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Lake Monona sunrise

Plan your summer bucket list

Make the most of the Yahara lakes this summer

Sometimes it feels like summer is the shortest season of the year, so why not plan your summer bucket list now?! We are lucky to live in the Greater Madison area, with countless opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. This summer, why not make the lakes a part of your plans? Clean Lakes Alliance has put together a summer bucket list to keep you cool until the seasons change.

1. Hop on a log (log-rolling)

Not for the meek, log rolling is a fun activity for anyone looking to burst their fitness bubble and try something new. This wet and wild activity is the result of friendly competition between loggers back in the 1800s. Madison Log Rolling decided to rekindle that spirit and teach lessons on Lake Wingra. Summon your inner lumberjack and see if you have what it takes to stand on the log.

Log rolling on Lake Wingra - Courtesy Madison Log Rolling
Log rolling on Lake Wingra (Courtesy Madison Log Rolling)
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Press conference announcing Dane County's 160 acre land purchase

Pheasant Branch Conservancy set to grow by 160 acres

On Thursday, May 16th, Dane County announced plans to purchase 160 acres of property for conservation. The property acquisition will be the largest conservation preservation investment in the county’s history, costing nearly 10 million dollars.

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2018 Annual State of the Lakes Report

2018 takeaways

  • Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms appeared in our lakes at an alarming scale, highlighting continued challenges with water quality.
    • 72% of beach closures from Memorial Day to August 20th were due to cyanobacteria blooms
    • June continues to be the biggest month for cyanobacteria blooms for the fourth year
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Stormwater Pond at Edgewood Campus

Emerging leaders for our lakes

About the author: My name is Karin Swanson and I am a student of the Yahara Watershed Academy. I work for Clean Lakes Alliance as the Marketing and Communications Associate Manager and I am a Meteorologist. I am sharing my journey through the Academy in an effort to expand our community’s knowledge and passion for the Yahara River Watershed.

The third class of the Yahara Watershed Academy took place on April 10th at Edgewood College in Madison. There are five day-long classes included in the Academy before the June graduation. Students have been learning about the science and history of the Yahara River Watershed, while being mentored by local leaders.

A cohort of 25 students makes up the 2019 Yahara Watershed Academy. The Academy involves a partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Edgewood College. By graduation, students will have received the knowledge and skills to become a network of informed leaders for our watershed.

The third day of instruction began with a leadership panel made up of five area leaders, including:

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Earth Day 2019

Happy Earth Day!

Did you know 100 BILLION gallons of water pass through the Yahara lakes system annually? That’s more than 151,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools!

In Wisconsin, we are fortunate to have plenty of freshwater with more than 15,000 lakes! In Dane County, our five Yahara lakes make our community special, providing opportunities for recreation, research, and beauty.

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CG Schmidt Volunteer Day

15 Ways to help our lakes

We are more than a quarter of the way through 2019, and the days are starting to warm as we head deeper into the spring season. As the lake season approaches, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved with our lakes.

1. Join the Wave, May 8th

Get involved and "Join the Wave" at the 8th Annual Community Breakfast
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Ice cover tour of Madison's lakes with Wisconsin State Climatology Office

“Ice off” declaration from Wisconsin State Climatology Office

The Wisconsin State Climatology Office declared “ice off” for Lake Mendota and Lake Monona on Sunday, March 31, 2019. Lake Wingra’s “ice off” was declared on March 28, 2019. Lake Mendota recorded 86 days of ice during the winter of 2018/19, while Lake Monona had 97 days of ice and Lake Wingra had 111 days of ice cover.

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2019 Yahara Watershed Academy Class 2 at UW-Arboretum

Educating a new generation of lake leaders

About the author: My name is Karin Swanson and I am a student of the Yahara Watershed Academy. I work for Clean Lakes Alliance as the Marketing and Communications Associate Manager and I am a Meteorologist. I am sharing my journey through the Academy in an effort to expand our community’s knowledge and passion for the Yahara River Watershed.

The second class of the Yahara Watershed Academy began on March 12th with some sunshine and the promise of warmer temperatures. The forecast held a marked improvement over February’s class, which took place during the biggest snowstorm of the season. Our cohort of 25 Academy students met bright and early at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum as birds chirped welcoming words for our arrival.

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Yahara Watershed Academy - Feb 2019

Growing a new group of lake leaders

Karin Swanson

About the author: My name is Karin Swanson and I am a student of the Yahara Watershed Academy. I work for Clean Lakes Alliance as the Marketing and Communications Associate Manager and I am a meteorologist. I will bring you along on my journey through the Academy in an effort to expand our community’s knowledge and passion for the Yahara River Watershed.

The 2019 Yahara Watershed Academy (YWA) began on a very snowy February 12th. Snow started the evening of February 11th, with ten inches accumulating by the time the storm ended on the 13th. But the snow didn’t stop our group of students from learning about the Yahara River Watershed.

The YWA is made up of five day-long courses once a month, with students graduating in June. The Academy involves a partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and Edgewood College. Graduates will have received the knowledge and skills to become a network of informed leaders for our watershed.

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2019 Frozen Assets Kites
Cover Photo Courtesy Jeff Halverson Photography

Frozen Assets raises more than $1,000,000 net since 2012!

With more than 6,000 visitors joining us at The Edgewater and on Lake Mendota, Frozen Assets raised more than $127,000 net for our lakes this year. THANK YOU to all of our sponsors, guests, volunteers, and event partners who made the festival and fundraiser a huge success!

Thank you to our presenting sponsor Lands’ End and to our platinum sponsor The Edgewater. Lands’ End provides critical funding and apparel to keep our staff and volunteers warm. The Edgewater and its staff were incredible hosts of the festival and fundraiser for the FIFTH year in a row!

Funds raised will be used to purchase easements for three miles of buffer strips, which help capture nutrient-rich runoff from farm fields before it enters our lakes. See some of the other projects we’ve been up to since our founding in 2010.

Keep reading for a recap of the event and respond to our survey below to give us feedback about how we can make next year even better!

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