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.
Presque Isle has adopted and approved an ordinance that is in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use planning and resource management and currently remains in compliance.
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)
Through the efforts of the Friends of VanVliet Hemlocks and the Last Wilderness Conservation Association, the Van Vliet Hemlocks area was designated as a State of Wisconsin Natural Area in 2013. The Van Vliet Hemlocks is an ecologically significant area of old-growth hemlock-hardwood forest and undeveloped lake frontage which harbors a diversity of tree, plant, wildlife, and bird species. The Friends of Van Vliet Hemlocks, the North Lakeland Discovery Center's Bird Club, staff from the University of Wisconsin Trout Lake Station and other volunteers often lead nature hikes and birding groups around the 5 miles of marked trails. There is organized bird monitoring by groups during the North Lakeland Discovery Center's Annual Birding Festival at various locations in the Town of Presque Isle. In 2023, the 18th Annual Birds and Wildlife Festival will be held on May 12th and 13th in 2023. At least 5 of the 48 North Lakeland Discovery Center Bird Club members are residents of Presque Isle. In addition to the Festival, the Bird Club has regular group birding outings on Thursdays from May through October. The Bird Club keeps group bird sighting data on these outings and contributes to e-bird app which includes various groups in Wisconsin, Michigan, and the entire world.
Bird monitoring results obtained from local volunteers and Bird Club members at the North Lakeland Discovery Center are submitted for the Town of Presque Isle Pipke Park Ponds, Van Vliet Hemlocks Natural Area and the Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area, all located in Presque Isle.
Since 2009, Presque Isle has added Loon Rangers to the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute's Loon Watch Program at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin. The number of lakes in Presque Isle being monitored has risen from four to twelve lakes in 2020, which is the latest report listed on the website. The lakes monitored in Presque Isle are: Annabelle, Armour, Cathaline, High, Horsehead, Little Papoose, Little Presque Isle, McCollough, Papoose, Pipke Park Pond, and Rosalind.
D. Document that current municipal planning seeks to provide additional bird habitat.
Long-term plans seek to add native fruit- and seed-bearing trees, shrubs and grasses to attract additional species to the 84-acre Pipke Park area which has two large ponds. The land was turned over to the Town of Presque Isle by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 2007. In 2013, the Beautification Committee in Presque Isle planted 94 new native trees and have plans of adding seed and fruit bearing grasses, shrubs, trees and other perennials to attract migratory birds, bees, and butterflies. This is in effort of a five-year plan to renew and restore native trees and shrubs in Pipke Park. In addition, Beautification Committee coordinators have attended various workshops about landscaping for birds showing their dedication to providing a healthy community for both birds and people.
The Town of Presque Isle's Park and Recreation Committee and numerous volunteers have completed a two-mile wilderness trail which was Phase II of the Pipke Park development project. There are five-foot wide foot bridges over wetland areas and part of the trail follows the South Branch of the Presque Isle River. The trail is located in the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest, providing a variety of habitats for the bird population and for bird watching. A volunteer provided nest boxes for wood ducks around the North Pond at Pipke Park.
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 Town of Presque Isle has active Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species Committees. There are informational brochures about invasive species such as Garlic mustard, Japanese Knotweed, Exotic Shrub Honeysuckles, and Purple Loosestrife at the Town of Presque Isle office, the Presque Isle Community Library and the Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce. Ian Shakelford, Invasive Species Coordinator with the Ottawa National Forest produced maps of infested areas. Both Invasive Species Committee members oversee eradication of these and other invasive species within the Town of Presque Isle borders. One of our Town Supervisors is a Weed Commissioner for the Town of Presque Isle. Volunteers with the Friends of Van Vliet Hemlock group monitor invasive species in that State Natural Area.
The Presque Isle Town Board created the Presque Isle Town Lakes Committee (PITLC) as a subcommittee of the Town Board in 2005. PITLC is tasked as the town’s experts in dealing with Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) when found in our town’s lakes. PITLC is a volunteer committee made up primarily of representatives from the lake associations within Presque Isle. Anyone from the public is welcome to attend monthly PITLC meetings. In order to reduce the time between the discovery of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in a lake and the beginning of treatment, PITLC applies for DNR Lake Study Grants in order to research and document the aquatic plants currently in our lakes. The grants utilize a required DNR methodology to research and document lake plants and shoreline structure. DNR Lake Study Grant program reports are available in the Presque Isle Library and links to the available DNR reports are listed on the Town of Presque Isle website: www.piwi.us under Helpful Links on the left menu of the hompage and a webpage opens to Lake Study Grant Report. The whole process of grant award, survey work, data analysis, report draft, DNR review, and final publication is a multi-year effort. Since 2006, PITLC has studied 31 lakes and 2 rivers in Presque Isle as part of the DNR Lake Study Grant program.
The Town has many active, individual lake associations which present informational programs about invasive species, habitat protection, lakeshore management which all contributes to healthy lakes and healthy and abundant birds and wildlife.
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 Presque Isle and adjacent areas include many Important Bird Areas. Listed as part of the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail, Lake Superior Northwoods Region, are the Nature Conservancy's Catherine Wolter Wilderness Area, the Northern Highland - American Legion State Forest, the North Lakeland Discovery Center, and the Powell Marsh State Wildlife. Other important birding areas are the Van Vliet Hemlock State Natural Area and the Town of Presque Isle Pipke Park Ponds and Wilderness Trail. All areas provide terrific opportunities to observe and harbor wildlife, including many bird species, and native vegetation.
V. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.
The Town of Presque Isle's Park and Recreation Committee applied and received a grant to restore a large section of the shoreline of Presque Isle Lake at Wilderness Park which had eroded over the years. The Beautification Committee in conjunction with the Park and Recreation Committee planted over 1,800 native plants, shrubs, trees and new plants are maintained and irrigated year-round.
In addition, the Beautification Committee coordinators have attended: Landscaping for Migratory Birds, February 12, 2014 at Northland College in Ashland, WI and Grosbeaks Galore, Birds in Your Landscape, May 9, 2015 at Woodland Dunes Nature Center, Two Rivers, WI.
F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.
A large part of Presque Isle is owned by the State of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources and managed as the Northern Highland American Legion State Forest (NHALSF). The NHALSF was established in 1925 and much of the ownership in Presque Isle has been continuous since the early 1900’s. The NHALSF operates under a master plan approved by the Natural Resources Board in October, 2005 and which was developed with significant public input. In addition, the NHALSF is certified as sustainably managed by both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and by the Forest Stewardship Council. Both of these programs promote and assess effective community forest management practices.
There are also significant blocks of private lands administered under the state’s Managed Forest Land program, assuring that there is a professionally prepared management plan that guides forest management and it is certified by the Tree Farm organization.
Joe Fieweger is the current forest recreation superintendent of the Northern Highland – American Legion State Forest. There are also significant blocks of private lands administered under the state’s Managed Forest Land program, assuring that there is a professionally prepared management plan that guides forest management and it is certified by the Tree Farm organization.
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 Town of Presque Isle provides informational brochures from the American Bird Conservancy including “Cats Indoors!” and “Cats, Birds and You” They are distributed at the Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Presque Isle offices.
B. Demonstrate that your community provides property owners with information on how to protect birds from window strikes (e.g., online links, brochures).
The Town of Presque Isle provides easy-to-obtain information to property owners regarding protecting birds from window-strikes. The American Bird Conservancy leaflet, “You Can Save Birds from Flying into Windows” is distributed at the Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Presque Isle offices.
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 Town of Presque Isle provides information to property owners on methods to create and enhance backyard habitat for birds. The Presque Isle Town office and the Chamber of Commerce provide the Audubon brochures “Bird Feeding Basics,” "Seed and Feeder Selection Guide," and "Attracting Hummingbirds and Orioles." The Town of Presque Isle provides a page of links to many bird and nature-related websites on the town website.
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).
Members of the Presque Isle community participate in the Wisconsin Breeding Bird Atlas II with the WI Society for Ornithology, in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon promoted by the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative, with the North Lakeland Discovery Center's Northwoods Birding Festival, and in eBird by uploading bird data to the website sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the Audubon Society.
D. Describe your community-sponsored annual bird festival. This must be a multi-day event or a truly exceptional one-day event.
The Presque Isle Chamber of Commerce is a sponsor of the Annual North Lakeland Discovery Center and Discovery Center Bird Club annual Northwoods Birding and Wildlife Festival. The Bird Club is trying to develop, with the chambers and towns, a corridor of bird viewing areas to educate the townspeople and visitors of the Northwoods. There is organized bird monitoring by groups during the North Lakeland Discovery Center's Annual Birding and Wildlife Festival at various locations in the Town of Presque Isle and other towns in the North Lakeland area. This year, 2023, marks the 18th Annual Birds and Wildlife Festival and includes a key note address by an expert, bird walks, field trips to unique ecological areas, bird banding and many other activities. At least 5 of the 48 North Lakeland Discovery Center Bird Club members are residents of Presque Isle.
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 Town of Presque Isle website: www.piwi.us has a link to our community's Bird City Wisconsin webpage on the home page.
H. Document a substantial regular program that educates young people on any of the following topics: climate change, energy efficiency, green/bird-safe buildings, or environmental sustainability.
The local elementary school, North Lakeland has a Fall, Winter, and Spring Outdoor Education program at the primary through 8th grade levels. The program progresses in knowledge and skill levels by grade in the areas of human interaction with wildlife, forests, water, limnology, biodiversity, environmental change, Wisconsin natural resources, ecology, sustainability through educational programs, canoeing, camping, outdoor cooking, tracking skills, leadership and many other topics designed for each grade level.
The Outdoor education teacher has described a bird garden established on school grounds which is cared for by the 6th grade students with assistance from the North Lakeland Discovery Center.
J. Document that a municipal building has significant bird-friendly landscaping that features native plants AND signage that explains the importance of native plants and providing diverse habitat for birds (e.g., brush piles, water features).
Around our Presque Isle Community Building is a beautiful flower garden which is great for pollinators. Also we have community gardens nearby with a pollinator garden on the side with a sign. The organizer of the gardens is now a Presque Isle Town Supervisor, Cathy Logan Weber, and she gives talks about how there are lots of bees in this pollinator garden but on the outside of the fence with some invasive species near, there are not many bees.
Near our Presque Isle town Pipke Park, the same town supervisor received a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Healthy Lakes and Rivers grant to plant native species near the Pipke Park south pond. Phase 1 provided money for the native plants and Phase 2 of the grant will be used to make signs next to the plants to educate park visitors what a native plant may look like.Reed Canary grass, an invasive species had to be removed before the native plantings. More than 175 native plants were installed by many Presque Isle volunteers. In 2022 the Presque Isle Town Supervisor planted three native shrubs near a lakeshore in the Town of Presque Isle Wilderness Park to prevent erosion and to provide habitat for birds. These shrubs were gray dogwood, common ninebark, and viburnum.
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.
A local Presque Isle Lake Association bought and placed a loon platform on Presque Isle Lake which is one of our larger lakes and can support more than one pair of nesting loons.
M. Show that your community participates in the Natural Resources Foundation’s Great Wisconsin Birdathon to raise money for your community and for statewide conservation.
Our North Lakeland Discovery Center Bird Club organizes a group and requests volunteers to participate in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon which raises some funds for conservation and also for the Bird Club.
N. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.
The North Lakeland Discovery Bird Club which always has a few Presque Isle residents as members holds weekly bird outings on Thursday mornings from May through October in a variety of locations and habitats. The club records all sightings of bird numbers and species each week and also tabulates these numbers year after year. This information is also recorded in the e-bird app.
A. Document an energy audit for a municipal building and show that your community is working to implement its recommendations.
The library, town hall offices, and a large community room are located in the same municipal building. In 2009 there was an energy audit in the building and the energy efficient improvements were: programmable thermostats in all areas, extra insulation installed in all ceiling areas, installation of energy efficient fluorescent lamps, computers in the office and library are turned off at night, motion sensors lights were installed in the restrooms, all thermostats are programmed to turn down at night, pipes were wrapped near water heaters and water heaters were set at 120 degrees, furnace filters are changed on a regular basis, and a professional HVAC company tunes up and replaces parts as needed for our heating and air conditioning systems every year.
When the Town of Presque Isle built an addition to the Presque Isle Community Library in 2006-2007, energy savings standards were used and included: programmable thermostats, good insulation, clerestory windows to reduce the need for electrical fixtures since the outdoor light from the windows would illuminate the the book stack areas, and when electrical lighting was needed the fixtures installed were energy efficient. The lower level has motion sensor light fixtures in all areas. On the main floor of the library during summer it is possible to turn off the air conditioning and open windows to save on energy use.
Multiple 95-96% energy efficient furnaces were installed in our Presque Isle Community Library and in the Presque Isle Community Center and our garage as part of the Wisconsin Focus on Energy Program in 2021.
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.
Our community has a nonprofit local organization called Wilderness Pedalers whose members plan routes for more extensions of current bicycle trails in the Presque Isle and Winchester communities. A few years ago the group purchased and installed signage on posts so that the 10 mile on the road bicycle trail is clearly marked. They collaborate with three towns and the Wisconsin DNR and the Northern Highland American Legion Forest staff with an attempt to build off highway, paved bike routes for greater safety. Due to the high number of wetlands in the area and the need to build bridges, the cost per mileage is more than any other area in the Northwoods so fundraising is problematical but there are some potential large donors. The idea is to connect a bicycle trail from Presque Isle and Winchester to the Manitowish Waters section of the 45 mile Heart of Vilas Paved Bike Trail System which is a very popular, family friendly, and important bicycle trail in Vilas County. A quote from a newsletter sent to Town of Presque Isle property owners says, "A State official stated he sees more bikes and kayaks in state campgrounds now than boats. Resort owners report prospective visitors frequently ask how close resorts are located to the bike trails." This statement points to sustainable economic development in conjunction with the establishment of more bike trails.
Also relatively new is the addition of B-cycle E-bikes at the head of the bike trail in Manitowish Waters, a nearby town. This would encourage more use of the trails by older or mobility limited adults who, perhaps, couldn't manage a long ride on a regular bicycle.
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 Town of Presque Isle celebrates World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) in conjunction with the Bird Club and the North Lakeland Discovery Center’s Annual Birding & Wildlife Festival. The 18th Festival will take place on May 12th and 13th, 2023. Some outings take place in the Catherine Wolter Wilderness, the Pipke Park Ponds and Wilderness trail, and the Van Vliet Hemlock State Natural Area all of which are located within the Town of Presque Isle. The Festival welcomes both experienced and novice birders so participants can learn from each other. The Festival offers warbler walks, marsh area and forest field trips, and educational programs and break-out sessions, a keynote speaker, bird banding, birdhouse making, and many other activities for adults and children. The North Lakeland Discovery Center Bird Club has birding outings from May through October on Thursdays for Bird Club members and occasionally some guests at various locations. A highlight for the club is combining a birding outing with an annual visit in October to the Birds in Art Exhibit at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin.