Village of Shorewood

Village of Shorewood


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.

On Nov. 2, 2009, the Village of Shorewood Board of Trustees adopted an eco­municipality resolution that supported sustainability principles and identified The Natural Step as the preferred model for achieving greater sustainability in local government and the larger community.

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)

Weekly bird walks are conducted in Estabrook Park by Shorewood resident Chuck Hagner, Former Editor of Bird Watching Magazine and Director, Bird City Wisconsin. The sightings are entered on eBird. The number of species observed in the park through the years by Chuck, and other observers, stands at 166.

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.

Village code section 220-1 calls upon owners and occupants of property in the Village to remove all noxious weeds. Specifically cited targets are: Leafy Spurge, Canadian Thistle, Field Bindweed (commonly known as "Creeping Jenny"), Beggar Ticks, Burdock, Nightshade, Common Ragweed, Giant Ragweed, Poison Ivy and Garlic Mustard.

In addition, groups such as Friends of Estabrook Park volunteer to weed out invasive plants. Their published mission is to protect the environment and enhance the quality of Estabrook Park. This includes enhancing the natural environment and eradicating invasive vegetation. The Estabrook Park Weedout schedule is posted the Friends of Estabrook Park website events page.  In 2022, the Friends of Shorewood Nature Preserve continued enlisting volunteers for the removal of Garlic Mustard and buckthorn from the Preserve.

Buckthorn and other invasive trees and bushes were removed from Hubbard Park in February 2021 by volunteers. 

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.

Hubbard and Estabrook Parks are situated along the Milwaukee River and constitutes a segment of the Lake Michigan Birding and Nature Trail. The park offers woods, ponds and grasslands that provide food and habitat for a wide variety of bird species. More information can be found at the Great Wisconsin Birding and Nature Trail’s website.

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

Friends of Estabrook Park removed invasive buckthorn and planted over 300 American Plum and oak trees in lieu of them in 2020. 

In 2021 Friends of Estabrook (FOE) planted 100 each of American plum, American Hazelnut, nine bark and hackberry seedlings in Estabrook Park.  In 2022, FOE members will plant 100 each of American plum, American hazelnut, elderberry winterberry, hackberry, and chokeberry seedlings obtained from the Wisconsin DNR in Estabrook Park, in addition to 50 oak tree seedlings.  Also, 3-4 year old oaks and other trees were planted in the park.  An additional 350 trees, consisting of white swamp oak, white pine, black cherry and white spruce have been ordered for spring planting.

In 2017, on Arbor Day, over 120 red oak tree sapplings were planted in Estabrook Park by 4th grade students from Lake Bluff Elementary school in conjunction with Friends of Estabrook. The trees were planted in an area where buckthorn and other invasive species had been removed the previous fall by Friends of Estabrook Park. More than 120 students also took home white spruce saplings to be planted in their yards.  In total, over 250  trees were planted in 2018 in place of invasive species.

In 2020, over 150 oak tree seedlings were planted in Estabrook Park by Friends of Estabrook Park in areas that had been previously cleared of invasive buckthorn.


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

Two Shorewood parks, Estabrook and Shorewood Nature Preserve, were the targets of weed outs in 2019, organized by the Friends of Estabrook Park, and the Shorewood Conservation Committee respectively. Weedouts were continued in 2020.

Weedouts occur multiple times each year in Shorewood Parks, where invasvive Buckthorn and garlic mustard are among the targetted species. (See narrative in other sections above.)

O. Document a program to support the establishment of natural lawns and native landscaping, possibly including public presentations of Audubon’s Plants for Birds Initiative (contact them for a presentation kit).

The Shorewood Conservation Committee is actively promoted the No Mow May movement and the Shorewood Village Board has implemented a one year moratorium on enforcing the lawn mowing ordinance for 2023.

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.).

Friends of Estabrook Park built and installed Wood Duck nesting boxes in Estabrook Park in the Summer of 2017 and 2018.

Community Forest Management

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

Shorewood continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1996. By its very name, Shorewood is defined by its urban forest.

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.

Friends of Estabrook Park are planting Native Trees in Estabrook Park on a yearly basis. 

Also, In the past year, turf grass in a section of Estabrook Park was prepped for planting of perennial plants that support both pollinator species and birds.  The area will be planted with a mixture of perennials and herbaceous plants that will provide cover and forage for birds.  

A pollinator garden located in Estabrook Park is being expanded by Friends of Estabrook Garden to cover over 3000 sq ft.  The Garden is populated by both perennial plants and bushes that provide seeds or berries for birds, in addition to providing habitat for native pollinator species.  The Friends of Estabrook is working to reduce the area of the Park that is subject to mowing and the frequency of mowing.

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 of Shorewood’s website provides links to these sites about keeping cats indoors:

American Bird Conservancy

Wisconsin Humane Society

Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative

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

The Village of Shorewood’s website provides links to these sites about preventing window collisions:

Preventing Bird-Window Collisions (Wisconsin Humane Society)

Window Collisions and Birds (Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative)

All About Birds (Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

F. Demonstrate that your community enforces an ordinance that requires domestic cats to be kept indoors, on a leash, or in an enclosure to prevent them from preying on birds and other wildlife and spreading disease.

Shorewood prohibits by City Code ( the roaming of cats at large.  Cats found at large are caught and impounded with the Milwaukee District Animal Control Commission holding facility.  Owner of the cat shall pay a fee or penalty consistent with the Shorewood fee schedule before the animal may be reclaimed.

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.

Windows at high risk at for bird collisions at Lake Bluff and Atwater schools are in the process of being outfitted with adhesive dots arrayed to prevent bird collisions by members of the Shorewood Conservation Committee.

The Shorewood Conservation Committee actively promotes measures to reduce bird strikes by implementing a program to document both locationsand frequency of bird strikes.

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).

Paul Hunter and Suzy Holstein conducted the annual Chimney Swift counts at St. Robert's Church on the corner of Capitol Drive and Maryland Avenue. This year a single swift count took place on Sunday, September 11. About 100 swifts were observed entering an apartment building and schoolhouse chimney on the northwest corner of Capitol Drive and Prospect Avenue. The roosts are observed starting at about 30 minutes before dusk as the Swifts enter the schoolhouse chimney and an estimate of the number of Swifts is made.

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).

Native bee habitats are distributed at the Annual Fish and Feather Festival and literature is provided to educate Festival goers on the importance of pollinators.  Also, Conservation Committee is undertaking a survey aimed at educating Shorewood residents on the proper use of pesticides, with the goal of reducing the use of pesticides in the Village.

Friends of Estabrook Park are in the process of converting a section of the Park from turf grass into a pollinator garden.  In 2020 the area was prepared for planting of bird and pollinator friendly plants in 2021.  The resulting pollinator garden will be expanded in coming years.

In 2022, Shorewood hosted inaugural Pollinator Palooza I inEstabrook Park on Saturday, May 21st, 2022.  Over a dozen organizations, including Wild Ones, Milwaukee RiverKeeper, Friends of Estabrook Park, Bird City Wisconsin and other groups invested in environmental sustainability, provided educational material to attendies.  Native plants were given to people attending the event while children of all ages painted bird houses and assembled native bees habitats.  Prior to the Palooza, a weed out took place and a bird walk of the Park was hosted by Chuck Hagner.

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.

Conservation Committee holds a film festival where climate change, energy efficiency and environmental sustainability are the subjects.  The films are followed by a question and answer session with experts in the film's subject.  In 2022, the film was "Symphony of the Soil".

In 2021, the Shorewood Conservation Committee,in a partnership with the Friends of Estabrook Park, will hold the first of what will be an annual spring festival emphasizing pollinator and bird habitat preservation and expansion.  In addition to having bird house painting and 

N. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

Shorewood held a great event, the annual Fish & Feathers Festival  at Hubbard Park located on the Milwaukee River on Saturday, October 5, 2019.  The day was partly sunny, a great day for enjoying Festival activities and the natural beauty the park has to offer, as attested to by the more than 500 eager participants  enjoyment of the activities being offered.  Among the hands on activities made available to visitors were native bee house building fly fishing, lure making and the opportunity for kids of all ages to kick up mud in the river and see what critters were denizens of the river bottom, which complimented the following birding activities:

  • Bird Banding Demos with Urban Ecology Center demonstrating catch and release banding methods
  • A Bird House Decorating contest 50 houses found homes 
  • Bird House Building Demonstrations
  • A Bird City booth provided info on bird habitat, keeping cats indoors and preventing collisions with windows.
  • Presentation on Planting to Attract Birds, Birding 101 and more

All of which were witnessed by a couple of Blue Herons stalking the river bank, a handful of mallards dabbing in the river and several of the ubiquitous Canada Geese floating on the river. 

The Fin and Feather Festival was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, but is expected to return in the Fall of 2021 better and stronger than before!

The Fin and Feather Festival returned with the same bird house decorating and other bird friendly activities in 2021 and 2022.

Energy & Sustainability

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

Energy audit was performed on the Shorewood Library and resulted in the Village added funds for energy efficient lighting to the 2020 budget.

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.

Shorewood has an excellent system of bike trails running through from the bike lanes along Lake Drive to the bike lanes along Wilson Drive.   Bike riders can enter  the Oak Leaf trail that extends to downtown Milwaukee to the South and Cedarburg to the North.  Shorewood received the Silver Award for being a Bicycle Friendly community.

F. Demonstrate that your community participates in a community solar program or that a municipal building receives a significant percentage of its electricity from renewable energy.

Since 2015 the Shorewood Conservation Committee has actively promoted Solar Power use to the Village, and both Shorewood businesses and residents through a Community Solar Survey and a community based Solar Panel installation program.  In 2016, the Shorewood Conservation Committee partnered with Milwaukee Shines to offer residents a record-setting Solar Shorewood group-buy opportunity. The program finished with 174 kW installed on 52 homes and businesses in the Milwaukee area. Nearly a third of these installations (totaling 52 kW) went on 15 Shorewood buildings, and 78 kW went on 28 Milwaukee buildings. The remainder happened elsewhere in Southeastern Wisconsin.

This is an ongoing part of the Community Solar Survey program aimed at increasing the use of solar power in the Shorewood Community. 

In 2021, Shorewood residents continued taking advantage of the Solar Panel Installation program to add solar panels to their residences.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD)

A. This community's municipal body passed the required World Migratory Bird Day resolution.

B. Document and describe your event that incorporates the annual IMBD theme in some fashion. If the event has not yet occurred, please share your detailed plans. For information on the current year’s theme and event materials, please visit the World Migratory Bird Day website. To see what other Bird City communities have done in the past, please view some other profiles on our website.

WMBD was celebrated on October 2, 2021 as part of the Annual Fin and Feather Festival.  The Festival has several activities for children and adults of all ages, including birdhouse painting and native bee house construction.  Experts on watershed and aquatic habitat management (e.g. Milwaukee Riverkeepers, Friends of Estabrook Park and the Urban Ecology Center) and restoration are available for discussion with people visiting the fair.  In the past we have had over 500 people attend this one-day fair held on the banks of the Milwaukee River at Hubbard Park.

WMBD was celebrated on May 21st, 2022 at Estabrook Park as part of the Spring Event-Pollinator Palooza I celebrating birds and pollinators, and an estimated 300 people attended the event.  The event will be expanded in 2023 to include more organizations and promote No Mow May.

  • Bird Banding Demos with Urban Ecology Center demonstrating catch and release banding methods
  • A Bird House Decorating contest 
  • Preventing Bird window collisions
  • Bird House and Roosting box Building Demonstrations
  • A Bird City booth provided info on bird habitat, keeping cats indoors and preventing collisions with windows.
  • Presentation on Planting to Attract Birds, Birding 101 and more

Joined Bird City: 2013

Population: 13,162

Incorporated: 1900

Area: 1.59 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Map