Bird City Wisconsin is happy to announce the recognition of a pair of new Bird Cities in 2020: Greenfield and Wauwatosa.
Greenfield’s application process was led by Renee Rollman, an engineering specialist with the city. Greenfield was recognized for its work to control invasive plant species, its longtime status as a Tree City USA, and especially for its recent restoration of Pondview Park, a 6.69-acre special open space area located in the eastern part of the city.
Established around neighborhood retention basins as part of a senior residential housing development, the park is planted with native wetland trees, shrubs, and wildflowers that provide shelter and food for waterfowl and other birds, and features an asphalt trail loop with interpretive signage. In spring 2018, the city cleared buckthorn and other invasive plants that were encroaching on the edge of the pond.
Jeff Roznowski, a board member of the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce, spearheaded Wauwatosa’s application. The city was recognized for a host of bird-friendly actions, including its longtime status as a Tree City USA; weed-outs and cleanups along the Menomonee River; conducting regular bird monitoring in the 60-acre maple-beech forest known as the Woodland as well as in parks in Wauwatosa; and especially for the unanimous 2019 approval of a zoning modification for a cherished parcel of land known as Sanctuary Woods.
Located east of I-41 and north of Wisconsin Avenue, 55-acre Sanctuary Woods is a small but important portion of the 1,200 acres of city land covered by the Life Sciences District Master Plan adopted by the Wauwatosa Common Council in late 2018. The area has long been known to shelter flying squirrels, Butler’s garter snakes, and other interesting wildlife, and it is well known as a haunt for Long-eared Owls and other birds and as a stopover site for migrating Monarch butterflies, yet it was not zoned as a Conservancy prior to approval of the plan. This designation was made permanent thanks to the modification adopted in December. The new zoning status (Special Purpose Conservancy, SP-CON) ensures that Sanctuary Woods is now part of an overall contiguous area of 500 acres of environmental green space that will be protected as important wildlife habitat into perpetuity.
The two Milwaukee-area communities bring to 111 the number of communities that have been recognized as Bird Cities since the program was begun in 2009.
The end of October means that it’s time for Bird City communities to start work on their 2021 renewals.
Renewing is how your community can be recognized publicly for the steps it has taken to be friendly to birds and healthy for people. It’s also a great way to let the world know that your hometown is a desirable place to work, live, take a vacation, and do some bird watching, and it signals that you want to be counted in Bird City’s statewide network of conservation advocates.
Get started now! You can complete the entire renewal process electronically, on the Bird City Wisconsin website. Renewals for 2021 are due by January 31.