Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of New Berlin

City of New Berlin

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 New Berlin has a comprehensive plan that is in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law regarding land use planning and resource management. The plan, entitled New Berlin 2020 Comprehensive Plan, touches on multiple aspects of creating and protecting habitat.

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)

Within the comprehensive plan there exist specific ordinances that deal with conservancy zoning and environmental corridors, providing existing bird habitat legal protection for migratory and resident birds alike.

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

The City of New Berlin was awarded a National Fish and Wildlife Federation (NFWF) Five Star Urban Waters Grant in 2018. The proposed project will cover 9.59 acres and encompass the length of Deer Creek and the wetlands to the south and east of the City Center Business District. Common to this area are several species of resident birds, migratory songbirds, owls and waterfowl. Recent history has revealed an abundance of whitetail deer and smaller animals such as muskrats, raccoon, opossum, skunks, various mice/voles and even evidence of a beaver. The habitat for these species is that of an urban to rural interface and wetland transition ecology. The current state of the defined proposal areas vary between ‘poor’ with construction debris, litter and heavily infested invasive species to ‘fair’ with few invasive species and nearly undisturbed lowland habitat, native trees and wetlands plants.

The project will connect two areas of current focused conservation activities. First, the Deer Creek Sanctuary is a parcel of 47 acres of upland mature oak and maple climax growth forest that has been involved in community conservation efforts from Scout projects, the Gering Trail and a native salamander study due to the vernal ponds. The other end of the project is the Preserve at Deer Creek and Eisenhower High (EHS) and Middle School. The Ecology Club at EHS most recently has created an ecological trail through the woods at the School and would like to expand their efforts north through the Golf Course and into the wetlands following Deer Creek to City Center. At City Center, there are efforts underway to benefit the environment with the Friends of the Library engaging with the Waukesha Green Team and several local civic groups to promote water conservation with a “Project Rainway” rain barrel auction, ABC Garden and bird habitat enhancement behind the new Library. This project would give a tangible point of consolidation for those conservation efforts and a community gathering point to begin and end the Wetland Ecology Trail. When complete, the project will remain sustainable with the committed involvement from the Scouts annual activities in Scout Park, coordinated monitoring by the New Berlin Land and Ecology Club and annual activities by the EHS Ecology Club. The City of  New Berlin Parks, Buildings and Grounds Department is the ultimate authority over this project and will maintain oversight of this area as identified in the Parks and Open Space Plan 2016. 

To date, there has been a wetland delineation and there are several active volunteers working on other Grant components. In conclusion, this project will restore and make accessible to our public the Deer Creek corridor that flows through the most heavily urbanized area of the City of New Berlin. This project will establish a sustainable ecological trail with the use of variety of community volunteer groups and lay the foundation for additional community engagement and with the development and improvement of future park space and a means for the promotion of our local wetland ecology and bird habitats.

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.

Appendix G of the New Berlin 2020 Comprehensive Plan outlines design rules and maintenance techniques for natural plantings and also addresses invasive species control. In addition, New Berlin’s website provides residents with information on the Emerald Ash Borer and assorted tree diseases. The front desk at the Recreation Department has several informational pamphlets on Garlic Mustard, EAB and most recently, Jumping Worm (Amynthas spp.).

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.).

This year New Berlin worked with three Eagle Scout candidates to earn their Award.  First Ryan Buckholz cut trails from existing walkways to create wildlife viewing along the pond shoreline at Gatewood Park.  He then installed three Wood Duck houses and built benches so that the visitors can see the nesting ducks.  Second, Connor Fordberg built three Bluebird houses and installed them at the Valley View Disc Course in addition to two bat houses.  Finally, Tom Burns built and installed five Bluebird houses and five Wood Duck houses at three different locations: Lion’s Park, Calhoun Park and Regal Park.  All of these efforts involved the use of each respective boy’s Troop and volunteer parents.

Community Forest Management

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

New Berlin will be recognized as a Tree City USA for the 16th time by the National Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 2002. 2017 marked its fifth year as a recipient of the Growth Award for advancing forestry activities.

E. Show that your forester, a member of your tree board, or another person currently responsible for managing your community’s trees has completed the Wisconsin DNR’s Wisconsin Tree Management Institute.

City Forester, Paul Fliss graduated from the 2001-12 WCTMI Program and attended the 2016 WCTMI graduate class in Green Lake.

Limiting or Removing Threats to Birds

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

The New Berlin Public Library, with the permission and support of Director Barbara Draeger, has placed bird window-strike information at the kiosk near the front entrance. It already has anti-strike bird silhouettes on the windows and is in the third year of planting perennials by the ABC Garden for additional bird habitat. The City of New Berlin has advertised at a kiosk that IMBD was May 6th, 2017 and informational flyers for this program and additional bird strike pamphlets.

C. Show that your municipality practices Integrated Pest Management, using natural pest control and the best available science to minimize pesticide and herbicide use.

The City of New Berlin is one a few communities to receive parasitic wasps to aid in the destruction of the Emerald Ash Borer.  The DNR Forest Entomologist, Bill McNee released the first batch in summer of 2015 and again in summer of 2016.  This year we will assist in monitoring the ash trees to see if they populated the area trees and assess the impact on the borer.

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. 

The students from the fifth grade class at Elmwood Elementary School with the help of the teacher Anna Mac, organized and held a field trip to Deer Creek on October 29, 2017.  They used tablet computers to document invasive species, native wildlife and wetland ecology to aid in the creation of 12 ecologic interpretive signs.  These signs will be installed along the route of the trail and at the Public Library. 

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).

This year, the members of the New Berlin Garden Club and the New Berlin Land Conservancy and Ecology Association were asked to participate in the Christmas Bird Count as part of the Ben Goss Bird Club of Waukesha. The members met in Vernon Marsh at 4:30 am for owling and continued through the day monitoring and counting birds at the Frog Alley lot.

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 International Migratory Bird Day event in New Berlin was May 4th, 2017 and celebrated with our annual Arborday Celebration at Malone Park. The third and fourth grade students of Star of Bethlehem School spent a late morning planting a tree and talking about ecology and the importance of trees and birds. At the May 8th Common Council meeting, we received the Tree City USA credential and at the presentation of the Growth Award, it was explained how the goals of the Bird City Wisconsin and Tree City USA helped our community achieve this distinction. All of these efforts have been helping improve the quality of life and make New Berlin a healthy place for people and birds.

Joined Bird City: 2014

Population: 39,584

Incorporated: 1959

Area: 36.9 mi2

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