Top 5 News Stories of 2012

The Herald Independent has announced their top 5 stories of 2012 and the Lake Monona Water Walk came in at number 5!

Mayor Bob Miller declaring the year 2012 as the Year of Water in Monona, and from that stemmed not only The Natural Step Monona’s Water Conservation Challenge, but a three-day once in a lifetime event.

The Lake Monona Water Walk, held July 6-8, brought hundreds of people as well as internationally renowned water activists First Nations Ojibwe Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and William Waterway Marks to Monona.

Monona business owner Dianné Aldrich was at the helm for this event that combined music, education, fun, and a whole host of cultures together to celebrate water.

“The water issue is such a powerful, potent passion for me,” Aldrich said during the planning stages for the event. “Until there is that sacred relationship created with that element, people will continue to take it for granted or look at it as a resource or commodity, and not that which truly gives life.”

Inspired by Mandamin’s previous walks around the five great lakes, Aldrich planned a walk around the shores of Lake Monona as the focal point of the three days. The event brought together so many different cultures and beliefs – all for which water is a sacred element – and helped people find a renewed appreciation for the life-giving element.

This story, which we reported on quite a bit leading up to the Water Walk, makes the list because it truly was once in a lifetime. Who knows if such an event will ever happen again in Monona, in Dane County, or Wisconsin.

“2012 is the Year of Water in Monona,” said Dianné Aldrich, coordinator of the Lake Monona Water Walk. “There are no plans for next year. The question is there, but … it’s not about next year. [Grandmother Josephine and Marks] will be here this year. We don’t know if we can create that again.”