With the approval of its Bird City application this week, the village joins 50 Wisconsin communities that have proven their commitment to creating healthy habitats for birds.
The Village Board voted in May to apply to become a Bird City Wisconsin community. The application was developed by the Whitefish Bay Garden Club, and Whitefish Bay's $100 application fee was split three ways between the village, the garden club and the Whitefish Bay Civic Foundation.
In turn, the village will receive Bird City Wisconsin flags, plaques and street signs at a ceremony.
"It is an accomplishment that puts the Village of Whitefish Bay in the forefront of efforts to forge a statewide coalition of citizens and public officials who know that birds are more than beautiful – they are significant," Bird City Wisconsin coordinator Carl Schwartz said in a letter to village officials.
Wisconsin previously had 39 Bird City communities, and on Thursday it announced Whitefish Bay was one of 11 new communities to join the program, bringing the total to 50. Bayside renewed its status as a Bird City, and Fox Point also joined this year.
Modeled on the “Tree City USA” program, Bird City developed 22 criteria across five categories, including habitat creation and protection, community forest management, limiting hazards to birds, public education and recognition of International Migratory Bird Day. If a community meets at least seven criteria, it becomes an official “Bird City."
In a letter to the village, Schawrtz said the Bird City Wisconsin review panel was impressed with the village's bird monitoring efforts, the , its and the Village Board's decision to incorporate International Migratory Bird Day into the Green Day in the Bay event on May 5.
The Milwaukee Audubon Society partnered with other Wisconsin conservation organizations in 2009 to launch Bird City with an initial planning grant from TogetherGreen, an alliance between the National Audubon Society and Toyota.