Making our communities healthy for birds... and people

Village Williams Bay

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 Village of Williams Bay has adopted and approved an ordinance that is in compliance with Wisconsin’s “Smart Growth” law for land use planning and resource management and continues to remain in compliance.

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)

A large percentage of the Village of Williams Bay has legal protection of bird habitat that goes far beyond its conservational tree laws. Among the protected areas is the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy, a municipally owned 231-acre area set aside in 1989 to insure “the protection of this fragile shoreland-wetland area for future generations.”  (This was documented with a zoning map of the village showing Kishwauketoe, copies of web pages about its history, a brochure, and a copy of the ordinances protecting it.)

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.

Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy offers regular press releases, work days, and workshops involving control and removal of invasive species, hosts an event calendar, and advertises on its Facebook page. The Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy is fortunate to have a Master’s Degree trained botanist on staff to plan and lead various restoration projects. This individual also leads numerous educational walks through the conservancy.

The Geneva Lake Environmental Agency, based in Williams Bay, regularly prints information in its newsletter about the dangers of invasive species and encouraging their removal. Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy holds regular volunteer workdays to remove invasive species and publicizes the issue in the local newspaper.

Community Forest Management

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

The Village of Williams Bay continues to be recognized as a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation following its initial award in 2001. In 2016, approximately 450 school children from numerous Geneva Lake area elementary schools participated in the planting of 70+ trees in the Village’s Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy in celebration of Arbor Day. This is an annual on-going event at the premier nature conservancy, and continues to build high quality bird habitat.

F. OTHER: Demonstrate in a narrative.

Harold J. Friestad, Chairman of Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy, located in the Village of Williams Bay, was selected to receive Gathering Waters:  Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Harold was responsible for the Village’s acquisition of the 231 acre parcel that is now Kishwauketoe during the time that he served as Village President; he continues to serve Kishwauketoe as Chairman and remains very active in conservation workday projects throughout the year. Kishwauketoe continues to improve as a high quality bird habitat.

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.

Cats Indoors!” brochures are available and on display both at the Williams Bay Village Hall and at Williams Bay’s Barrett Memorial Library. In addition, the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy is in the process of seeking formal designation as a “Dark Sky Park” by the Dark Sky initiative in Wisconsin.

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).

The Lakeland Audubon Society meets monthly at the Lyon’s Field House in Williams Bay. Members participate in both the Great Backyard Bird Count and the Christmas Bird Count on a yearly basis. Village Trustee James Killian, who also serves as the Village Board representative to the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy Board, manages and monitors 18 Blue Bird boxes located throughout the nature conservancy’s 231 acres.

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

Each year, the Village’s Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy hosts an Arbor Day celebration event with the planting of a large number of trees by classes of elementary school children accompanied by their teachers and parent assistants. Each group of children that plants a tree is also accompanied by a Kishwauketoe volunteer, who also discusses the benefits of tree planting including for the bird population. Many children experienced an exciting moment at the April 29, 2016 event when an Eastern Blue Bird landed and perched on a branch of a tree that had just been planted.

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD)

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.

Williams Bay Village Trustee James Killian will again lead a bird walk through Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy in recognition of International Migratory Bird Day. This event is scheduled to occur on Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 7:00 am to 9:00 am. This event is publicized on the Village’s community calendar, posted on the Village website, and with the Lakeland Audubon Society and their members/friends.

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Community Details

Joined Bird City: 2010

Population: 2,582

Incorporated: 1919

Area: 2.8 mi2

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