Bird City Program

towsendHistory of the Bird City Program
In March 2002, leading bird conservation organizations in Wisconsin created a cooperative partnership called the Wisconsin Bird Conservation Initiative (WBCI), which is part of the National Bird Conservation Initiative. The goal of this coalition is to work in close coordination to deliver the full spectrum of bird conservation statewide, emphasizing voluntary stewardship.
To date,167 organizations — from the statewide Audubon Council to local bird clubs and bird-related businesses — have endorsed WBCI's principles in support of bird conservation.

These include:

Focus on the full array of wild bird species
Promote voluntary partnerships
Promote conservation based on the best available scientific information
Take an ecological landscape approach
Share knowledge to encourage voluntary stewardship and bird-based recreation


WBCI’s Urban Committee introduced the concept for Bird City Wisconsin early on, based on the success of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program. They wanted a program that could do for communities and their bird life what Tree City USA has managed to accomplish in the field of urban forestry.

birdcitylogoIn 2009, WBCI members received a planning grant for Bird City Wisconsin through the Together Green program, a unique alliance between the National Audubon Society and Toyota. During this initial phase of the program, the Milwaukee Audubon Society is serving as the program’s fiscal agent and the Schlitz Audubon Center is its home base.


grosebeckHow Baileys Harbor Became Part of The Program
WBCI’s Urban Committee introduced the concept for Bird City Wisconsin early on, based on the success of the Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City USA program. They wanted a program that could do for communities and their bird life what Tree City USA has managed to accomplish in the field of urban forestry. In 2009, WBCI members received a planning grant for Bird City Wisconsin through the Together Green program, a unique alliance between the National Audubon Society and Toyota. During this initial phase of the program, the Milwaukee Audubon Society is serving as the program’s fiscal agent and the Schlitz Audubon Center is its home base. C. The Town of Baileys Harbor is abundant in natural and recreational resources. The waters of Lake Michigan and the rivers and streams that empty into it support approximately 150 species of fish. More than 90 species of birds have been recorded as potentially breeding within the town. Baileys Harbor is the most biologically diverse municipality in the state and is home to many federal and state endangered and protected species. Large portions of the town are forested or considered environmentally sensitive, and much of these are in permanent conservation due to ownership by The Ridges Sanctuary, The Nature Conservancy, the Door County Land Trust, University of Wisconsin, and the State of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Wooded areas of the town are visible on the 2002 Aerial Photo with Wetland Overlay, which also shows areas zoned Wetland as of June 2005. The 2005 Land Use Inventory and Resources map includes two land use categories designating natural and recreational resources, and also depicts specific resources in the town such as The Ridges Sanctuary, Toft Point, the Mud Lake Wildlife Unit, and many others. Approximately 40-45% of the landmass in Baileys Harbor is protected in one way or another.

G. Three Important Bird Area sites
The Ridges Sanctuary
Toft Point
Mud Lake
All lie within the boundaries of the Town of Baileys Harbor.


barredowlCategory 2: Programs Promoting Effective Community Forest Management
B. The Baileys Harbor Parks Committee is charged with managing, protecting, and maintaining six parks in the town. An additional 10 acres of heavily wooded land was recently acquired for a Recreational Park making it a 40 acre park. The additional 10 acres will remain heavily wooded with intended use for nature and vita trail insuring it will remain a wonderful bird habitat. Anclam Park is in the process of a total landscape transformation adding trees and flora that will turn it into an attraction for birds and bird lovers alike. The Baileys Harbor Community Association has partnered with a local landscape company over the past 10 years in a tree planting program in our downtown area that has resulted in the planting of some 28 trees over the years. The Town of Baileys Harbor, whenever possible, supports The Door County Land Trust, which lists both Kangaroo Lake Preserve and the Baileys Harbor Swamp Corridor among the 25 special places they protect. The Ridges Sanctuary Articles of Incorporation have as its stated purpose: To preserve and protect significant natural areas within Door County and The Ridges, Toft Point, and Mud Lake are examples in Baileys Harbor.


Category 3: Limiting or Removing Hazards to Birds
A. Cats Indoors: The Town of Baileys Harbor has just purchased 1000 copies of the Cats Birds and You brochure with intended distribution and or posting at Town Hall, McCardle Library, the Post Office, 57 Depot, Nelson’s, the Info Center, and those businesses in town that will support the distribution or posting. A link to the Bird Conservation Alliance will be provided on the town website.cat_brochure