Back to the Future: The Planning of Willow Creek as a Campus Amenity

Join us for this ONLINE edition of Yahara Lakes 101 to learn about the issues that impact our lakes!

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About this Talk

Willow Creek is the end-of-pipe water course to a 1,900-acre urban watershed. But how can it be transformed into a green infrastructure destination on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus?

In this month’s talk, we’ll hear from experts from the UW-Madison and the City of Madison about how Willow Creek is not solely being planned as a storm water conveyance, but also as a natural resource that is integral to the campus greenspace network. With proposed new institutional developments, and increases in campus populations in the areas directly adjacent to the corridor, we’ll learn how the campus can reorient itself to this forgotten corridor. Through area planning and creek engagement from adjacent development, Willow Creek and University Bay will be transitioned from the ‘back waters’ of the agricultural campus, to a critical infrastructural amenity to the entire community.

Event Details

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.

About our Speakers

Gary A. Brown, PLA, FASLA has been with the University of Wisconsin for more than 34 years. After serving for 15 years with the UW System as a landscape architect and facilities planner, his travels around the state’s 26-campus system brought him back to the flagship UW-Madison. He currently serves as the director of Campus Planning and Landscape Architecture, overseeing the development and implementation of the 20-year campus master plan on this spectacular 938-acre university campus.

He also serves as the university’s historic preservation officer, environmental affairs officer, and is the director of the university’s 300-acre Lakeshore Nature Preserve. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from UW-Madison and was inducted as a Fellow with the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2004 for his administrative works.

Lauren Striegl is a stormwater and special projects engineer with the City of Madison. She has been with the City for six years, and works primarily on stormwater hydraulic and hydrologic modeling, water quality modeling and design of unconventional stormwater treatment projects. She has a BS in Civil Engineering from UCLA and a Masters in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Aaron Williams, PLA, ASLA is the assistant campus planner with the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the division of Facilities Planning & Management. He provides planning and design assistance across the 938-acre UW-Madison campus, as well as zoning coordination for all major capital improvement projects. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Planning & Landscape Architecture with tours at Sasaki Associates (Watertown) and SAA Design Group (Madison).

As a landscape architect, his work is focused on the spatial tangents bridging Planner/Architect/Engineer. His approach to projects is centered around three connected concepts: A thorough understanding of ‘site’ to achieve a desired creation of place; understanding the role of human occupation in a site; and the execution of plans to achieve meaningful design. He also likes birds.

Yahara Lakes 101 Lecture Series

Yahara Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences.

The series is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, with presenting sponsors First Weber Foundation and Johnson Financial Group, hosting sponsor The Edgewater, supporting sponsor National Guardian Life Insurance Company, and media partner the Isthmus.

About the talk

Madison is defined by its lakes. The five lakes of the upper Yahara River create Madison’s unique geography as well as the recreational opportunities that enrich life in Dane County.

Fishing is one of the outstanding recreational activities the lakes provide. Each lake has its own character and resulting fish community – the different species of fish one can expect to find.

David’s presentation will discuss the methods the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources uses to survey and assess the fishes of the Madison lakes as well as an overview of each of the five lakes and their fish.

We’ll also be joined by local fishing guide Austin Ragotzkie of Blue Ribbon Outdoors who will give an angler’s perspective on fishing the five Yahara lakes.

About our speakers

David Rowe is the Fitchburg-area Fisheries Team Supervisor with the Wisconsin DNR.  David has worked for the department since 1998 when he started as an LTE with DNR Fisheries Research.  David grew up in Middleton Wisconsin, completed a Bachelor of Science in Zoology at University of Wisconsin- Madison, a Bachelor of Science in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a Masters of Science in Fisheries Biology at Iowa State University.

Austin Ragotzkie is a local fishing guide with Blue Ribbon Outdoors. Blue Ribbon Outdoors, founded in 2012, provides quality outdoors experiences in Southern Wisconsin as a premier guide service and outfitter. Blue Ribbon offers Lake Michigan charters, guided duck hunting trips, and ice fishing and shanty rentals on the Madison chain of lakes.

About the series

Yahara Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences. Yahara Lakes 101 is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, with hosting sponsor The Edgewater, presenting sponsor First Weber Group, supporting sponsor The Evjue Foundation, and media sponsor The Isthmus.

Yahara 101 is held both indoors and outdoors (weather permitting) at The Edgewater. Come at 7:30 a.m. for a meet-and-greet and to enjoy your coffee, pastries, and fruit. The program begins at 8 a.m., and class is dismissed by 9 a.m.

If you already are a Friend of Clean Lakes (minimum $35 donation/year), then admission is free. Become a Friend today. If you are not a Friend yet, admission is $10 per event. Registration for each event is requested for all attendees. Special event parking will be available at The Edgewater.