Out-of-town anglers drawn to downtown Madison lakes
Spend time walking along Lake Monona between Law Park and Brittingham Park, and you’ll notice anglers tossing lines from plenty of places. Unfortunately, there is a lack of accessible shoreline fishing locations. Folks fishing have to contend with hazards like the wall at the Monona Terrace or the railroad tracks…which are actually illegal to use for fishing. Still, the challenges of fishing on Lake Monona do not seem to stop diehard anglers from spending time doing what they love.
In 2022, Clean Lakes Alliance received a Wisconsin DNR Surface Water Grant to participate in the Clean Boats, Clean Waters (CBCW) program. CBCW is a state-wide aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention program. The program increases awareness and education to boaters, anglers, and general lake users on best practices to prevent the further spread of AIS at our local boat landings.
We had so much fun throughout the nine days of Frozen Assets 2023 and we hope you did too! More than 8,000 lake enthusiasts from near and far joined us for science demonstrations, musical performances, ice skating, food and drinks, ice sculpture carving, a chance to try new winter activities, face painting, networking, a chance to run or walk in the only 5K on a frozen lake in North America, and more! We THANK YOU for supporting lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa, and Kegonsa!
In 2022, our volunteers embarked on the 10th season of LakeForecast water quality monitoring. This work involved collecting nearshore condition reports at piers, beaches, parks, and access points around the five Yahara lakes. From May through September, volunteers measured water clarity, recorded air and water temperature, identified the presence of green algae and cyanobacteria, and noted additional visual observations. Reports are entered into the LakeForecast app where all data are updated in real time.
By Pete Jopke, Water Resources Planner with the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department Article first published in the 2022 Greater Madison Lake Guide, a Clean Lakes Alliance publication
Aquatic plant harvesting on the Yahara lakes
The Dane County Land & Water Resources Department manages an aquatic plant harvesting program with much of the harvesting occurring on lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa. Occasionally, other smaller waterbodies are harvested to aid in recreation and invasive plant management. The program dates to the early 1980’s when five harvesters were in operation. In those years, harvests totaled over 300 tons of plant material. In 2021, the existing fleet of 12 harvesters recorded plant harvests of more than 12,000 tons!
Support clean, healthy lakes with Clean Lakes Alliance’s 10th Annual Loop the Lake Bike Ride. Join us in person on the official Monona Lake Loop by starting and ending at Olbrich Park on Saturday, June 18th. Or, choose to ride, walk, run, or paddle virtually, from anywhere Saturday, June 11th – Sunday, June 19th.
Loop the Lake is more than a bike ride – it’s an opportunity for our community to rally around our lakes! All registered participants will receive a super-soft event tee. Event proceeds will support Clean Lakes Alliance’s work to protect and improve our lakes through on-the-ground projects, educational programs, and water quality monitoring.
Join us in person on the official Monona Lake Loop by starting and ending at Olbrich Park (3527 Atwood Avenue, Madison) on Saturday, June 18th. The course will be open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. so that riders can ride at their own convenience. Riders will travel 12 miles clockwise around Lake Monona.
About the Ride: Virtual – choose your own course (Saturday, June 11th – Sunday, June 19th)
Participants may ride, walk, run, paddle, or rollerblade along any route they choose! Share your enthusiasm for our lakes and encourage others to join by sharing photos and videos from your Loop the Lake adventure with the #LooptheLake hashtag!
Want to mimic the original Loop the Lake route? Feel free to head over to Lake Monona and follow the “Lake Loop” bike path clockwise or find a 12-mile loop in your neighborhood! You could also ride around Monona Bay, Lake Wingra, or your favorite lakeshore bike path!
Registrations are transferable but non-refundable. In the event of cancellation, registrations and sponsorships will not be refunded. Thank you for your donation to Clean Lakes Alliance!
Please select your t-shirt size by Monday, May 2nd to make sure you receive your t-shirt before the event. T-shirts can be mailed to your home or business if you select the $50 ticket option. Otherwise, you may pick up your t-shirt(s) on Saturday, June 18th at Olbrich Park (3527 Atwood Avenue, Madison) from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Be safe during the Loop the Lake Bike Ride! Obey all traffic laws, be careful of cars sharing the road, and wear a helmet. Participants should obey all social distancing guidelines.
If you would like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact our Executive Director James Tye at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-255-1000.
What is the refund policy? Registrations are transferable but non-refundable. In the event of cancellation, registrations and sponsorships will not be refunded. Thank you for your donation to Clean Lakes Alliance!
Join us in-person or virtually Wednesday, September 14th from 8-9 a.m. to learn about an exciting effort to reimagine Lake Monona’s downtown shoreline. Register as an in-person attendee or to receive a Zoom link through your confirmation email and watch virtually.
The City of Madison has embarked on an exciting public-private partnership to re-envision the Lake Monona shoreline adjacent to downtown Madison and extending to the south side. As the first stage of this project, the City is sponsoring a design challenge in which leading national landscape design firms are competing to receive a $75,000 stipend–funded equally by the City and the nonprofit Friends of Nolen Waterfront Inc.–to prepare a conceptual master plan for a shoreline park from Machinery Row to Olin Park. Fourteen firms have responded to a Request for Qualifications. The Lake Monona Waterfront Ad Hoc Advisory committee, which is comprised of thirteen community members, will select three firms to submit conceptual master plans, from which the committee will recommend one firm to contract with the city to prepare a detailed master plan of the proposed park. Allen Arntsen, who chairs the committee, and Mike Sturm, who is the principal staff for the committee, will provide an overview of this Design Challenge effort and the Lake Monona Waterfront planning process.
About our Speakers
Allen Arntsen is the Chair of the City of Madison Lake Monona Waterfront Ad Hoc Advisory Committee, which has been charged with selecting a consultant to prepare a master plan for the Lake Monona Waterfront extending from Machinery Row to Olin Park. A retired attorney and longtime Madison resident, he has been involved in numerous civic activities over the past forty plus years, including serving on the City Council, Plan Commission, Community Development Authority Board and Alcohol License Review Committee, along with many other city committees. In addition, he has chaired the boards of several nonprofit organizations, such as Downtown Madison, Inc., the Madison Public Library Foundation, Madison Development Corporation and the Barrymore Corporation. He currently serves on the Friends of Nolen Waterfront board.
Mike Sturm is the Madison Parks Division project manager for the Lake Monona Waterfront planning initiative. He is a UW Madison graduate and registered landscape architect and has lived and worked in Madison since 1995. His previous projects include the Elizabeth Link – Peace Park renovation, State Street bus shelter competition, Irwin A. & Robert D. Goodman Skatepark in McPike Park, and Penn Park shelter improvements.
This event will be held at The Edgewater hotel – grand ballroom level 5 (1001 Wisconsin Pl, Madison, WI 53703). Doors open at 7:30 a.m. The program runs from 8 – 9 a.m. A Q/A session will follow the presentation as time allows. Complimentary event parking will be available at The Edgewater parking ramp. Parking spots fill up quickly and may be limited depending on hotel capacity.
A Zoom link will be sent to all registrants via the Eventbrite confirmation email.
In 2021, our volunteers embarked on the 9th season of LakeForecast water quality monitoring. This work involved collecting nearshore condition reports at piers, beaches, parks, and access points around the five Yahara lakes. From May through September, volunteers took water quality measurements. They measured water clarity, recorded air and water temperature, identified the presence of green algae and cyanobacteria, and noted additional visual observations. Reports are entered into the LakeForecast app where all data are updated in real time.
Join us online on Wednesday, December 8th to hear from two UW-Madison Civil and Environmental Engineering senior Capstone teams as they present their culminating designs for two lake-friendly improvement projects.
Since 2016, Clean Lakes Alliance has worked in partnership with the UW-Madison Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department to support student capstone projects focused on designing more accessible and lake-friendly parks, beaches, and community spaces. Senior Capstone Design is a required course for all civil and environmental engineers at UW-Madison and serves as the culminating work of their undergraduate degrees.
Clean Lakes Alliance, along with CG Schmidt, is proud to be a sponsoring partner of these student capstone projects. While Clean Lakes Alliance serves as a “client”, the students work diligently all semester to apply their acquired expertise to inspire the community through unique project designs that advocate for healthy lakes and beaches. With 48% of the shoreline owned by the public and 25 beaches in the Greater Madison area, this is an excellent avenue to elevate a variety of project opportunities for the students and the community. In this month’s Clean Lakes 101, you’ll be presented two unique projects in the Madison area:
Plaenert Drive/Wingra Creek Revitalization
John Nolen Drive Redesign
Project 1: Plaenert Drive/Wingra Creek Revitalization
This project is located along Wingra Creek in southern Madison, Wisconsin. The creek is bounded to the north and south by W. Wingra Drive and Plaenert Drive, and Fish Hatchery Road and S. Park Street to the west and east. To highlight the importance of waterways within the heart of Greater Madison, the creation of an inclusive and inviting greenspace and park setting is the focus of this project. By providing an alternative route design for Plaenert Drive, this allows for development of a park setting on the south side of Wingra Creek.
This project aims to improve and protect Madison’s water resources while involving the community in its development. Phosphorus reduction is at the forefront in enhancing water resources and continuing to establish Madison as a ‘green city’. Enhancing water quality, sustainably protecting the shoreline, improving access, and improving placemaking of the region is incorporated into every aspect of the project design. This region will provide a space for the community and environment to seamlessly interact by featuring many amenities including a viewing platform over Wingra Creek, pedestrian path, and non-motorized boat launch for creek access.
Project 2: John Nolen Drive Redesign
John Nolen Drive across Lake Monona serves as the primary gateway to downtown Madison. To reflect the significance of the causeway, our objectives are to improve recreation opportunities for users, manage runoff to minimize negative impacts of stormwater, address shoreline erosion from waves, and improve aesthetics and landscaping along the causeway. Our designs seek to improve water quality, increase sustainability and access, and to enhance placemaking. The improvements for the bike and pedestrian path will create a significant positive recreational impact on the community’s transportation network and remind users that Greater Madison values green infrastructure and the lakes.
The bike and pedestrian path final design includes a 16 ft wide pedestrian boardwalk stretching the southern half of the existing bike and pedestrian pathway, use of recycled materials, and the inclusion of several surface level and underground stormwater management techniques. Alongside the boardwalk there is a two-lane bike path, two 225 sq ft outlook points along the boardwalk, and a 625 sq ft capital outlook point. In addition to the boardwalk, this alternative includes amenities such as bike racks, benches, emergency call boxes, signage, local art, coastline steps for increased erosion control and recreational use, and landscaping.
Design images of Project 1 and 2 respectively seen below:
Meet the Students
Chase Cummings is graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He has worked as a Civil Engineering Intern for HNTB and has focused on field inspection and plan design. After graduation, he will work for HNTB in Madison, Wisconsin as a Field Engineer.
Michael VerVelde is graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with Certificates in both Business and Entrepreneurship. He has worked as a Civil Construction Field Management Intern for Bechtel on two nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle in Georgia and expanding the AT&T 5G system in Northern California. After graduation, he intends to continue working for Bechtel as a Civil Field Engineer either nationally or abroad.
Nora Rickman is graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering with a certificate in Sustainability. She worked as a Civil Engineering Intern for MSA Professional Services and focused on field and office work on road reconstruction and greenfield development projects. After graduation, she will work for MSA Professional Services in Marshfield, Wisconsin as a Civil Engineer.
Matthew Humbert will be graduating in May 2022 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science in both geological engineering and geology and geophysics. Matt has first-hand experience working in an agricultural research setting collecting data and preparing lab tests. After graduation Matt plans on working in the geotechnical field on issues involving water resources and sustainability.
Riley Hughes is a geological engineering student graduating in the spring of 2022 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s in science in Geological Engineering, a major in Geology and Geophysics, and a certificate in Engineering Energy and Sustainability. She has prior internship experience working as a geotechnical/field engineer working across the United States on preliminary and final wind and solar investigations. She will begin working full time with Westwood Professional Services in Westminster, CO starting July 2022.
Freddy Koth is a civil engineering student graduating in the fall of 2021 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s in science in Civil Engineering with an option in Environmental Engineering. He has prior internship experience as a field inspector and project designer on WisDOT transportation construction projects. He will begin working full time with DARR Engineering in Wausau, WI starting January 2022.
Brandon Hungelmann-Skiba is a civil engineering student graduating in the spring of 2022 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s in science in Civil Engineering with an option in Environmental Engineering and an additional major in Economics. He has prior internship experience as a pavement inspector and technician performing work on reports for the DOT and FAA. He will begin full time with Applied Pavement Technology in Waunakee, WI starting January 2022.
Jordan Nolle is a civil engineering student graduating in the spring of 2022 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s in science in Civil Engineering. He has prior experience working as a field technician to perform lead contamination tests, both in soil and in groundwater. Jordan will begin working full time in Madison, WI starting June 2022.
Lauren Kinchla is a civil engineering student graduating in the fall of 2021 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor’s in science in Civil Engineering and a certificate in Environmental Studies. She has experience in property management from her internship in Boston, MA. Lauren is searching for full time engineering opportunities after graduation in January 2022.
This event will be held online via Zoom. The online talk is free and open to the public. A link to access the talk LIVE will be sent to all registered attendees ahead of the event.