City of Watertown

City of Watertown

Habitat Creation, Protection, and Monitoring

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

The City is currently planning the development of the Steinhorst Micro-Park Initiative at 249 S. Concord Avenue. The park will include natural bird habitat, rain gardens, bird houses, a trail with interpretative signs, and a Little Free Library and will be designed and managed under a Natural Landscape Management Plan.

E. Describe your community’s ordinance demonstrating that your community does not restrict natural/native landscaping that emphasizes native plants and non-turf lawns.

The City of Watertown allows natural landscaping provided that the property owner obtains a permit under Section 9.09 Natural Landscape Management of the Municipal Code.

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 City publishes documentation on the emerald ash borer, Watertown’s efforts to control the emerald ash borer, and gypsy moth on our website and our semi-annual “City Connection” publication that gets mailed to every household in the city. In 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 the city applied for and received a Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Assistance grant providing an incentive for property owners to treat ash trees on their property to try and save the trees rather than removing them.

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

The micro park located at 249 S. Concord Ave, was landscaped in a manner that creates numerous ecological and community benefits, including a rain garden water capture area, ephemeral ponds, meander paths, public access to the river, bird and bat habitat, and native plants. The intent was to create a community asset that respects Nature and creates ecological and social capital for our community.

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 Watertown Parks and Recreation has periodic goods drives for the Oconomowoc Wildlife in Need Organization to help get items that will aid them in bird rehabilitation.

Community Forest Management

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

Watertown continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1989.

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.

The Watertown Park, Recreation & Forestry Department, along with a donation from the estate of Randy Roeseler, offers a Tree
Planting Program as a cost sharing opportunity for city property owners and the City of Watertown. This partnership allows city residents to pick from a variant of tree species that will be planted by the Forestry Department along the street right of way. The purpose of the Tree Planting Program is to build
a diverse sustainable urban forest and increase the City of Watertown’s forestry canopy.

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.

American Bird Conservancy Flyers on Trap, Neuter, Release and the issue of outdoor cats are available in the Parks and Recreation Office and provided to participants during the City’s enrichment programs.

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 City of Watertown’s website has several links to organizations concerned with conservation, birding, and bird habitat.

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

The City  offered an educational program to teach children to make pipe cleaner bird feeders and the importance of birds. Included is a discussion of the prevention of bird/window collisions and the Cats Indoors initiative. Other flyers on various birding topics are also available.

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 Watertown Parks and Recreation Department's Kart Park conducted a family night where the Oconomowoc Wildlife in Need Center presented on local wildlife with a focus on bird conservation. Families also participated in a DIY bird feeder build to help draw in more native birds to Watertown, WI.

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.

The City of Watertown sponsored multiple events to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day, including: nature walks in Lunde Woods, Tivoli Island and the River Walk on June 12, 2018 (all open to the public and publicized). Brochures from the Bird City Wisconsin website were handed out and participants observed and identified a variety of bird species and their habitat during the walks.  The Girls Scouts participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February 2017. The Parks and Recreation Department manned a booth at the local farmers market on May 22, 2018 to promote IMBD in which educational information was available.  Participants were also able to make cheerio bird feeders.  David Webb was on hand on June 7, 2018 to present his Wisconsin Birds presentation to help educate participants.  A birding display case was visible throughout the month of May to all who visited our office.  The scouts also built and painted numerous bird houses to be placed in the Brandt Quirk Park along the trail through Lund Woods.  Hoo's Woods Raptors brought in some live birds for their presentation to the public on June 12, 2018.


Joined Bird City: 2016

Population: 23,861

Incorporated: 1853

Area: 12.51 mi2

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