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 Village of Sherwood is well positioned to host birding efforts due to the location of the 1,200-acre High Cliff State Park in Sherwood on the shores of Lake Winnebago. The village also has two golf courses within its boundaries, providing for ample green space and a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Wood Ducks are often seen nesting in High Cliff State Park and recently there has been an increase in resident Woodpecker populations, including Pileated Woodpeckers, in the mature hardwood forest sections of the park. High Cliff State Park also has a very active Purple Martin colony with 54 holes available near the marina on the property. Using the cliffs in the park as their home base, several dozen Wild Turkeys now roost in the area and are daily visitors to local backyards.
A cell tower in continues to supply a nesting site for Osprey that fledged chicks each year. For numerous years, local bird enthusiasts have helped nurture a growing population of Eastern Bluebirds. To further this claim, Sherwood is currently a member of the Bluebird Restoration Association of Wisconsin and has provided recent data of monitoring and surveys done in the community. High Cliff State Park is also committed to controlling invasive species in the park by offering information on Garlic Mustard and Gypsy Moths to the public and organizing invasive species pulls throughout the year.
I. Document a recent project that created or restored bird habitat in your community. (Exclusions: Bird feeders and small-scale artificial nesting structures)
The Friends of High Cliff (State Park) burned the prairies to enhance bird habitat areas; there is an abundance of birds using the area as home now.
L. Show that your community has restored at least two acres of woodlands, wetlands, or prairie.
The Village of Sherwood has created three woodlands, one off Kessler Road with hundreds of trees native to the area; one within a new neighborhood development with each home receiving two good size trees and the third that continues to be enhanced is Miller Pond wetlands and woodland with several large native trees being planted in 2018. There is another area in the Village within the High Cliff State Park which includes the Butterfly Pond Wetland area.
Community Forest Management
A. Demonstrate that your community has been awarded Tree City USA status by the National Arbor Day Foundation.
The Village of Sherwood continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 2000.
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.
Both the Village and the Friends of High Cliff State Park work together to replace trees and plant new trees that are native to the area. Both also have tree replacement programs which encourage participation of Village residents and visitors to the area.
E. Show that your forester, a member of your tree board, or another person currently responsible for managing your community’s trees has completed the Wisconsin DNR’s Wisconsin Tree Management Institute.
The Friends of High Cliff, the Village and the volunteer forester work with Calumet County and two other counties and has completed all DNR Tree Management requirements. Frank Kirschlinger, who is the volunteer forester, is a full-time Forester for the State of Wisconsin.
F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.
In accordance with ordinance NO: 99-67 the Village of Sherwood has created a Parks and Recreation Commission that is pursuant to Wisconsin State Statute section 27.08. This commission aids in the maintenance and removal of current forest stands and local hindrances to birds.
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 Village maintains a website which contains helpful links for residents such as a link to the American Bird Conservancy’s “Cats Indoors!” program.
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 Village is very aware and active in preventing bird collisions. A recent example was the owners of the High Cliff Public Golf Course adn Banquet Hall recently removed all trees which reflected in the building's windows as birds were flying into the windows. New trees were planted where there would be no reflection.
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.
Through its quarterly Newsletter, the village reaches out to its 2,959 residents to discuss acceptable feeding practices for birds. Other types of bird-related information also will be published in this manner, including increased birding opportunities, and how to maintain a safe and healthy bird population in our semi-urban environment. Information on participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count (CBC) also appears in the Village newsletter.
Sherwood participates in the Stockbridge Circle of the Christmas Bird Count.
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.
The Friends of High Cliff and various bird enthusiasts in the Village present programs and learning sessions for the public. The estimate is that Mr. Nikolia has reached upwards of a thousand people at the Butterfly Pond Wetlands the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2018. The Butterfly Pond and Praire areas of High Cliff State Park and the Village have become very popular birding areas. Brochures are available for village residents and visitors alike to help wth identification and information about birds of the area.
N. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.
High Cliff State Park (HCSP), located within the Village of Sherwood, is the largest state-owned recreation land on Lake Winnebago, offers numerous bird conservation activities and educational programs. For a number of years, the Friends of High Cliff State Park (FOHC) have worked to restore the Butterfly Ponds Wetlands and Trails (BPWT), making the area a pristine and safe place for all to enjoy whether it be walking on the paved trails, or sitting on a comfortable bench birding which is very popular. The restoration created and improved numerous areas which are bird friendly. Trails are totally accessible to everyone.
Observers have noted an increase in the variety and number of birds each year. It is exciting to see Eagles, Osprey, Wood Ducks, Sandhill Cranes, Egrets, Blue, Green, and Gray Herons in the lake, ponds and stream area of the Village. Tower platforms were erected for nesting areas for the Osprey and the Village Wood Duck houses are placed around the Ponds. And a bit of exciting news for Birders, in 2016: 500 small trees and 100 larger trees and shrubs in addition to a bird-attracting flower garden were planted. Shrubs which attract specific types of birds to put in the BPWT. The Village and park trails will take you through the wooded areas where visitors can enjoy a large variety of birds. A number of comfortable benches and handicapped accessible tables have been placed for birders to sit and take in the many feathered friends who are calling our Village home for at least part of the year. The beauty of the Village owned parks (Wanick, Legion, Schneider and Gosz) and BPWT is greatly enhanced with the frequent, colorful sightings of Scarlet Tanagers, Indigo Buntings, Cedar Waxwings, Orioles, Bluebirds, Cardinals and Blue Jays. The Chickadees, Phoebes, Red Polls and Wrens will serenade you as you walk the trails or sit and watch. The Nuthatch and Warblers are always a treat to see.
In 2017 birders and residents have watched eagles, swans and numerous pelicans on the lake and ponds.
Tree replacement projects are a continuous program throughout the Village and State Park.
The Village website/Facebook pages, Friends of High Cliff’s websites/Facebook pages or the Wisconsin State Parks/High Cliff are sources of information on upcoming birding events.
International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)
A. This community's municipal body passed the required International Migratory Bird Day resolution.
Sherwood has approved a resolution that proclaims May 1 to be International Migratory Bird Day, where residents are encouraged to celebrate and partake in bird related activities provided in the village. Sherwood’s IMBD event was held at the High Cliffs Marina and featured a guided bird walk.
Photos by Dick Nikolai, Wildlife Manager at High Cliff State Park. High Cliff, the largest state-owned recreation land on Lake Winnebago, has a very active Purple Martin colony with more than 50 holes available.
A camera installed at the Purple Martin house and area for viewing from the park office is an activity of interest also.