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Alliant Energy Promises $100,000 For Our Lakes

Pheasant Branch Restoration Press Conference

Thank you Alliant Energy!

Clean Lakes Alliance is thrilled to announce Alliant Energy has committed $100,000 to our Protect, Restore, Preserve Fund with a new Challenge Grant! Longtime partner of Clean Lakes Alliance, Alliant Energy, is helping significantly boost this fund with their gift. But we also need support from the community to help us reach our $200,000 goal.

Alliant Energy Logo

“Caring for the environment and our communities is at the forefront of all that we do at Alliant Energy. We are excited to accelerate the positive impact of Clean Lakes Alliance and their Protect, Restore, and Preserve initiative with this matching gift.”

David de Leon, President of Wisconsin Power and Light Company

Protect, Restore, Preserve

What is Protect, Restore, Preserve? This fund focuses on strategic land purchases to protect areas that impact water quality. Clean Lakes Alliance will restore those lands to improve our lakes for future generations. This will be accomplished through programs like Renew the Blue Volunteer Days. Finally, we will preserve the progress made on the land through maintenance and restoration work.

Protect, Restore, Preserve Fund - Matching gift from Alliant Energy

Restoring agricultural lands to native prairies

Pheasant Branch Conservancy is a natural area in Dane County. Dane County Parks and local municipalities work together to manage the land. This year, Dane County purchased a 160-acre farm directly north of the Conservancy for $10 million.

Clean Lakes Alliance continues to look for ways to reduce algae-causing phosphorus from entering Madison’s lakes. Alliant Energy’s $100,000 gift will be combined with funds raised through the Challenge Grant. Funds will go directly toward restoration efforts of Dane County’s newly acquired land. By restoring agricultural lands, such as the land adjacent to Pheasant Branch Conservancy, we can increase infiltration and therefore improve the water quality in our lakes.

“By saving this property next to Pheasant Branch Conservancy from being developed and restoring it to prairie, we will be able to prevent the runoff of nearly five million gallons of water from entering our lakes each year. This property furthers our efforts to mitigate flooding, improve the overall quality of our water, and preserve Dane County’s outdoor spaces. My 2020 budget contains $250,000 in county funds to help restore this property.”

Joe Parisi, Dane County Executive
Pheasant Branch Expansion Map
The 160-acre expansion zone is located just north of Pheasant Branch Conservancy.

$200,000 goal for our lakes

This year, the Protect, Restore, Preserve Fund has a fundraising goal of $200,000. Clean Lakes Alliance is calling on the community to join Alliant Energy in this Challenge Grant. Working together to protect, restore, and preserve this land will have tremendous benefits for our watershed.

“As stewards of the land, we are excited to add 160 additional acres to Pheasant Branch Conservancy that will help protect our lakes and provide a greater habitat for birds, butterflies, and other creatures that call the Conservancy home.”

Lloyd Eagan, Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy Co-President
Pheasant Branch Restoration Sign
Restoration sign on display at Pheasant Branch Conservancy

Partners for restoration

In addition to Clean Lakes Alliance and Alliant Energy, The Nature Conservancy, will help fund wetland restoration in the new part of Pheasant Branch Conservancy. A Meringoff Family Foundation grant will fund the wetland restoration.

“Protecting and restoring nature provides benefits to all of us, like flood reduction and water purification, and helps solve water challenges that come with climate change. Thanks to Dane County and the Meringoff Family Foundation, these restored habitats will benefit people and nature at Pheasant Branch Conservancy and throughout the Yahara River Watershed.”

Nick Miller, Director of Science and Strategy at The Nature Conservancy
Clean Lakes Grant Funding Graph
Agricultural areas represent the majority of the Yahara Watershed and the largest potential for phosphorus reduction, as identified in the Yahara CLEAN Strategic Action Plan for Phosphorus Reduction

Clean Lakes Alliance has given out more than $1,000,000 in project support since 2011!

Lake project funding began with a $50,000 grant in 2011 for a stormwater retention pond. More than $1,000,000 later, Clean Lakes Alliance continues to focus on supporting those doing great work to benefit our lakes. Over time, 82% of our project funding has been directed toward phosphorus reduction on farmland, 13% toward phosphorus reduction in urban areas, and 5% to education and lake management. Read more.

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