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Madison FUN Lake Explorers

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.
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shoreline-swim

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. shoreline-swim-big-swell-swim 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 Budget Announcement

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.
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Lake Explorer Camp

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.
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Leaf Management

Trees are good, right?

Statewide phosphorus reduction credits for leaf collection

Urban trees provide many benefits to our communities. They help us save energy, reduce noise, and improve air quality. Trees are aesthetically pleasing, can increase property value, and provide natural homes for insects, birds, and other wildlife. Trees are also an important part of the earth’s water cycle. Transpiration from plants and trees is released into the atmosphere, and later becomes precipitation. The rain and snow return valuable moisture to our crops and forests, and the cycle continues. However, trees can cause problems for our lakes if the leaves that fall from them each autumn are not regularly removed from streets and parking lots. When leaves collect on streets, they create a phosphorus-rich “tea” whenever it rains. The rain water passes through the leaf litter, and allows phosphorus to drain from the leaves. The leaf tea washes into storm drains and flows directly into our lakes, causing water quality to deteriorate.
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Fall leaves with rake

Leaves are a part of nature. Why are they a problem?

Leaves are one of the largest sources of urban phosphorus pollution. Without streets, parking lots, and storm sewers, leaves would fall on soil and phosphorus would soak into the soil instead of going straight into our lakes and streams. When left in the street gutters, leaves release phosphorus into stormwater that easily washes down storm drains and directly into our lakes.

What can you do in your own yard to manage leaves and help our lakes?

Take our leaf management quiz below!
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Action Alert

Will you help us advocate for our lakes?

We need your help!

At our Yahara Lakes 101 presentation, on Wednesday, October 10th, we heard from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi about the proposed 2019 budget and how it will address flooding concerns and lake health. The Dane County Board is holding a budget hearing on Wednesday, October 17th. There are many initiatives in the budget that will help our lakes, and they need YOUR support! Please advocate for our lakes in the following two ways:
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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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FOLKS Leaf Vacuum

Volunteers use leaf vacuums to protect Lake Kegonsa

A partnership toward leaf management and lake health in the Yahara River Watershed

Clean Lakes Alliance is excited to partner with the Friends of Lake Kegonsa Society (FOLKS) for one of our 2018 Clean Lakes Grants. FOLKS is a non-profit organization working to protect the environment and recreation of Lake Kegonsa and its surroundings. Leaf management in the Yahara River Watershed is an important step toward creating healthy lakes. By following effective leaf practices, we can reduce the amount of phosphorus reaching our waters. Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element found in leaves, dirt, manure, and other organic matter and is the root cause of water quality problems in the region. When excessive amounts enter our lakes, phosphorus can fuel toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) growth which can harm people and animals.
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