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Join us and volunteer

Clean Lakes Alliance coordinates watershed volunteer days for local businesses and organizations. These volunteer events offer rewarding and meaningful opportunities to engage directly with our lakes. Renew the Blue Volunteer Days provide an opportunity for individuals to help clean up our lakes while becoming informed and engaged with issues that affect them.

In recent years, Clean Lakes Alliance has partnered with parks, friend groups, local businesses, and associations to restore shorelines. Volunteers clear invasive plants and trees, plant native seeds, remove algae from waters, and clean up trash along the lakeshore.

Here’s what we accomplished together in 2019:

  • 538 participants
  • 1,488 hours of volunteer service dedicated to lakeshore improvements
  • Numerous truckloads of invasive brush and plant debris removed from our lakeside parks
  • 25 cleanup/restoration projects completed in the Yahara River Watershed
  • 12 host-site partners

These lake cleanup efforts demonstrate the commitment of our local businesses and organizations to improve the community and the environment! For individual volunteer opportunities, please see our general volunteering page

How to sign up

We request that all participating businesses become Lake Partners, our business donors to Clean Lakes Alliance. This helps us continue to facilitate volunteer days as well as fund other important projects in the watershed.  

Every year, we create a schedule of available projects, locations, and dates within the community to better allow participating groups to select where, when, and what type of project they’d like to complete. Please contact Clean Lakes Alliance’s Watershed Program Associate Luke Wynn to learn more about participating in a volunteer day.

Lands' End Volunteer Day
Lands’ End Volunteer Day

Thank you!

2019 Participants: Adams Outdoor Advertising, Alliant Energy Sustainability Squad, American Family Insurance, American Transmission Company, AssuredLeads, Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP, Breakthrough Dance Company, CG SChmidt, Destination Madison, Fiskars, Foley & Lardner LLP, Hovde, Hydrite, Johnson Financial Group, Lands’ End, Miron Construction, National Guardian Life Insurance Company, Naturalake Biosciences, Phi Gamma Delta, Rotary Club of Madison, Sprinkman Real Estate, State Bank of Cross Plains, Spectrum Brands, State Line Distillery, and The Digital Ring.

Partners: Adaptive Restoration, City of Madison Parks, City of Middleton, Dane County Parks, Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy, Friends of the Yahara River Parkway, Holy Wisdom Monastery, Madison Boats, University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum, University of Wisconsin-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve, Wild Warner, and Wisconsin DNR.  

Volunteer Day Sponsors

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Lands' End Heritage Stacked Logo
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Volunteer Day

Volunteers remain loyal to our lakes

It was a year of obstacles for our lakes, but volunteers are dedicated to improving our waters

From cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, to elevated bacteria (E. coli) levels, to flooding, our lakes have had a tough season. With our lakes facing so many obstacles, it makes Clean Lakes Alliance even more appreciative of its volunteers.

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Schluter Beach 20May2020

Making Progress For Our Lakes

In 2019, Clean Lakes Alliance’s work was focused on actions that increased community engagement and reduced phosphorus runoff into the lakes. Keep reading to learn more about our 2019 achievements. These actions could not have been accomplished without the dedication and support of our boards, committees, donors, volunteers, staff, partners, and the community.

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Protect, Restore, Preserve Fund

On-the-ground practices

Vision, accomplishments, and future

Since 2011, Clean Lakes Alliance has provided more than $1,100,000 in grants to urban and rural partners to support on-the-ground projects designed to protect water quality in the Yahara Watershed. Engaging the community to leverage action is an effective force and catalyst for improving and protecting our lakes.

How you can help

The Protect, Restore, Preserve Fund has a fundraising goal of $200,000. The fund focuses on strategic land purchases to protect areas that impact water quality. We will restore those lands to improve our lakes for future generations and, through programs like Renew the Blue Volunteer Days, we will preserve the progress made on the land through maintenance and restoration work. Moving forward, our Renew the Blue volunteers will be engaged to help with the restoration and maintenance of the land. Donate to this fund today to invest in a permanent legacy of improved water quality and reduced flooding in our watershed.

Clean Lakes Alliance is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit organization. Your donation is tax-deductible!

Thank you for supporting our lakes through the Protect, Restore, Preserve Fund!

2019 Clean Lakes Community Awards - awards

Announcing our 2019 Clean Lakes Community Awards Winners

On December 3rd, 2019 Clean Lakes Alliance honored seven outstanding individuals and groups at the Clean Lakes Community Awards. This event, presented by Town Bank, recognizes the accomplishments of individuals, volunteers, businesses, farmers, and other entities working to protect our Yahara lakes.

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2019 Thankful For

Things we’re thankful for at Clean Lakes Alliance

At Clean Lakes Alliance, we’re thankful to be part of a community that is surrounded by five beautiful lakes. Our Yahara lakes provide ecological diversity, recreational opportunities, economic benefits, and endless beauty to the Greater Madison area, its residents, and guests.

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Paul Dearlove of Clean Lakes Alliance

“I feel lucky to be around so much water and all the opportunity that comes with it.”

Paul Dearlove

PAUL DEARLOVE
Deputy Director

Paul Dearlove joined Clean Lakes Alliance in 2014 and is the organization’s Deputy Director. His primary focus is on advancing community-based phosphorus reduction actions, and to empower citizen participation by creating opportunities for people to become more informed and involved as donors, advocates and volunteers.

Paul’s work includes overseeing the organization’s education and engagement programs, including citizen water quality monitoring, Renew the Blue Volunteer Days, State of the Lakes reporting, Lake Explorer Camp, Yahara Lakes 101, and the Yahara Watershed Academy. He also plays a lead role in promoting initiatives related to the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan.

Prior to joining Clean Lakes Alliance, Paul spent 15 years as Lake Manager for the Lake Ripley Management District (Jefferson County, WI). His work included directing the completion of a 13-year Priority Watershed Project through the Wisconsin Nonpoint Source Abatement Program.  He also worked as a consultant preparing comprehensive lake and watershed management plans for Wisconsin lake organizations.

Paul earned his M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He has also served on the boards of Wisconsin Lakes and the Friends of Lake Wingra.

Paul is an avid angler who lives within a short walking distance of Lake Wingra. He grew up exploring lakes and has always been fascinated by the unique underwater worlds they support. One of the primary reasons for choosing Madison as a place to live is because it is surrounded by water.

See other Clean Lakes Alliance team members

Paul Dearlove of Clean Lakes Alliance

Paul Dearlove joined Clean Lakes Alliance in 2014 and is the organization’s Watershed Initiatives Senior Director. His primary focus is on advancing community-based phosphorus reduction actions, and to empower citizen participation by creating opportunities for people to become more informed and involved as donors, advocates and volunteers.

Paul’s work includes overseeing the organization’s education and engagement programs, including citizen water quality monitoring, Renew the Blue Volunteer Days, State of the Lakes reporting, Lake Explorer Camp, Yahara Lakes 101, and the Yahara Watershed Academy. He also plays a lead role in promoting initiatives related to the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan.

Prior to joining Clean Lakes Alliance, Paul spent 15 years as Lake Manager for the Lake Ripley Management District (Jefferson County, WI). His work included directing the completion of a 13-year Priority Watershed Project through the Wisconsin Nonpoint Source Abatement Program.  He also worked as a consultant preparing comprehensive lake and watershed management plans for Wisconsin lake organizations.

Paul earned his M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He has also served on the boards of Wisconsin Lakes and the Friends of Lake Wingra.

Paul is an avid angler who lives within a short walking distance of Lake Wingra. He grew up exploring lakes and has always been fascinated by the unique underwater worlds they support. One of the primary reasons for choosing Madison as a place to live is because it is surrounded by water.