Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

Ozaukee County

Ozaukee County

HIGH FLYER

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.

Ozaukee County and 14 cities, villages, and towns began working together in 2002, and prepared a multijurisdictional comprehensive plan for Ozaukee County. The partnership also prepared comprehensive plans for each participating city, village, and town. All cities, villages, and towns in the County except the City of Cedarburg participated in the joint planning process. As part of the planning process, the County and local governments identified existing desirable land uses and important natural resources that should be preserved to maintain the high quality of life in Ozaukee County. A desired land use plan for the year 2035 was also identified. The County and local comprehensive plans were prepared, in part, to comply with the requirements of Wisconsin’s comprehensive planning law, which took effect in 1999. The law, set forth in Section 66.1001 of the Wisconsin Statutes, requires County and local governments that enforce general zoning, shoreland zoning, subdivision, or official mapping ordinances to have an adopted comprehensive plan by January 1, 2010. The Wisconsin Department of Administration awarded a comprehensive planning grant to Ozaukee County in 2004 to help fund preparation of the County and local plans, the first such grant award in southeastern Wisconsin.

An amendment to the County plan was adopted in 2009 to incorporate the land use plan maps adopted by each city, village, and town as part of their local comprehensive plan. The amendment was approved by the CPB on April 3, 2009. A public hearing was held on May 4, and the amendment was adopted by the County Board on May 6, 2009.

The Multi-Jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan for Ozaukee County: 2035 inventories natural communities identified as ecological priorities and critical species habitat sites, such as Harrington Beach State Park Old Fields which is home to the upland sandpiper. The plan discusses Wisconsin’s Important Bird Areas and maps the locations of those are as in Ozaukee County. The plan also has native habitat preservation and enhancement as one of the major goals. Ozaukee County also has a rich history of park and open space planning, dating back to the 1970's. Periodic updates of the County Park and Open Space Plans have been made approximately every five years.

Farmland preservation is another issue of concern in Ozaukee County. Agriculture has, and will continue to be a major factor in both Wisconsin and Ozaukee County's economy. In 2010, the Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department updated the Farmland Preservation Plan (FPP) originally adopted in 1983 to meet new requirements set forth in the new Working Lands Initiative created by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP). The update includes an inventory and analysis of existing agricultural resources, the identification of key trends and projections, the delineation of farmland preservation areas (FPAs), visioning, issue identification, recommendations, as well as implementation measures. The Farmland Preservation Citizen Advisory Committee (FPP CAC), comprised of 16 local government representatives and 16 at-large citizen appointments, was formed to help guide the plan throughout the planning process. The Ozaukee County Land Preservation Board (LPB) and Ozaukee County Comprehensive Planning Board (CPB) also provide oversight and the CPB recommended the plan to the County Board for adoption.

The Farmland Preservation Plan was adopted by resolution of the Ozaukee County Board of Supervisors as a stand-alone plan on July 3, 2013.  The Department also prepared an update to the Park and Open Space Plan (POSP) for Ozaukee County in 2010 - 2011 and the County Board adopted the plan in June 2011.  The POSP, along with the FPP for Ozaukee County became amendments to the County's Comprehensive Plan on May 1, 2013, and December 4, 2013 respectively.

The Ozaukee County Multi-Jurisdictional Comprehensive Plan, Park and Open Space Plan and the Farmland Preservation Plan documents can be found at: https://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/551/Planning-Division.

The Department is currently working on an update to the POSP and an update and amendment to the Comprehensive Plan under a contract with SEWRPC.

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)

Bird monitoring data collected since 2008 by local volunteers with the support of Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department (Department) staff at Mee-Kwon County Park and Golf Course and Hawthorne Hills County Park and Golf Course continued in 2018. This past year, 25 boxes (of 28 boxes total) fledged 124 Eastern Bluebirds and 41 Tree Swallows at Mee-Kwon County Park and Golf Course. Since 2008, 1,304 bluebirds have fledged in the 28 boxes. Note: The number of boxes has ranged from 26-30 with unproductive boxes removed and moved as needed. Hawthorne Hills County Golf Course also continues to be prime bluebird habitat producing 70 bluebirds and 58 tree swallows from 22 boxes in 2018. 

The Department restored a 12 acre warm-season prairie at Tendick Nature  Park in 2016, and restored another 5 acres in 2018 to create 17 acres of contiguous, diverse and high-quality habitat for birds and pollinators. In addition to the native prairie seeding, the Department installed 10 bluebird boxes around the perimeter of the restoration area. 2018 monitoring data entry and analysis is ongoing.  Monitoring will continue in 2019.

As part of a WDNR Citizen-Based Monitoring grant, the Department received funding to purchase, install and monitor 10 kestrel nest boxes throughout Ozaukee County with the help of volunteers. No kestrels were observed nesting during the 2017 or 2018 breeding season, but the data was still a valuable addition to the American Kestrel Partnership database.  The Department plans to continue monitoring in 2019.

The Department is also planning to add and monitor 6 to 10 bluebird nest boxes to Virmond County Park in Mequon in conjunction with a planned prairie restoration project.

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)

The Department continues to manage two major habitat restoration projects on Ulao Creek in the Village and Town of Grafton and Mole Creek in the Village and Town of Saukville. Project activities include (1) channel remeandering, (2) improvement of lateral connectivity by connecting aquatic habitat to floodplain wetland with suitable hydroperiod, (3) wetland creation and/or enhancement, (4) invasive plant control, (5) native plant restoration (e.g. tree and shrub planting and seeding wetland species), and (6) installation of fish and bird habitat structures.  In 2014 the initial phases of each project were completed, restoring portions of the creeks to a natural and dynamic state, which included installing multiple habitat structures for fish, avian and wildlife species. Hundreds of native trees, shrubs and wetland plants were planted within both project areas providing additional habitat for birds and wildlife and competing with invasive species growth.  In 2015 and 2016 subsequent phases were completed on both Ulao and Mole Creeks undergoing the same restoration activities with additional native tree and shrub plantings and invasive species management activities. In late 2016, a tributary to Ulao Creek, Kaul Creek, underwent the same habitat restoration activities as Ulao and Mole Creek, expanding the restored creek channel and adjacent floodplain/wetland areas.  In 2018, another phase of the Mole Creek project began and final construction is set for 2019.  The Ulao Creek and Kaul Creek restoration sites (approximately 2.5 miles of stream) are located on private properties and each owner has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) to preserve the project enhancements and restoration for a minimum of 20-years. In collaboration with the Ulao Creek Partnership and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Department is working on acquiring permanent conservation easements and/or fee simple acquisition of portions of the restoration area at Ulao and Kaul Creek in order to permanently protect the investment.  The Mole Creek restoration sites are located on multiple permanent public easements owned by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. 

Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve, a prominent Ozaukee County Park and bird habitat on Lake Michigan, is legally protected by a conservation easement held by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT).  The conservation easement assures that Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve will be maintained as a nature preserve, prevents any use of the property that could impair or interfere with conservation, and preserves the lake shoreline, forests, wetlands, bluffs and other natural features of the property.   The property is also under the guidance of a Stewardship Grant Contract and Land Management Plan for protecting the natural resources.  In addition, there are several other State and Federal properties in Ozaukee County with existing bird habitat under legal protection including several United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Waterfowl Production Area properties including the large Armin O. Schwengel Waterfall Protection Area, Harrington Beach State Park, Huiras Lake State Natural Area and the Cedarburg Bog State Natural Area.  Also, the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Inc. owns several properties in Ozaukee County with existing bird habitat under legal protection including Huiras Lake, Donges Bay Gorge, Kurtz’s Woods and the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve.  Finally, both the Mequon Nature Preserve and Riveredge Nature Center are found in Ozaukee County and have existing bird habitat under legal protection.

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

In 2018, the Department sought funding to restore approximately eight acres of old-field/mowed lawn to warm-season native prairie and install a bluebird box trail at Virmond County Park. The Department has been making ecological and recreational improvements to Virmond over the last several years and the proposed prairie restoration project will be the latest effort to provide additional habitat for resident and migratory birds utilizing this designated Important Bird Area. Grant funding received from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin C.D. Besadny Conservation Fund, a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources County Conservation Aids Fund, National Audubon Society Audubon in Action Grant and the Brookby Foundation will support the restoration project in 2019. 

The Department created the Ozaukee County Ecological Prioritization Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Tool to develop a master planning document for the County’s open space lands.  The GIS Tool uses GIS to compile and spatially analyze a wide variety of natural and cultural resource data into implementable outputs that make the information easy to visualize across the landscape. The GIS Tool produces two unique outputs: a preservation score and a restoration score. The preservation score identifies and prioritizes areas of high environmental value for protection. The restoration score identifies areas with high restoration potential that, if restored, have the greatest potential to contribute to desired environmental value.  Both of these outputs provide useful information to decision-makers about where and why to prioritize land protection, preservation, and restoration efforts.  An accompanying technical report serves as a supplemental document to the Master Plan and is intended to provide additional information about the planning process, a more detailed explanation of the data and methods utilized, and a discussion of the limitations and considerations of both the inputs and outputs of the analysis. The Master Plan was funded by the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. Both documents are available for download on the County website at http://wi-ozaukeecounty.civicplus.com/551/Planning-Division.

The Department is currently working with Mequon Preservation Partners, a partnership which includes the City of Mequon, Wisconsin Wetlands Association, Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, UWM and the Mequon Nature Preserve, members of the Mequon Park and Open Space Board and citizens to refine and utilize the Ecological Prioritization GIS Tool and conduct education and outreach events. Through this partnership, the GIS Tool has been significantly refined and expanded and several education and outreach events have been conducted with assistance of the Department, such as those at Virmond County Park and Trinity Creek Wildlife Area in the City of Mequon.  Draft maps have been utilized for landowner outreach and provided to City staff for land use decision-making.  The final maps, as part of a County-wide revision of the GIS Tool, will be used to guide landowner outreach and implementation of preservation and restoration activities within the City of Mequon, specifically on the Little Menomonee River.  The Department is currently funded by a Wisconsin Coastal Management Program grant to expand the GIS Tool countywide.

The Department began working on an update to the existing Park and Open Space Plan (POSP) for Ozaukee County in 2018 and will continue in 2019. The planning process will review a wide variety of data related to demographic and economic characteristics, existing land uses, and natural resources, provide information on existing park sites and facilities and open space lands, and collect public input to determine the need for additional park and open space sites and facilities. The POSP will outline objectives, principles, and supporting standards for park and open space preservation, acquisition, and development, analyze park and open space needs, and set forth recommended actions.

Ozaukee County, the City of Port Washington and The Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) are in the process of acquiring 100 acres along the coast of Lake Michigan, currently known as the Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve, that will be formally added to the Ozaukee County Park System The land is located immediately north of Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve. Acquisition will provide long-term protection of a unique statewide important clay seepage bluff natural community, a locally significant natural area and critical species habitat, maintain the natural integrity of the Lake Michigan shoreline, preserve the scenic vistas of the Lake Michigan bluffs, a locally significant natural area (9 acres) and critical species habitat (35 acres), protect high groundwater recharge areas and wetlands, preserve primary environmental corridor, and offer outstanding public access to Lake Michigan and recreational opportunities, including the Lake Michigan Water Trail.

Clay Bluffs/Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve will be open year-round to the public for nature-based outdoor recreational opportunities, including hiking, bird watching, wildlife observation, nature study, snowshoeing, limited hunting, and cross-country skiing. The Nature Preserve will protect approximately 100 acres of undeveloped land along the Lake Michigan shoreline. The property will be important as a migratory stopover and breeding habitat for birds using the Lake Michigan flyway and Ozaukee Bight and Harrington Important Bird Areas. This property contributes significantly to the overall value of this larger complex of bird stopover and breeding habitat in combination with Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve and Ulao Swamp. The Semi-wooded upland clay banks included in this property provide critical bird species habitat for the short-eared owl (Asio flammmeus), a State-designated special concern species.

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 Department continuously looks for education and outreach opportunities that allow for dissemination of information related to the improvement of the native local ecology and management of invasive species in Ozaukee County. In 2018, the Department held two workshop/workdays to teach people about how to identify and manage invasive species, how to plant native tree species and discussed general ecological concepts.  Free native tree seedlings were provided to workshop/workday attendees to take home to plant on their own property.  Department staff also held several “eco tours” in 2018 to provide education to visitors of the Ozaukee County Parks including the annual Treasures of Oz event where Ozaukee County’s natural areas are showcased. 133 people visited Hawthorne Hills County Park on June 16 for the Treasures of Oz event and learned about the ecology in the park and specifically about invasive species management being conducted. A display offering a variety of educational brochures and handouts was made available to visitors as well. The Department also participated in the week-long Ozaukee County Fair, reaching several hundred people, and the local International Migratory Bird Day event by staffing display tables again, offering educational literature on invasive species identification and management.

The Department continued utilizing youth conservation corps teams to help with invasive species management in the Ozaukee County Park System and natural areas. During each team’s service period, they learn about local ecology, invasive species identification and management. In 2018, 26 conservation corps team members from AmeriCorps NCCC, AmeriCorps GLCCC and WisCorps learned about the problems associated with invasive species, ash tree removal as management for the invasive EAB, and how to properly plant a tree. Each team receives a formalized training as it relates to the ecology of the area and invasive species management and removal techniques. Following the trainings, the teams use their knowledge to manage invasive species, remove EAB infected ash trees and plant native trees to replace the lost trees and assist in competing with removed invasive species.

The Department is currently under contract with Glacier Lands to complete a County-wide roadside invasive species inventory for phragmites, Japanese knotweed and teasel. The data being collected with the assistance of Department staff will be used in future plans to provide educational and geographical information and conduct follow-up treatment activities. 

The Department uses multiple outlets to promote educational events and information such as sending out press releases, posting and mailing out fliers, Facebook and Department website announcements/updates and through email blasts. In addition to the partner activities listed above, the Town of Grafton, the Ozaukee Treasures Network, the City of Mequon, Ulao Creek Partnership, Treasures of Oz, SEWISC and the MAS are all active in recruiting volunteers and promoting Department educational opportunities through the web and in print.

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.

Ozaukee County has five sites on the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail, including Harrington Beach State Park, Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve, Ulao Waterfowl Production Area, the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, Riveredge Nature Center, and Schwengel Waterfowl Production Area. In fact, the Ozaukee Interurban Trail was the second multiuse trail in the State of Wisconsin to receive designation as a Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail.

Ozaukee County also has three designated Important Bird Areas, including the Cedarburg Bog, Harrington Beach Lakeshore Migration Corridor, and Ozaukee Bight Lakeshore Migration Corridor. The Ozaukee Bight Lakeshore Migration Corridor is primarily encompassed by Virmond County Park, part of the Ozaukee County Park System. The Planning and Parks Department is actively managing invasive species and replanting with native tree species at Virmond County Park as well as allowing over 10 acres of previously mowed areas to be reverted back to grasslands, restoring of 8 acres of old field to warm season prairie and creating a 0.5 acre wetland restoration in order to provide for bird habitat in this Important Bird Area along the Lake Michigan Flyway. These areas within Virmond County Park contain important habitats for breeding and migratory stopovers.

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.

Ozaukee County, the City of Port Washington and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT) continue the process towards acquisition of 100 acres along the coast of Lake Michigan, currently known as the Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve. The Ozaukee County Tourism Council and Port Washington Tourism Council were supportive in the acquisition of the Clay Bluffs Cedar Gorge Nature Preserve property at several County Board Meetings and by providing letters of support for grants to WCMP and WDNR.

The Milwaukee Audubon Society works closely with the Department to plan and implement ecological improvement projects that benefit bird and other wildlife species. One such collaboration included the acquisition of the 155 acre Spirit Lake Property in the City of Mequon. The OWLT is the current owner of the property, but is in the process of transferring it over to the MAS as a permanent natural area. The Department, OWLT, and MAS are working to restore and enhance this property for bird and wildlife habitat and stormwater filtration purposes. This property contains a pond, wetlands, mixed high-quality hardwood forest (NA-3), grassland, and agricultural lands being converted to prairie and forest.  In 2018, the Department, with the assistance of conservation corps teams, planted 7,710 native tree seedlings on approximately 19 acres of agricultural lands through a 2017 USFS grant to mitigate the loss of ash trees due to the Emerald Ash Borer. Additional tree planting and restoration will continue in 2019 in partnership with OWLT and MAS.

I. Document a recent project that created or restored bird habitat in your community. (Exclusions: Bird feeders and small-scale artificial nesting structures)

Beginning in October 2014, the Department began managing and treating invasive species in a 12 acre open old field with scattered invasive shrubs and trees at Tendick Nature Park as part of an effort to restore the area to a warm-season prairie/savannah habitat. The area was mowed and two treatments of glyphosphate were applied in 2015 and a third in May 2016. Larger shrubs and trees (e.g. buckthorn, black locust, and boxelder) were removed in spring 2016 and treated with glyphosate to prevent regrowth with a group of volunteers from Pheasants Forever. In June 2016, Department staff seeded the 12 acres with a warm-season native prairie mix. The Department received two small grants from the WDNR CCA grant program and the American Transmission Company (ATC) for 2017 to purchase and plant several large oak trees and install 10 bluebird boxes to transform the project area into a grassland-savannah habitat for a variety of bird species. The Department then worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and through several grants (e.g. a MAS Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc. Mini-Grant) to expand the prairie by adding another 5.0 acres into prairie/savannah and a 0.5 acre wetland scrape. In early 2018, volunteers from Pheasants Forever and conservation corps teams (e.g. WisCorps and GLCCC) assisted with clearing the additional 5.0 acres of land of invasive vegetation, other trees (e.g. ash), an old fence and remnant garbage to prepare the site for planting. The five acres was also treated with glyphosate to prevent growth of new invasive vegetation.  Department staff seeded the 5 acres in summer 2018.  Since the planting, the prairie has been intensely managed for invasive species (ongoing maintenance as well as the removal of invasive trees and shrubs) by Department staff, WisCorps and an AmeriCorps GLCCC team.  The Department engineered a wetland restoration at Tendick Nature Park including berm and water control structure to be able to manipulate water levels. The wetland scrape construction began in late 2017 and was completed in 2018 by the Ozaukee County Highway Department under funding from several grants (MAS, SWWT, USFWS).  Department staff worked with an Eagle Scout to build and install a wood duck box at the site of the wetland to provide additional nesting habitat.  Educational signage will be displayed in this area to explain the importance of ephemeral wetlands and discuss the wildlife species known to be in the park using these ephemeral wetlands.

The Department also worked with the Ozaukee County Highway Department to construct the 0.30-acre ephemeral wetland scrape that is hydrologically connected to the existing 0.5-acre wetland area suitable for herptiles (e.g., blue spotted salamanders and frogs), birds (e.g. wood ducks, mallard ducks) and other wildlife (e.g. muskrat) at Virmond County Park. The new wetland area was hand seeded with native wetland/prairie seed mix by Department staff and a Great Lakes Community Conservation Corps (GLCCC) team. Native trees and shrubs have been planted around the new wetland area in 2017 and 2018 and additional plantings (e.g. herbaceous, shrubs and trees) are planned for 2019.  Educational signage will be displayed in this area to explain the importance of ephemeral wetlands and discuss the wildlife species known to be in the park using these ephemeral wetlands.

K. Implement a tree risk policy (see pg. 153) designed to leave dead trees standing as nesting and foraging resources for birds when it is safe to do so.

As part of a 2018 WDNR Urban Forestry Grant, the Department is currently developing a Forestry/EAB Management Plan for several Ozaukee County Parks (Hawthorne Hills County Park and Golf Course, Tendick Nature County Park and Waubedonia County Park which includes language about prioritizing removals for potentially hazardous trees and leaving others standing-dead to provide nesting and foraging resources for birds and other wildlife. The completed Forestry/EAB Management Plan will be used as a template to create a similar plan for several additional County Parks as part of a 2019 WDNR Urban Forestry Grant. 

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

The Ozaukee County Planning and Parks Department continued to take an active role in restoring native habitat throughout the County in 2018. A variety of projects in multiple County Parks and within two large scale restoration project sites have restored wetland, woodland and prairie habitats. The Department controlled invasive species, seeded a native prairie, restored several acres of wetlands and planted hundreds of native tree and shrubs and wetland plants throughout the County park system as well as the Ulao/Kaul and Mole Creek habitat restoration sites.

Hundreds of native trees, shrubs and wetland plants were planted within the Ulao and Mole Creek project areas, restoring 8.66 and 18.29 acres of habitat respectively, for birds and wildlife as well as competing with invasive species.  In 2015-2016 subsequent phases were completed at both restoration project sites and the newly added Kaul Creek site with the same restoration activities and additional native tree and shrub plantings. 14 strategically placed ash trees (large woody debris) were installed within the newly restored Kaul Creek channel to provide habitat for several fish, avian, wildlife and herptile species. In 2018, the Department worked with a new landowner in the Ulao Headwaters (Ulao Hardwood Swamp) through a USFS-GLRI grant to mitigate the loss of ash trees canopy due to emerald ash borer through tree planting.  The locally significant natural area is dominated by ash trees that are now standing dead. The Department is working with the landowner, private contractors and conservation corps to replant the swamp with native trees. Many ash will remain standing dead as habitat. The goal for this project is to plant at least 7,500 native tree seedlings and 200 large trees. Thus far in 2018, 200 large trees and 920 tree seedlings were planted as part of the project. Planting will continue in 2019.

The Department received a USEPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) Grant to continue work within the County Park System and in two habitat restoration project sites on Ulao/Kaul and Mole Creek in 2016-2017 to control and manage invasive species, treat/remove ash trees for emerald ash borer (EAB), and replant native trees and shrubs to compete with invasive species, stabilize eroded bluff areas, and provide habitat consistent with the native local ecology that can benefit many bird species. In addition, the Department received US Forest Service funding to plant over 5,000 trees to reforest 50 acres of Mee-Kwon County Park and Golf Course and the adjacent Spirit Lake Property owned by MAS and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. In 2016, over 65 acres of land were managed for invasive species and 390 trees were planted under these projects.  In 2017, invasive species management continued within the Ozaukee County Park System, continuing efforts in some of the same areas as well as new areas working on a cumulative 200 acres of land. In addition, 5,170 native tree seedlings and 254 medium-large native trees were planted throughout the Project Areas under these grants with major efforts to continue in 2018. Some of the locally native species being planted include northern white cedar, yellow birch, American tamarack, quaking aspen, serviceberry, red maple, silver maple, American hornbeam, hackberry, bur oak, swamp white oak, white oak, American elderberry, and cranberry viburnum.

M. Demonstrate that your community offers a program for private property owners who are interested in dealing with invasive plants that have significant negative impacts on bird habitat.

The Planning and Parks Department, through collaboration with the Ulao Creek Partnership, Inc. (UCP) and MAS, sponsors programs/events to remove invasive species (e.g. invasive shrubs from riparian woodlands such as buckthorn and honeysuckle) on private property within the Ulao Creek Watershed. In addition, the Department, through its participation and collaboration with the UCP and in conjunction with the Ulao Creek Habitat Restoration project, offers a program to plant native trees on UCP member’s private properties to enhance the watershed and provide for native habitat. The Department has also provided advice on the management of invasive species to the private landowner of the Ulao Swamp headwaters where active tree planting is ongoing. As mentioned, the Department is managing two large scale habitat restoration projects on Ulao/Kaul and Mole Creeks. All project work is being implemented on private property. The Department has also coordinated phragmites removal projects with OWLT on private properties adjacent to the habitat restoration projects. Throughout the duration of the projects, the Department has been assisting landowners in the removal of invasive species on their properties. The Department, in partnership with MAS, received a National Audubon Society Audubon in Action Grant in 2018 to continue working on private lands in the Ulao Creek Watershed to manage invasive species and plant native trees in 2019. The Department will work with MAS and the Ulao Creek Partnership to coordinate invasive species removal and tree planting workdays in spring 2019. 

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

The Department continually seeks funding to support land management activities to improve the ecology and recreational opportunities within the Ozaukee County Park System and Department-managed Natural Areas. The Department has received federal, state, local and private grants including USEPA GLRI, WDNR Urban Forestry and Brookby Foundation funding to continue to control and manage invasive species, treat/remove ash trees for emerald ash borer (EAB), and replant native trees and shrubs to assist in competing with new invasive seedlings and provide habitat consistent with the native local ecology that will benefit many bird species. In 2018, the Department, with the assistance of conservation corps teams and volunteers, managed invasive species on approximately 70 acres of land throughout the Ozaukee County Park System. Species targeted for removal include autumn olive, black alder, black locust, bull thistle, Canada thistle, common buckthorn, common burdock, common teasel, crown vetch, cut-leaved teasel, Dame’s rocket, European privet, garlic mustard, glossy buckthorn, honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.), Japanese barberry, Japanese knotweed, lyme grass, multiflora rose, narrow-leaved cattail, purple loosestrife, reed canary grass, Russian olive, spotted knapweed, tree of heaven, white sweet clover, wild parsnip, and yellow sweet clover.

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

2015 Brookby Foundation grant funding allowed the Department to design, engineer, and build a functional chimney swift nesting tower in Virmond County Park, a designated Important Bird Area by the National Audubon Society and the State of Wisconsin. The nesting tower was built by the County’s Highway Department and installed in November and December 2015.  In order to make the tower more aesthetically pleasing and provide an educational opportunity at the park, the Department requested proposals from local artists to create and implement their ideas for an artistic design that would be added to the structure.  Local artist, Sally Duback, was chosen by a County advisory committee comprised of artists, citizens, a County board supervisor, tourism representative and others to implement her community based mosaic design proposal. Throughout 2017, Sally worked with nearly 600 students throughout Ozaukee County to create and glaze clay tiles that were used to form colorful mosaic design panels for the tower.  In 2018, Sally created and installed intricate façades for each side of the tower that depicted day and night nature scenes, and native Wisconsin wildflowers and tree leaves.  In celebration of the tower, art installation and the annual International Migratory Bird Day, the Department hosted a special event at Virmond County Park on Saturday, May 19th 2018.  Teachers and students involved in the project, neighbors, a representative of the Brookby Foundation, Nicole Lightwine, Chairperson of the Ozaukee County Natural Resources Committee, Jennifer Rothstein, and curious members of the public joined the Department Director, Andrew Struck and Ecological Program Assistant, Tina Kroening and Sally Duback in celebrating the completion of the beautiful and functional public art piece.  Several chimney swifts were seen flying overhead during the celebration, as Department staff discussed the ecology of this fascinating species. 

The Department hopes chimney swifts will use the tower for nesting and roosting, but above all, the tower is there to bring awareness about the declining species and the importance of preserving existing chimney swift habitat. It is also the first public art piece to be installed in the Ozaukee County Park System and we hope it to be the first of many!

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.).

The Department is working with several Eagle Scouts on projects to build wood duck boxes and split rail fences for several County Parks. The Department is providing materials and guidance to complete the projects. In 2018, one wood duck box was built and installed at the new wetland scrape restoration at Tendick Nature Park and another was installed at the Mee-Kwon County Park pond. An additional wood duck box will be installed in 2019 at the new wetland scrape restoration at Virmond County Park.  An Eagle Scout also built a split rail fence around a portion of the newly restored prairie at Tendick Nature County Park to create an expanded and defined border around the prairie and separate it from the adjacent landowner.

S. Demonstrate how a public golf course is managed to benefit birds.

The Department, through the Golf Course Division, also continues to manage approximately 1.5 acres of native prairie at Mee-Kwon County Golf Course that was planted in 2008.  The Department has also stopped mowing large areas (approximately 25 acres all together) of the golf course in conjunction with scattered tree plantings to create a savannah-like habitat throughout the property. As mentioned in the Basic Requirements section, bird boxes were installed at both Mee-Kwon and Hawthorne Hills Golf Courses in 2008 and have been monitored every year.

The Department received 2016-2019 funding from USEPA-GLRI, USFS-GLRI, WDNR Urban Forestry, Brookby Foundation and WDNR-WI Regional Planning Commission to plant trees in the Ozaukee County Park System, including the two Golf Courses.  This ongoing effort to mitigate the loss of ash trees due to EAB and to naturalize out-of-play portions of the golf courses continued in 2018. 27 large trees and 500 seedlings were planted at Hawthorne Hills County Golf Course and 60 large trees were planted at Mee-Kwon Golf Course in 2018.  From 2017 to 2018, 45 large trees and 500 seedlings were planted at Hawthorne Hills County Golf Course and 200 large trees and 4,690 seedlings were planted at Mee-Kwon Golf Course.  The Department chooses locally grown native species of trees when planting including northern white cedar, yellow birch, American tamarack, quaking aspen, shagbark hickory, serviceberry, red maple, silver maple, American hornbeam, hackberry, red oak, bur oak, swamp white oak, white oak, chinquapin oak, American Witch-hazel and American elderberry.

T. Document that your community maintains a birding trail or hot spot location with educational signage and/or literature. (Note: A birding hotspot alone is not sufficient - your community must actively promote birding and public education at the site itself.)

Ozaukee County is home to 22 birding "hot spots," including 11 along the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. "Hot spots" located along the trail are marked with a "Trailside Birding Hot Spot" sign as shown in the attachments. Additional educational signage can be found at seven kiosks along the Trail and in three County Parks identifying and detailing the various birding "hot spots," important bird habitat types including wetland, open grassland, riverine, woodland, and Lake Michigan, as well as the typical species of birds one may find in each habitat type. The Department promotes these birding areas through a variety of events, announcements and distribution of the Ozaukee County “Trailside Birding Guide” including the annual Treasures of Oz event, International Migratory Bird Day and the Ozaukee County Fair.

V. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The Department worked with National Audubon Society to prepare and introduce a formal resolution to the Ozaukee County Board of Supervisors to officially declare 2018 as the Year of the Bird in celebration of the centennial year of the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act (see attached Resolution).  The resolution passed unanimously, making Ozaukee County the first county or municipality in Wisconsin in passing such a resolution.  Efforts are underway with other municipalities and national organizations in recognizing the importance of the birds to the Midwest-Region and State of Wisconsin residents and economy.

Ozaukee County is also a member of the North Branch Milwaukee River Wildlife and Farming Heritage Area Advisory Committee. This representation is indicative of Ozaukee County’s long-term efforts to promote the Natural Areas and Critical Species Habitat Management Plan for Southeastern Wisconsin. Ozaukee County has also incorporated the December, 2010 amendment to the Regional Natural Areas and Critical Species Habitat Management Plan recommendations into its Park and Open Space Plan (POSP) for implementation. Ozaukee County implemented one of the recommendations of the POSP through the acquisition of the Lion’s Den Gorge Nature Preserve.

Community Forest Management

C. Document an ongoing community program to incorporate a significant number of native trees, native shrubs, native herbaceous plants, and/or cultivars of native species in public or large-scale private landscaping.

As mentioned in the Basic Requirements, the Department continues to implement a variety of projects to enhance, restore and expand habitat for birds, fish and wildlife. Many of these projects promote effective community forest management through invasive species management and native tree/shrub planting in a variety of ecosystems as well as reforestation. In 2018 alone, the Department, with the assistance of conservation corps teams, private contractors and volunteers planted 629 large trees and 9,838 tree seedlings within the Ozaukee County Park System and Department-managed natural areas.  Some of the locally native species being planted include northern white cedar, yellow birch, American tamarack, quaking aspen, shagbark hickory, serviceberry, red maple, silver maple, American hornbeam, hackberry, red oak, bur oak, swamp white oak, white oak, chinquapin oak, American Witch-hazel and American elderberry.

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 Department’s website provides web links to information on controlling free-roaming cats and also actively publicizes the “Cats Indoors!” program. The  Department is beginning to work with its partners including the Ozaukee Humane Society, Inc., Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Wild Birds Unlimited (Mequon), and several veterinarians in the County (e.g. Little Animal Hospital in Port Washington) to publicize the “Cats Indoors!” program through the placement of brochures and posters at their places of business. The Department is actively working to expand this effort and provide the “Cats Indoors!” brochure free of charge to local businesses.

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

The Department website also provides web links to information on how to protect birds from window strikes. The Planning and Parks Department also has copies of the “You can save birds from flying into windows!” brochure at its main office in the County Administration Center.

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.

The Department’s website provides web links to information on how to protect birds from window strikes. The Department also has copies of the “You can save birds from flying into windows!” brochure at its main office in the County Administration Center.

The Department has also begun an effort to identify potential window strike areas amongst its County Parks’ buildings and Golf Course clubhouses and install “shadow hawk” window clings to minimize bird window strikes. While this program is in its infancy and is primarily focused on the buildings under the purview of the Department, it is desired to expand this program to all the other County buildings including the Administration Center and Justice Center. It is also anticipated that in the future, Ozaukee County would adopt a formal policy to endorse this program countywide for its facilities. The Department is currently working to raise funds to purchase more effective tape that deter bird window strikes. This effort will be one step towards minimizing the impact of County buildings on bird window strikes.

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.

The Department continues to use multiple outlets to promote creating and enhancing backyard habitat for bird through educational information and events such as staffing informational booths at public events, sending out press releases, posting and mailing out fliers, Facebook and website posts and through email blasts. In addition to the partner activities listed above, the Town of Grafton, the Ozaukee Treasures Network, the City of Mequon, Ulao Creek Partnership, Treasures of Oz, SEWISC and the MAS have all been active in promoting the creation and enhancement of backyard habitat for birds through the web, print and hosting meetings/conferences.

The Department’s website provides web links to information on backyard habitat programs such as: the National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat Program, the National Audubon Society’s Backyard Habitat program, Audubon’s Plants for Birds program, Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI), Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, American Bird Conservancy and Bird City Wisconsin.

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 Department continues to look for opportunities to take the lead in developing or becoming a partner in bird monitoring programs throughout Ozaukee County including the Riveredge Nature Center Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count and Swift Night Out.

The Department received a WDNR Citizen Based Monitoring grant in 2016 to develop a kestrel box monitoring program in partnership with the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory (WGLBBO) and local volunteers. As part of the project, the Department, along with Bill Mueller of the WGLBBO, coordinated a well-attended educational kestrel workshop to educate and recruit volunteers to help install and monitor 10 kestrel boxes throughout Ozaukee County. Department staff with the assistance of volunteers, purchased, installed and monitored the 10 kestrel boxes throughout Ozaukee County.  The attendees also learned how to build, install and monitor kestrel boxes on their own property. The kestrel box monitoring continued in 2018 by several dedicated volunteers. Department staff will recruit additional volunteers in 2019 to continue the program. Kestrel monitoring data is provided to the Kestrel Monitoring Partnership each year.

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

Ozaukee County continued its annual celebration and recognition of IMBD on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve with numerous partners including Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Riveredge Bird Club, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, MAS, the City of Port Washington, Town of Grafton and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and provided public information about migratory bird conservation. The majority of the event activities took place at or around the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve and included guided bird hikes, a native plant sale, bird related presentations and a live raptor exhibit led by Jeannie Lord, the Executive Director of the Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center. The Department set up educational displays at the event alongside several partnering organizations. Department employees staffed the booth during the event to hand out educational materials, provide information about bird related Department activities and participated in bird hikes. The day concluded with a celebration, luncheon and ecological rummage sale.

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

The Department’s USEPA GLRI grant includes a component to work with local nature centers on creating curriculum and teaching area schools about the issues of invasive species on how it effects ecology and the importance of native vegetation for birds and other wildlife. The Department, Riveredge Nature Center, Mequon Nature Preserve and Schlitz Audubon Nature Center collectively educated 955 students from private, public and home schools in Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties in 2017.  Students had classroom curriculum mixed with outdoor hands-on educational opportunities such as weed-outs and tours of Virmond County Park, which highlighted improved bird habitat through native plantings, invasive species management and structural habitat. Through a National Audubon Society Audubon in Action Grant, the Department and Milwaukee Audubon Society were able to continue the educational field-trips in 2018. MAS, the Department and SANC implemented two such experiential learning field trips on 10/9/18 and 10/10/18. These two programs brought 50 7th graders and 50 5th graders from two Milwaukee area schools (Milwaukee Environmental and Sciences Academy and Notre Dame School) to SANC and Virmond County Park for a day of classroom and outdoor learning (see associated news article).  MAS and the Department are coordinating with SANC to plan additional programming in 2019. 

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).

The Department understands the importance of pollinator health and has been working to create high-quality pollinator habitat in several Ozaukee County Parks. The Department completed the restoration of a 17 acre warm-season prairie at Tendick Nature County Park in 2018 and began prepping an additional eight acres for prairie restoration in 2019 to maximize the potential for the natural area to support threatened pollinator species as well as grassland birds. The Department also has an eight acre prairie restoration project slated for 2019 at Virmond County Park and is working with USFWS to restore an agricultural field at the Spirit Lake property in Mequon. The Department has also continued to manage small native prairie plantings at Ehlers and Harborview County Parks to provide habitat for pollinators.  The Department will continue to look for opportunities to plant and promote native prairie as future funding allows.

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 link to Ozaukee County’s Bird City Wisconsin webpage is located under the first drop down menu on the main page: https://www.co.ozaukee.wi.us/623/Bird-Conservation

 

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)

The Department continues to support local bird advocacy and educational organizations like Riveredge Birding Club, the MAS and the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center. Specifically in 2018, Department staff presented at and attended several bird/ecological conservation focused events including the Audubon Great Lakes Regional Conference (10/19/18-10/21/18), the Aerial Insectivores Conference (9/7/18-9/8/18), the Port Washington Garden Club (10/11/18), the Southeastern Wisconsin Conservation Conference (11/2/18-11/3/18) and assisted with the Annual Cedarburg Bog Hike (1/28/18).

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.

Ozaukee County is host to a myriad of bird related activities focused on raising awareness of its bird assets. The Department has staffed educational booths at a variety of public events including: the MAS's Natural Landscapes Conference, Lake Michigan Stakeholders Events, the International Migratory Bird Day celebration hosted by the County and its partners at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve, the Grosbeaks Galore Conferences and the Ozaukee County Fair. The community’s efforts also extend to several significant non-profit organizations located and/or active in Ozaukee County including: the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve in Ozaukee County, Riveredge Nature Center and the Riveredge Bird Club in Ozaukee County, the Mequon Nature Preserve in Ozaukee County, Friends of the Cedarburg Bog in Ozaukee County, Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center and also the Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Ozaukee County. Each of these non-profit organizations is active in Ozaukee County in raising awareness of its bird assets in very unique ways including research, education and outreach, on-going speaker series and education and implementation of bird rehabilitation. Finally, the Department has assisted with the posting of educational signage along the Ozaukee Interurban Trail and in the County Parks and publishing the Ozaukee Trailside Birding Guide.

On June 8th 2018, MAS and the Department hosted its third annual "Birding, Boating and Breweries" birding trip by kayak/canoe on the Milwaukee River, organized through the Natural Resources Foundation. Eight people participated in the event, paddling from Waubedonia County Park in Fredonia to Ehlers County Park in Saukville, and learned about what MAS and the Department are doing for fish, avian and wildlife conversation in Ozaukee County. The group recorded seeing and hearing 51 bird species during the paddle. The Department intends to keep this event going in partnership with the Ulao Creek Partnership and have scheduled to host the event for a third year on June 14th, 2019.

L. Show that your community works with traditionally underserved communities to increase their access to natural areas, environmental education, birding resources, and local environmental experts.

The Department’s USEPA GLRI grant includes a component to work with local nature centers on creating curriculum and teaching area schools about the issues of invasive species on how it effects ecology and the importance of native vegetation for birds and other wildlife. The Department, Riveredge Nature Center, Mequon Nature Preserve and Schlitz Audubon Nature Center collectively educated 955 students from private, public and home schools in Milwaukee and Ozaukee Counties in 2017.  Students had classroom curriculum mixed with outdoor hands-on educational opportunities such as weed-outs and tours of Virmond County Park, which highlighted improved bird habitat through native plantings, invasive species management and structural habitat. Through a National Audubon Society Audubon in Action Grant, the Department and Milwaukee Audubon Society were able to continue the educational field-trips in 2018. MAS, the Department and SANC implemented two such experiential learning field trips on 10/9/18 and 10/10/18. These two programs brought 50 7th graders and 50 5th graders from two Milwaukee area schools (Milwaukee Environmental and Sciences Academy and Notre Dame School) to SANC and Virmond County Park for a day of classroom and outdoor learning (see associated news article).  MAS and the Department are coordinating with SANC to plan additional programming in 2019. 

Energy & Sustainability

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

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

Working with We Energies in 2015-2018, Ozaukee County performed energy audits at four of the County’s largest facilities: The Justice Center, Administration Building, Lasata Care Center, and the Highway Departments’ Spring Street buildings. The results of this audit, which found that heat, hot water, and lighting comprised a large majority of energy usage in the County municipal buildings, were instrumental in the Ozaukee County Energy Action Teams funding proposal.

This audit also helped prioritize proposed energy savings projects at the Justice Center, Administration Building and the Highway Department Buildings. The plan involves a budget of $100,000 to be spent over the course of three years to fund a subset of the recommended projects and the County Board authorized $114,583 as part of the 2016 budget to be implemented over three years (2016-2019). Recommended projects were mainly for lighting replacements at the Justice Center and Administration Center due to the facilities extended operating hours and greater potential for energy savings.

In order to document changes in energy use over time, the County’s Energy Action Team used an online energy management and tracking tool called EPA EnergyStar Portfolio Manager. Looking from 2004 to 2013, the tool showed that overall energy use in the county has been steadily decreasing due to significant investments in energy efficiency. The largest decrease in energy usage was found at the Justice Center, with a 24% decline in the years studied, and a 22% decrease at the Administration Building. However, what was also found is that rising energy costs continue to increase spending, making additional energy savings economically necessary going into the future. 

B. Show that your community goes above and beyond in its support for, and implementation of, green transportation (e.g., bike trails, rideshare programs, bike trails/lanes, etc.). Be sure to utilize the narrative to illustrate why your community is exceptional because standard practice will not receive credit.

Ozaukee County is home to the Ozaukee Interurban Trail, a 30 mile paved trail based on the historic Interurban railway connecting Milwaukee to Sheboygan.  The trail connects the communities of Mequon, Thiensville, Cedarburg, Grafton, Port Washington and Belgium. Unlike many other bike trails, the Ozaukee Interurban Trail is free to the public for commuting and recreating. Along the entirety of the Trail are rest stops equipped with bike repair stations, seating, scenic overlooks, rest rooms and aesthetically constructed informational kiosks.

The Ozaukee Interurban Trail Advisory Council was formed to assist in the planning and implementation of the trail. The Councils mission is to ‘promote the safe public use of the OIT for transportation, recreation, health, education, economic development, and enjoyment of Ozaukee County’s unique cultural, historical and natural resources. Six trail counters have been recording trail usage since 2013 across the county. In 2016, 3 trail counters were deployed on the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. The counters began recording data in April and were spaced roughly 10.5 miles from each other. The total number of bikes and pedestrians counted from April to December 31st was 194,673 with a daily average of 247 counts.

In 2017, 3 trail counters were deployed to the same locations as the previous year. The counters collected data from January 1st to December 31st. The total number of bikes and pedestrians counted was 219,915 with a daily average of 201 counts. The daily average was likely lower in 2017 due to the inclusion of the months of January, February, and March, which are low usage months for the trail. When comparing similar time frames for both years (April-December), 2017 actually had a higher daily average of 254 counts.  In 2018, 3 trail counters were deployed on the Ozaukee Interurban Trail. The counters collected data from January 1st to November 8th. The total number of bikes and pedestrians counted was 216,345 with a daily average of 232 counts per counter per day.

In addition to providing an eco-friendly commuting and recreational opportunities, the Ozaukee Interurban Trail also has several birding hotspots. The trail winds through and by woodlands/forests, riparian areas (e.g. Milwaukee River and Cedar Creek), grasslands, wetlands, Lake Michigan and several urban parks and golf courses in these various habitats and includes informative informational signs on the bird species a visitor is likely to encounter as well as other conservation information.

The County has made a significant investment over the last 10 years in the development and maintenance of the OIT. The County budgets approximately $50,000 each year towards maintenance of the trails.

The Planning and Parks Department has also been partnering with the Ozaukee County Tourism Council, local Chambers of Commerce, particularly the Grafton Chamber of Commerce and municipalities to develop and submit a Joint Effort Marketing grant (JEM) to the State Department of Tourism to market the OIT as a transportation and recreational trail. If awarded work will begin in 2019.

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

Objective 1 in the Action Plan contained within the Sustainable Design section of the County Energy and Sustainability Plan is to design new County buildings as well as renovations in accordance with LEED Green Building Standards.

The Transit Services building was constructed in 2012 and included the following sustainability features: Materials re-use, recycled materials, water efficient fixtures, low or no emitting products, sustainable methods for storm water management and daylighting. This new construction was built from the demolition of the former Modern Equipment building at the site. Overall, 285 tons of steel were recycled, 8,100 tons of concrete were crushed and used on site, and only six percent of building materials from the former facility were sent to a landfill for disposal.

The Modern Equipment crane structure was adaptively reused to define the space of the Interurban Trail Pocket Park and incorporate the industrial history of the property into the design. The construction of the Transit Services building incorporated a variety of natural lighting and energy efficiency aspects. In addition, native and non-invasive landscaping was used around the facility, which requires little or no irrigation or maintenance and a bio-retention area was created for storm water management.

Ozaukee County is currently in the process of completing a $10 million renovation of the Lasata Care Center. The 48 year-old facility will be outfitted with a variety of updated equipment including new, more efficient boilers and energy efficient lighting. Not only will these improvements enhance the quality of life for Care Center residents, they will also improve the operation and performance of the county’s facilities for decades to come.

E. Show that your community has implemented a sustainability plan that improves your community’s energy efficiency and/or increases the use of renewable energy. (Exclusions: Smart Growth comprehensive plans)

Created in 2015, the Ozaukee County Energy and Sustainability Plan outlines a collection of strategies for government operations and facilities in an effort to promote economic and environmental stewardship and to improve the quality of life for Ozaukee County’s current and future residents. This initiative has been guided by the Ozaukee County Energy Action Team.

The plan includes six areas of focus: energy, water, waste, transportation, sustainable design, and education and awareness. The goals of the plan include: Reducing energy use associated with government operations, promoting water conservation and stormwater best management practices, promoting the reduction, reuse, and recycling of resources as an alternative to landfill-bound waste, exploring opportunities for reducing fuel usage by county government vehicles, promoting the use of energy incentives and LEED standards in new construction, renovations, and equipment replacement, and increasing knowledge and awareness among county employees and the public on sustainability and energy saving programs and practices.

In creating this plan, Ozaukee County utilized US EPA’s ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management as a framework. Each subsection of the plan contains specific goals, objectives, and current and prospective projects that aim to better coordinate sustainability throughout the County.

Link to the plan:

https://ozaukee.uwex.edu/community-development/energy/

J. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

The Energy Action Team was created in June of 2014 via Resolution 14-16 and was charged with assessing historical and current energy use associated with Ozaukee County government operations, evaluating and recommending energy goals, practices and policies, and developing a plan of action to implement energy-related projects and initiatives. The Energy Action Team is a group of county department heads and staff from Finance, Highway, Land and Water Management, Maintenance, Planning and Parks, Transit and UW- Extension, representatives from We Energies and Focus on Energy, and Ozaukee County Supervisors, and County Administrator.

Within the last five years, significant building retrofits and lighting upgrades have occurred at the Justice Center and Administration Building; funded in part by the Wisconsin Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant award and/or Focus on Energy incentives. At the Justice Center, boiler system upgrades, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) control upgrades, the replacement of A/C chillers, and the addition of a heat recovery unit are some of the major energy efficiency upgrades that have been performed in recent years. At the Administration Building, the facility’s chiller, air handling units, steam boiler, and chilled water and cooling tower pumps have been replaced with more efficient equipment. In addition, variable frequency drives have been installed to further reduce energy consumption.

In these County facilities including several Planning and Parks Department facilities (Golf course maintenance building and clubhouses and HH Peters Youth Camp building), large energy savings have been accomplished through lighting changes including; replacing incandescent lightbulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), replacing T12 fluorescent lighting and ballasts with T8 fluorescent lighting, installing reflectors where applicable, using LED exit lights and traffic signal lights, LED lighting fixtures and use of occupancy sensors and timers to reduce lighting costs. In 2015, the County installed solar panels on Transit Services Building. From 2016-2018, the Energy Action Team has been implementing $114,583 in lighting replacements at the Justice Center and Highway Department Buildings.

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.

Ozaukee County continued its annual celebration and recognition of IMBD on Sunday, May 20, 2018 at the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve with numerous partners including Ozaukee Washington Land Trust, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Riveredge Bird Club, Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory, Milwaukee Audubon Society, the City of Port Washington, Town of Grafton and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and provided public information about migratory bird conservation. The majority of the event activities took place at or around the Forest Beach Migratory Preserve and included guided bird hikes, a native plant sale, bird related presentations and a live raptor exhibit led by Jeannie Lord, the Executive Director of the Pine View Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center. The Department set up educational displays at the event alongside several partnering organizations. Department employees staffed the booth during the event to hand out educational materials including the Ozaukee Trailside Birding Guide and provide information about bird related Department activities. The day concluded with a celebration, luncheon and ecological rummage sale.

Joined Bird City: 2010

Population: 86,395

Incorporated: 1853

Area: 1116 mi2

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