Making our communities healthy for birds... and people



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 Jefferson recently updated their 2040 Comprehensive Plan, which was approved on January 21, 2020.

D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.

The City of Jefferson is currently planning the development of a nature conservancy on an abadoned 5 holes of a former golf course.  This conservancy will be approximately 20 acres.  There will be a paved trail, installation of native plants and trees, wetland areas and seated areas that will be designed and managed under the Natural Landscape ordinance.

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 Jefferson has an approved ordinance that permits natural landscaping, Chapter 219 - Natural Landscape Management.

The intent of this ordinance is to provide the property owner with guidelines and a permit process to achieve natural landscapes on their properties. This ordinance also requires a management plan for the property, to ensure that properties are well maintained and do not include any invasive species.  The process includes a review and approval from the Landscaped committee.

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 City of Jefferson is fortunate to have the Jefferson Marsh State Wildlife Area & Jefferson Tamarack Swamp State Natural Area as segment #37 of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail.  Jefferson is very close in proximity to the other areas in the county on the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail.

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

After the flood of 2008, the City of Jefferson acquired a 5.4 acre parcel in the floodplain. The parcel was purchased and the buildings were removed. The area has been restored as a natural area with a walking path, butterfly garden and a fishing pier. Rivers Edge Nature Preserve has been a favorite site for eagles to nest and fish on the Rock River.  Natural Landscape Management

Community Forest Management

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

The City of Jefferson has had the recognition of Tree City USA since 1993.  The City has also been given the Growth Award five times since 1993.

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 Cats Indoors! initiative is made available on our City of Jefferson website and also it is on display at the Jefferson Municipal Building.  The City recognizes that cats can pose a threat to the bird population.   Cats, Birds and You

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

The American Bird Conservancy's window collision resources and the Sialis "Preventing Window Strikes" information are on the City of Jefferson's Bird City Wisconsin website.  Bird City Wisconsin Resources

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.

On the City of Jefferson website, there is a link to the Audubon Society website for creating backyard bird habitiats.   Looking to create a backyard bird habitat

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.

The Bird City Wisconsin page on the City of Jefferson website is accessed by going to the For Residents on the top drop down menu. Bird City Wisconsin

Energy & Sustainability

I. Document that your community is part of the Energy Independent Community program.

The City of Jefferson became an Energy Independence Community in 2010.  The purpose of this initiative is to reduce by 25% the City's municipal energy and fuel consumption through conservation and the use of renewable resources by the year 2025.  Energy and conservation policies and procedures adopted as part of the Energy Independence Initiative will be based upon sound economic cost/benefit principles and long-term financial accountability.  The Energy Independence Initiative will promote and provide community education and outreach on topics related to energy, conservation and the use of renewable energy.  Energy Independent Communities

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.

In 2020, the City of Jefferson Recreation Department offered a DIY Doorstep program. This program allowed children to sign up weekly and project items were delivered to their doorstep. This program was so widely popular that it was offered for the month of December as a "Season of Doing." Two projects in this program included making a bird house and bird seed ornaments.

Joined Bird City: 2021

Population: 7,973

Incorporated: 1878

Area: 4.46 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Tourism Page

Community Map