Lake-O-Gram Vol. IV Issue 5


Healthy Lakes, Healthy Community.

Volume IV, Issue 5

Incredible, stormy sunset over Lake Mendota at the Terrace yesterday. Photo by Anna Sunderland.

Incredible, stormy sunset over Lake Mendota at the Terrace yesterday. Photo by Anna Sunderland.

What better time than summer to relax and play with family and friends! See below for opportunities to bike, paddle, swim, ski or chill by and on our lakes. Also, Also, show your love for the lakes by volunteering with the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA). (Psst – most of our volunteer needs are great excuses to be outdoors and around other lake lovers!)

Amidst all the fun on the lakes, remember that the CLA is still hard at work to protect them. Donate today and start receiving Waves in the Watershed, our bimonthly report on phosphorus-reducing projects and progress.

What is the Lake-O-Gram? The Lake-O-Gram is a monthly digest distributed through our website and e-mailed out to the surrounding communities to keep citizens up-to-date on the latest events and efforts taking place to protect and preserve the water quality of the Yahara watershed. Subscribe to get the Lake-O-Gram in your inbox!

Table of Contents

Clean Lakes Festival
Loop the Lake Scenic Bike Ride
Lake User Survey
Calling all Volunteers!
Yahara Lakes 101 with Dr. Eric Booth
Community Events and Opportunities
Lakes in the News
Grant Awards
Become a Friend
Let’s Get Social!
Lake Calendar

CLEAN LAKES FESTIVAL (Sat., July 26 @ Law Park)

clean-lakes-festival_rentals-2What sets the Clean Lakes Festival apart from other summer events?

A. Free canoe, kayak, and paddleboard rentals

B. Lake Monona Heritage Boat Tour

C. Crazy4Lakes Discovery Center and kids’ activity center

D. Live music on a floating stage and free waterski shows

E. All of the above (and more) at a daylong festival open and accessible to everyone.

The answer is E, of course.

The festival’s mission is to get people out and enjoying the lakes. Mark your calendars for the one day and one spot that brings everything we love about the lakes together – Saturday, July 26th @ Law Park, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

The Clean Lakes Festival is the Clean Lakes Alliance’s founding event and a highlight of lake-shore based summer fun in Madison. The festival was started in 2007 by the Mad-City Water Ski Team, which has been a fixture in downtown Madison for nearly 50 years. With a strong membership, energy and a vested interest to improve the quality of our lakes, the ski team decided to create the Clean Lakes Festival to create awareness and raise money to support lake cleanup projects.

The festival has grown and changed over the years. And since 2013 it has called Law Park, on the shores of Lake Monona, its new home. But no matter the location or festival activities, the intent of the festival has remained unchanged. The festival strives to raise public awareness about opportunities for recreation on the lakes, highlight the importance of lakes to local quality of life, and offer non-lake users the opportunities to engage in lake recreation.


loop-the-lake_aerial-3_smushedHow many beautiful views of Lake Monona can you count? Ride the Lake Loop scenic bike path and find out!

Register for the Loop the Lake ride, and take some time to enjoy the scenery with family and friends. It’s a fun ride, not a race, so you will have plenty of time to stop and appreciate a new vista with each curve of the route, from the vantages of John Nolen Drive, Olin-Turville Park, and Squaw Bay to Olbrich Park, Yahara Place Park, and B.B. Clark Beach.

All proceeds from the ride will support CLA’s Citizen Water Quality Monitoring program, which trains and equips local residents to monitor and report the day-to-day conditions of our lakes and beaches.

Riders will travel clockwise around the lake for an estimated 12-mile ride that will offer exquisite views of Lake Monona and take recreational cyclists approximately one hour and 15 minutes to complete. Water will be provided throughout the course.

The ride finishes at the Clean Lakes Festival grounds at Law Park, where you and your companions can enjoy a complimentary sandwich, chips, and beverage… then rent a free kayak, canoe, or stand-up paddleboard, visit the Crazy4Lakes discovery center, or take a Heritage Boat Tour on the Betty Lou Cruise boats.

Sponsors for the Loop the Lake bike ride include: American Transmission Company, Lands’ End, Plastic Ingenuity, Spectrum Brands, and Woodman’s Markets.

The honorary co-chairs of the event are Mayor of Madison Paul Soglin and Mayor of Monona Bob Miller.

Loop the Lake cyclists support the work of CLA through their entry fee ($25) and pledges. Riders that make a $25 pledge commitment in addition to the registration fee will receive a Loop the Lake t-shirt. Team, family, and child rates are available; children under 10 are free.

The first 20 riders to raise $750 in pledges commitments will receive a customized Lands’ End cruiser bicycle produced by Schwinn. The first 45 riders to raise $100 or more in pledge commitments will select a prize from the Loop the Lake prize vault, which offers Schwinn bike helmets and a variety of Spectrum Brands products, including George Foreman indoor/outdoor grills and Black & Decker blenders.


SurveyingThe CLA is administering a watershed-wide lake user survey and we need your help!

Our blue t-shirt-clad volunteers are fanning out around 50 local lakeshore sites to administer five-minute surveys that assess YOUR use of the lakes and YOUR perception of water quality. Yes, you! That’s five minutes you have to spare while standing in line at the boat launch, waiting for a bite on a slow day fishing, or relaxing on the beach while your kids swim.

Haven’t spotted one of our volunteers yet? That’s your sign to become one! Email paul@cleanlakesalliance.com or call (608) 255-1000 to schedule a training session and get started at a lakeshore site that is convenient to you.


CLA wants YOU to help Renew the Blue!

Interested in volunteering with the CLA this summer? We have volunteer needs for upcoming events as well as ongoing programs.

  • Renew the Blue Volunteer Days

Spectrum Brands interns at Holy Wisdom Monastery for a Renew the Blue volunteer day last Thursday.

Spectrum Brands interns volunteer at Holy Wisdom Monastery for a Renew the Blue volunteer day.

Consider joining the CLA at our Renew the Blue Volunteer Days at Olbrich Park. These monthly events provide a way to improve the water quality of our lakes and clean up our beaches through litter cleanup and shoreline maintenance.

When: Thurs., July 17 and Thurs., August 21, 2014 6 – 8 p.m.

Where: Olbrich Park (3527 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53714); meet at the beach

What: Litter pickups and aquatic plant raking

Tools and supplies will be provided… all we need is your presence and enthusiasm! Please register in advance (required).

  • Lake User Survey

Love talking to people and spending time on the lakes? We need you to volunteer to administer surveys! Become a Lake User Survey volunteer, and contribute to a watershed-wide study on the value of our lakes. Interested? Please contact Paul at 255-1000 or paul@cleanlakesalliance.com. Lake-access locations, days and time blocks can be tailored to each volunteer’s interest level and availability.

  • Paddle and Portage

You are invited to come help the Friends of Clean Lakes at the 35th Annual Isthmus Paddle & Portage event. The event is a canoe race in Lake Mendota and Lake Monona that has participants portage across the Capitol Square. Our partnership with this event helps the Clean Lakes Alliance fulfill our mission and bring new people to our cause. Please visit http://www.paddleandportage.com for more details.

DATE: Saturday, July 19, 2014

TIME: 11:00 a.m. until beer runs out or 2:00 p.m.

WHERE: Olin Park

We are looking for 12 volunteers to pour beer provided by Leinenkugel’s. 
If you are interested in volunteering at this event please contact Marilee Gorman at mrsmarilee@gmail.com. To keep things organized, please write PADDLE AND PORTAGE VOLUNTEER in the subject line.

Please include the following in your email: first & last name and contact information (email, phone number and address). The DEADLINE for volunteer sign up is Friday, July 18, 2014! Thank you!

  • Clean Lakes Festival

Are you a regular at the Dane County farmer’s market? Consider joining the Mad-City Ski Team on Saturday, July 5th and 12th in promoting the Clean Lakes Festival at the market. Contact Jacci at jaccilynn@gmail.com to sign up. Or, join the Clean Lakes Alliance to promote the festival at the market on Saturday, July 19th by emailing Katie at kathryn.vangheem@cleanlakesalliance.com.

Want in on the behind-the-scenes fun at the popular Clean Lakes Festival (Sat., July 26)? We need volunteers to serve food and beer (21+), supervise the kids’ area (must be 18+), sell raffle tickets, and maintain the festival grounds. Contact jaccilynn@gmail.com to sign up!

YAHARA LAKES 101 with DR. ERIC BOOTH (Thurs., July 10)

Photos of Research Specialist Eric Booth at the UW Arboretum taken on September 5, 2013 in Overlook Prairie. Eric’s work involves sustaining freshwater resources for the future on a national basis. As a part of his project, sensors were installed in Overlook to collect data on soil moisture.Join us on Thursday, July 10th for Yahara Lakes 101 with Dr. Eric Booth to learn how environmental monitoring, computer modeling, and futurology intersect to create visions of the future. Dr. Booth will present his talk, “Development of the Yahara 2070 scenarios”.

Yahara 2070 is an exploration of possible futures for the Yahara Watershed. Combining innovative science and public participation, the initiative is a set of scenarios intended to facilitate creative discussion about a desirable future for the region. On May 14, Yahara 2070 made its official public debut with a launch event and a website.

In his talk, Dr. Booth will explain the motivation behind the project and the exciting challenge of combining environmental monitoring and computer modeling with community-driven scenarios of the future.

When: Thursday, July 10 from 7:30 a.m. – 9 a.m.

Where: Bluephies Café at Verex Plaza (150 E Gilman Street), level B

RSVP (required)


  • Paddle and Portage (Sat., July 19)

isthmus-paddle-and-portageThis quirky challenge features a canoe race in Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, with a portage across the Capitol Square in between. Watch for crazy costumes, paddling fanatics, and fun family teams on Saturday, July 19th.

Not a paddler? Not a problem. A post-race celebration follows the event to welcome competitors and spectators alike, featuring live music, food, ice-cold beverages and the Paddle and Portage Awards Ceremony.

The Clean Lakes Alliance is a proud partner of this popular annual event, which is produced by Isthmus newspaper. Contact Marilee at mrsmarilee@gmail.com to volunteer at the event with Friends of Clean Lakes.

  • Lake Monona Sailing Club (ongoing: Tues., Sat., holidays)

Lake Monona Sailing Club: Sailboat racing by Monona Terrace.

Lake Monona Sailing Club: Sailboat racing by Monona Terrace

Lake Monona Sailing Club (LMSC) is a family friendly organization that welcomes sailors of every skill level. Classes include C-Scows, Flying Scots, Multi-Hull and One-Design boats. The club has two piers, one located near Olin Park and the other in Stonebridge Park, for members’ boats. Races are held on Wednesday nights, Saturday afternoons and holidays. Find out more about the club and how to start racing your boat at: www.lakemononasailing.com

  • Brittingham Boats SUP Cup (weekly on Thurs.)

brittingham-boats_sup-cupGet out on the lakes with the SUP-Cup! Thursday nights at 6 p.m. this summer, take part in the Brittingham Boats Stand Up Paddleboard race series for the recreational and competitive paddlers among you! Not a paddler? Come watch the fun from the lake patio! We’re happy to see CLA Community Board member and owner of Brittingham and Wingra Boats, Tyler Leeper, getting more people out on the lakes.

  • IRONMAN Wisconsin (Sun., Sept. 7)

Personal Watercraft volunteers needed for IRONMAN Wisconsin.

Personal watercraft volunteers needed for IRONMAN Wisconsin

The IRONMAN Wisconsin is looking for boat and personal watercraft volunteers for Sunday, September 7th. Get out on the lake and in the action, and help keep racers safe! Be sure to mention that you are volunteering on behalf of the CLA when you sign up. Register to volunteer online!


“Continue efforts to keep our beaches clean — Gina Chirichella”

Letter to the editor in the Wisconsin State Journal (6/1/2014): “We are so lucky to have these lakes”

“Dane County Executive Joe Parisi says new equipment will help remove harmful phosphorus from lakes”

Article in the Isthmus (6/12/2014): “The digesters are critical to our lakes cleanup effort.”

“Lake Mendota mapmaker shows depth of her appreciation”

University of Wisconsin-Madison article (6/24/2014): “The lake is associated with so many good memories… The more familiar you get with the lake, the more you develop a connection.”

“Dane County’s clean lakes initiatives promise high return on investment”

InBusiness Article (6/2014): “…the lakes are simply critical to maintaining the quality of life that attracts people, particularly young people, young entrepreneurs, to a region.”

“Chris Rickert: No adapting to degraded Dane County lake quality”

Wisconsin State Journal column (6/29/2014): “…it could take from three to 10 years to start seeing results from the county’s renewed push for lake health. But the alternative is far worse.” This column asks: “What would happen if we gave up on Madison’s lakes efforts?”


Yahara-WINs_logo-2We are excited to announce that we received two new grant awards recently, both to be used for phosphorus reduction practices and programs.

The Professional Dairy Producers Foundation (PDPF) has granted $5,000 to strengthen our Yahara Pride Farms certification program and annual farm technology demonstration days, and Yahara WINs has granted $80,000 to assist in the implementation of agricultural conservation practices through our Yahara Pride Farms cost-share program.

Thanks to PDPF and Yahara WINs for your support!


Ah, summer is here! We greatly enjoyed this short, dream-like video of a day on the lakes, produced in-kind by Studio 88. Watch and enjoy!

Click to watch on youtube.com

Click to watch on youtube.com

If you aren’t already, consider becoming a Friend of Clean Lakes. Thank you in advance for your contribution to one of our community’s most treasured assets.


Find us Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and let’s connect! Having fun on the lakes? Tag your post or picture with #crazy4lakes! See someone doing good for the lakes? Use #renewtheblue – we may repost/retweet you!




Yahara Lakes 101 (2nd Thurs. of month, except Dec.)

Citizen Water Quality Monitoring (Memorial Day – Labor Day)

Brittingham Boats SUP Cup (summer Thursdays)

Lake Monona Sailing Club (ongoing)

MSCR Pontoon Boat Program (ongoing)

Yahara River Corridor Conceptual Study (Weds., July 16)

Paddle and Portage (Sat., July 19)

Loop the Lake (Sat., July 26)

Clean Lakes Festival (Sat., July 26)

Madison Area Antique and Classic Boat Show (Fri., Aug 1 – Sat., Aug. 2)

Fore! Lakes Golf Tournament (Fri., Sept. 19)


Lake-O-Gram Vol. IV Issue 5 – Clean Lakes Alliance

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