Five FUN ways to support our lakes this winter!
At Clean Lakes Alliance, we work for our lakes all year long. Keep reading to learn five great ways YOU can get involved with the watershed this winter and support cleaner, healthier lakes!
It’s Official – ICE ON for Lake Mendota!
Ice on date beats median freeze date by five days
Despite warm weather in Madison over the weekend, cool nights, light winds, and cold water helped Lake Mendota officially freeze on Saturday, December 15th. Lake Mendota, the largest lake in the Yahara Watershed, froze eight days after the smallest lake in the watershed, Lake Wingra, which officially froze on December 7th. Lake Monona officially froze on December 11th.
The Wisconsin State Climatology Office requires ice to hold for a period of 24 hours before a lake can officially be declared frozen over. After ice took shape this weekend, staff waited to see whether it would hold out through the warm daytime temperatures. The December 15th freeze date is 12 days ahead of last year’s December 27th freeze date, and a surprising five days ahead of the December 20th median freeze date. The latest freeze date for Lake Mendota was January 30th – which happened in the winter of 1932.
The Wisconsin State Climatology Office makes the official determination as to whether the lake is frozen. The climatologists use the same guidelines they have used for decades to determine whether the lakes are iced over. This allows for a continuity in data collection. Read more: Determining ice cover on Madison’s lakes.
Creating a new generation of lake enthusiasts
Lake Explorer Camp receives Evjue Foundation grant
The Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of the Capital Times Company, recently announced grants to 56 nonprofits in Dane County. The latest grant contributions bring the total awarded by the Evjue Foundation in 2018 to $2.3 million. Clean Lakes Alliance’s Lake Explorer Camp is honored to be chosen as one of the grant recipients.
Clean Lakes Alliance will receive $5,000 to support its Lake Explorer Camp. The camp is an opportunity for young people to learn about our lakes and waters. Clean Lakes Alliance believes connections to nature begin to develop in childhood. Children who have educational experiences with our lakes will grow to treasure our waters.
Cold Water, Falling Temperatures, Frozen Forecast
Clean Lakes Alliance annual Mendota Freeze contest open
Winter is quickly approaching. With the cold temperatures, people around Madison start to ask themselves, “When will our lakes freeze?”
“We experienced a colder than normal November in Madison, with temperatures averaging about five degrees below normal,” said Clean Lakes Alliance Meteorologist Karin Swanson. “The forecast for the next week calls for temperatures near or below freezing, which will help lake temperatures continue to fall.”
Six awards announced at reception and networking event
First ever Clean Lakes Community Awards
Clean Lakes Alliance was pleased to hold its first ever Clean Lakes Community Awards presented by Town Bank on Tuesday, November 27th, 2019. In light of significant challenges facing our lakes, we have been overwhelmed by the community’s response. The awards program recognized outstanding businesses, organizations, and individuals who have made our lakes a top priority.
“I can honestly say, over the last few years, I have seen a big shift towards greater community involvement in lake health,” said Clean Lakes Alliance board chair Lloyd Eagan in address to the audience and awardees.
Connecting children with our Yahara Watershed
Grant Feature #7: Madison Friends of Urban Nature (FUN)
American author, scientist, and conservationist Aldo Leopold once said, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
Clean Lakes Alliance knows connections to the land and to our waters begin to develop in childhood. Through a Clean Lakes Grant awarded for 2018, Madison Friends of Urban Nature (FUN) is connecting families and children to nature and our Yahara Lakes. Clean Lakes Alliance contributed $1,250 to the effort, helping to expand outdoor learning opportunities that can lead to future generations of caring and knowledgeable lake stewards.
Clean Lakes Alliance partners with Rooster Events
Rooster Events, LLC signed a 5 year agreement with Clean Lakes Alliance of Madison to produce the Shoreline Open Water Swim and have it added to the Big Swell Swim Series races. Clean Lakes Alliance will remain the nonprofit partner and receive a portion of each registration for the event.
This is an exciting partnership for both groups as the Big Swell Swim brings many swimmers from all over the country to our state and will focus on growing this race in Madison as part of the series. With this growth and donations from the swim race, Clean Lakes Alliance, a nonprofit out of Madison, will continue their efforts to protect and improve our lakes. Large swim events like those in the Big Swell series draw attention to our lakes as a core component of Madison’s thriving race culture.
About Rooster Events, LLC and the Big Swell Swim: Rooster Events is a niche events company owned and operated locally by Jackie Hering. The Big Swell Swim series now includes 3 races around southern Wisconsin (Devil’s Lake, Lake Monona, and Lake Michigan) each showcasing Wisconsin’s beautiful landscape. Each event offers a short and long distance option and caters to open water swimmers and triathletes of all levels. More information: www.bigswellswim.com
About Clean Lakes Alliance: Clean Lakes Alliance is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement and protection of the lakes, streams, and wetlands in the Yahara River Watershed. Through community support, advocacy, and education, Clean Lakes Alliance is working to restore and protect our lakes.
Dane County Board approves 2019 budget
On Monday, November 12th, the Dane County Board of Supervisors voted to adopt the 2019 Dane County budget. The adopted budget includes significant investments for water quality improvements and flood mitigation. The budget initiatives include water quality improvements supported by Clean Lakes Alliance and outlined in the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan for Phosphorus Reduction. These measures will move us in the right direction to reduce runoff and increase infiltration.
Increasing lake access to Madison youth
Early experiences in nature can create lasting connections to the land and water that surrounds us. But many local residents don’t have opportunities to enjoy or learn about one of Greater Madison’s most prominent public resources; our lakes. Thanks to a $1,000 grant from the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, Clean Lakes Alliance is working to shift that reality through the restructuring and expansion of our Lake Explorer Camp.