Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

City of West Bend

City of West Bend

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 West Bend has adopted and approved a “Smart Growth” plan and is currently in compliance with the State of Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use and planning resource development.

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)

In Lac Lawrann Conservancy there are 9 separate bird boxes that have been installed. These boxes are monitored on a weekly basis by two volunteers who log the types of birds nesting in the boxes, the number of eggs in each clutch, and the date that the fledglings leave the nest. They continue to monitor and maintain the boxes until the birds migrate in the fall. For 2017 the numbers in these 9 boxes are as follows: Tree Swallow (26 fledged), Eastern Bluebird (20 fledged), House Wren (11 fledged), total=57 songbirds in 9 boxes.

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 West Bend added language to the Municipal Code that protects birds by limiting dogs and other domestic animals. Additionally, the city added language prohibiting the use of nets, snares, and other devices capable of catching or restraining birds.

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.

The Lac Lawrann Conservancy, part of the West Bend Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department, is the site of nine (9) bluebird nesting boxes maintained by volunteer Raymond Pinter. He monitors the boxes to ensure that only bluebirds and house wrens are allowed to nest in the boxes, and removes any harmful and invasive bird nesting material.

P. Demonstrate the implementation of a program to preserve Chimney Swift nesting and roosting sites (preferred) and/or to construct Chimney Swift towers.

In 2015 Lac Lawrann Conservancy approved an Eagle Scout Project with scout Jacob Beine to build a informational kiosk that is also a Chimney Swift Nesting Tower.  The tower was erected in the late summer of 2015 and was monitored in 2016 and 2017.  To date no nesting has taken place, however, there were nests started in 2017 but never occupied.

Community Forest Management

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

West Bend continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 1983. Every year in the fall the city also provides free street trees to the public, which can be obtained through an application process. Additionally, trees that are removed due to damage from Emerald Ash Borer are replaced with new varietals without the need to apply.

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 City of West Bend does not allow dogs in any city parks other than the designated Rolfs Dog Park and Ridge Run Park which was aquired from Washington County. Additionally, under the heading of “Bird City” on the Parks website, there is an explanation and link to the “Cats Indoors!” program. More information can be found on the website for the city maintained park, Lac Lawrann Conservancy.

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

The City of West Bend recognizes that bird strikes on windows are a very real problem. With this in mind the Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department, placed several links on its Bird City page that citizens can refer to in regard to bird strike. Additionally, at Lac Lawrann Conservancy, the city placed window stickers on all the large windows to provide a visual distinction for the many birds that inhabit the Conservancy.

Public Education

A. Demonstrate that schools in your community participate in a nationally-recognized environmental education program (e.g., Flying WILD, Audubon Adventures) or that your community organizes its own substantial education and outreach program for young people. 

Lac Lawrann Conservancy runs a Nature in the Classroom program that reaches out to 18 schools and 108 classrooms in Washington County. In each classroom, volunteer teachers teach lessons on a variety of subjects which includes education on preserving bird habitats, bird nests, owls, turkeys, and Earth Day. These lessons are taught K4-3rd Grade.

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 West Bend's Bird City page provides extensive information on how the citizenry can increase and enhance habitats for birds in their own backyards. The website has lists of the various seeds that individuals can provide in their feeders and the various birds that those seeds will attract. There are also suggestions for trees and shrubs that can be planted to draw a wide variety of bird species. The City also recommends that the population take a look at the other requirements for successful habitat enhancement, including water sources, shelters, and provision of nesting materials. Knowing what birds are native and what these species require will draw an abundance of birds to a backyard and increase the enjoyment of the species.

The City of West Bend provides several links for the citizens to connect with various resources to enhance the backyard habitat for birds:

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology: All About Birds

Ohio Landscape Association: Creating Your Landscape to Attract Birds

UW Extension: Landscape Plants that Attract Birds

National Wildlife Federation: Wildlife Gardening

Wild Ones: Native Plants, Native Landscapes

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service: Backyard Birding

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).

Lac Lawrann Conservancy runs a Nature in the Classroom program that reaches out to 18 schools and 108 classrooms in Washington County. In each classroom, volunteer teachers teach lessons on a variety of subjects which includes education on preserving bird habitats, bird nests, owls, turkeys, and Earth Day. These lessons are taught K4-3rd Grade.

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.

In 2017, the City of West Bend celebrated International Migratory Bird Day with the Blue Bird Box Build and Hike. Citizens were invited to come to Lac Lawrann Conservancy and build a Blue Bird Box for them to take home. They were then invited to join a monitoring volunteer on an informational hike to examine the 9 nesting boxes in the Conservancy.

Joined Bird City: 2015

Population: 31,078

Incorporated: 1885

Area: 14.72 mi2

Community Website

Community Bird City Page

Community Bird City Facebook Page

Community Tourism Page

Community Map