers to our forests, meadows, marshes and lakes by the introduction and spread of invasive species. 

Information about identifying and controlling harmful invasive species can also be found on the WI DNR website, linked here:

Energy & Sustainability

A. Document an energy audit for a municipal building and show that your community is working to implement its recommendations.

An energy audit has been conducted on the City of Green Lake's WWTP (Wastewater Treatment Plant).

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

The relatively new Green Lake County Justice Building in Green Lake has been LEED certified at the Silver level.

J. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The City of Green Lake has also been actively replacing its light bulbs with energy-efficient LED bulbs (as they burn out), including in City Hall, and all of the street lighting fixtures.

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.

Green Lake Mayor Ray Radis drafted a resolution proclaiming International Migratory Bird Day to be April 24, 2021. This year's celebration will take place at the 2021 Green Lake Bird Festival on that date (and the evening before). The festival starts with a Friday evening social event at Town Square -- Birds and Brews -- and continues on Saturday morning with an early morning field trip to Sunnyside Conservancy. Immediately following that will be several presentations by guest speakers at Town Square.  

Joined Bird City: 2014

Population: 960

Incorporated: 1962

Area: 2.06 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Map