Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of Shawano

Community Achievements

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 Shawano adopted its Comprehensive Plan on January 22, 2009 and amended it on May 11, 2016.

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 City of Shawano has over 300 acres of parkland, a good deal of which can be considered natural areas. This includes Murray Creek Nature Conservancy, several areas of Sturgeon Park, and the habitat at the industrial park.

The City also adopted Ordinance number 14.09 which makes it a violation to damage trees, shrubs, flowers or other plantings within parks and public lands. This ordinance ensures that birds and other animals have thriving places to live in our City.

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

The City of Shawano has expanded landscaping practices that improve the quality and quantity of bird habitat in our city. The City Council has approved an additional $5,000 in spending to complete landscaping projects in our public lands. This resource allows for the native plantings at Kuckuk Park, Huckleberry Harbor and the Recreation Center to continue. It also supports the addition of shrubs at Trees to Franklin and Smalley Parks. The Director of Parks and Recreation and the City Forester work very closely with the Master Gardeners and Wild Ones to ensure that plantings are native to our area making them conducive for birds, bees and other wild creatures native to the area.

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.

Wild Ones represented largely by Bob Dumke, are working on several planting projects in a variety of parks. All of them include native plants, shrubs and trees to increase habitat for native birds. The projects include:

  • Kuckuk Park: Bob is working with a girl scout to replant a prairie setting. This is phase two of the project that is approximately 600-750 sq. feet in size. Phase one of the planting occurred in 2015 by the Wildones and was about 1000 sq. feet in size. In total when the project is done we will have about 1.25 acres or area restored to prairie space. This will occur in pieces over the next few years.
  • Clearing of invasive species and replanting along Kuckuk shoreline. This is a project that several groups have had their hands in. Under guidance from the City Forester the area is being cleared of invasive trees and shrubs. We are then replanting with native trees and shrubs. This project has been in the undertaking for the past two years, and proves to be a long term project as we gain control of the area. The Wildones have been instrumental in providing guidance on plant species to utilize. The area is approximately 30 feet wide and a ½ mile long, adjacent to the Wolf River.
  • Landscaping at Huckleberry Harbor. This has been a two part project with the Master Gardeners. One part which was completed last year and the second part in progress right now. We are taking areas formally covered in landscaping stones and replacing them with intentionally designed, well laid out shrubs, plants and trees.
  • Landscaping at the Shawano Recreation Center. Bob is in the process of completing, (75% done) landscaping at the front of the recreation center. Again taking past barren area, grass only and introducing trees, plants and shrubs.
  • Franklin Park Phase One:  A park in the middle of our city which is undergoing significant renovations. $250,000 worth in the past two years, with an estimated $1.1 million worth of work over the next two years. The Wildones and out City Forester have worked hand in hand to plant 45 native trees of numerous varieties over the past year. Bob Dumke is also the lead on all landscaping concerns. By the middle of June he will have completed 3 major landscaping areas in the park, continuing the theme of utilizing native vegetation. These opportunities will not end with phase one either, they will continue to expand as the park develops over the next year. Franklin Park is a three acre park in the middle of our City that will transformed from a 3 acre grass space to a dynamic, community centered, nature based play area. We anticipate the civic organizations will “adopt” a landscaped area and help to maintain and improve them.  
    Richmond St. Park – We are working with Rotary, this fall will plant 35-50 trees in a current greenspace with none.

The City of Shawano’s Tree Advisory Committee also took formal action to demonstrate their support for becoming a Bird City. Being the committee that oversees the City Forester and his subsequent plantings, this group will be able to best support the process needed to continue expanding bird habitat plantings.

Community Forest Management

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

Shawano continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1994.

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).

Residents can find a copy of the American Bird Conservancy’s document “You Can Save Birds from Flying into Windows” at the City of Shawano owned buildings such as City Hall, the Recreation Center, Civic Center and Library. In addition a link to this document can also be found on Shawano’s Bird City page.

Public Education

C. Demonstrate that your community is represented in at least one citizen science bird monitoring program (e.g., the Christmas Bird Count, Great Backyard Bird Count, Swift Night Out).

Residents from the City of Shawano annually participate in the Christmas Bird Count. This is conducted by the Director of the Navarino Nature Center, and includes a geographic area from the City of Shawano up to 30 miles in radius.

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.

The City of Shawano is planning to hold is first such event early summer of 2017. Local retired ornithologist Bill Koonz will lead participants on a Bird Awareness walk through one or several of our local parks. Bill will be able to share educational lessons on the importance of migratory birds, local species that one may find in our park system. And also the importance of creating suitable habitat for native birds.  

Photo Gallery

Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2017

Population: 9,305

Incorporated: 1874

Area: 6.67 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Tourism Page

Community Map