Reclaiming our Waters with Grandmother Josephine Mandamin

A teaching vision born of love for the people…the sounding of a voice not heard for many generations returns to the shores of Lake Michigan in Minowaki.

September 20-23, 2012
Lakeshore State Park, Milwaukee

Ceremonial Fire will be lit at Sunrise on Thursday morning and extinguished Sunday evening. Please come for all or part of this extraordinary opportunity to participate in a Traditional Teaching Lodge. A Longhouse/Teaching Lodge such as this has not been built on the shores of Lake Michigan in 150 years!

Thursday, September 20 – Building the Lodge
Friday, September 21 – Teaching day, focused on children and youths
Saturday, September 22 – Teaching day, focused on adults
Sunday, September 23 – Conclusion of Teaching Lodge and Council of the Elders

Children and youth welcome throughout.
Women; it is traditional and required to wear a skirt.
Gifts of tobacco, money, food, etc. for the Teachers/Elders is traditional but not required.

For more information visit the Milwaukee Lakefront Teaching Lodge Facebook Page or download the flyer.

The Milwaukee Lakefront Teaching Lodge will share the history and
purpose of the Teaching Lodge and the cultural teachings of Great Lakes
American Indian tribal nations, to promote the preservation
and responsible management of our most important and sacred
resource: water.

This four-day event will begin with the construction of the teaching
lodge and the protocols, meaning, and teachings about the structure
itself. Native youth, community members (both men and women), and
anyone else interested can put their hands to work in building the lodge.
A sacred fire will be lit and burn continually during the event. Sunrise
ceremonies will welcome each day, and the participants can take part in
traditional teachings and sessions on local history, geology, and concerns
about our lake. On the final day, after the morning teachings, the lodge
will be taken down and all who participate may receive a small piece
of the lodge to hold their memories of what they have learned.

Teachings to be given will include: origin stories; water teachings and
environmental protection with an emphasis on the Great Lakes; plus
history and plant walks. Teaching days will accommodate up to
100 students of all ethnicities who wish to listen to Elders and
learn about the Teaching Lodge and our local history. This is also an
opportunity to hear from our youth about their thoughts on what we
need to do for their future.

Clean Water in Our Lakes: How Do We Get There?

The League of Women Voters of Dane County is holding their September Issues Forum and Open house tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 6 pm

The Capitol Lakes Grand Hall
333 West Main Street
Madison, WI

Clean Water in Our Lakes: How Do We Get There?

Sue Jones, Dane County Land and Water Resources Department

Chief Engineer Michael Mucha, Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District

More Information

Book Dedication to City of Monona and Monona Public Library

The City of Monona and the Monona Public Library were presented with two books by William Waterway by the coordinator of the Lake Monona Water Walk, Dianné Aldrich. Water Voices From Around the World and The Holy Order of Water with a dedication that reads:

Dedicated to the City of Monona and the Monona Public Library in honor of all the collaborators, sponsors, volunteers and water souls who ensured the success of the Lake Monona Water Walk 2012! In Beauty May We Walk, For Love of Water, Dianné Aldrich, Lake Monona Water Walk Coordinator. Signed also by William Waterway Marks.

Yahara Watershed Initiatives Briefing

Monday July 30 at 4:30 p.m. in the City-County Building Room 354!

The July 30 briefings will focus on agricultural runoff control. Speakers and topics are found below.

  • Jeff Endres, dairy farmer in Town of Springfield and Don Heilman, president of the Clean Lakes Alliance

    Jeff and Don will share remarks about Yahara Pride Farm Conservation Board activities in the watershed. Board membership is comprised of five farmers, one independent crop consultant, one agribusiness representative and four members of the Clean Lakes Alliance Community Board of Directors. The Board is charged with the development of voluntary, non-regulatory, incentive-based, certified best-management practices that will help farmers have a positive impact on land and water resources within the Yahara Watershed.

  • Mark McDermid, Bureau Director of Cooperative Environmental Assistance

    Mark will share his observations about Green Tier for Agriculture and opportunities it can provide in Dane County. Green Tier is a voluntary program that recognizes and rewards environmental performance that exceeds legal requirements resulting in continuous improvement in Wisconsin’s environment, economy, and quality of life. Since its inception in 2004, the Green Tier program has been providing real benefits to businesses by allowing the Department the regulatory flexibility for companies to pursue creative ways to enhance productivity and profitability.

  • Assistant Professor Ken Genskow, UW-Madison Urban and Regional Planning and UW-Extension

    Ken will share results from a recently-completed comparison of two sets of survey responses from 62 farm operators before and after implementation of the Lake Mendota Priority Watershed project. The pre-project 1996 survey was used to understand use of farm practices for managing manure, commercial fertilizer, and pesticides in the watershed. The post-project 2011 survey reflected a broader set of farm management issues. The study provides insights for understanding past conservation accomplishments and prepares resource managers and conservation partners for future agricultural and watershed challenges.

The Committee is hosting these briefings three to four times a year as an opportunity for those directly involved in Yahara watershed improvement initiatives to share information and explore additional collaboration. These briefings are planned to be complementary to the County Executive’s monthly brown bag meetings on lakes issues, as they are offered at a different time of day, and designed to allow more in-depth discussion and identification of opportunities for synergy and integration among projects. At the first briefing, held on April 25th, discussion focused on the Yahara WINS adaptive management project, urban stormwater innovations, and UW-Madison’s Water, Sustainability and Climate grant to study how ecosystem services may be sustained in a regional watershed such as the Yahara.

We hope you can join us.

On behalf of the Commission’s Strategic Engagement Committee (Trina McMahon, Rebecca Power, Susan West),

Susan A. Jones, AICP
Watershed Management Coordinator
Office of Lakes and Watersheds

Tour of Water

For their last day in Madison Betty Lou Cruises took Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and William Waterway Marks on a gratitude cruise of Lake Monona! It was a wonderful tour of the lake. The evening brought everyone together one final time for a feast provided by Bunky’s Cafe and Glass Slipper Homes.

Thanks to all of our Sponsors, Collaborators, and wonderful Volunteers! Special thanks to Country Inn & Suites Monona for providing rooms to Grandmother and William while they were here. There wouldn’t have been a Water Walk without all of you.

So begins a new adventure for all of us.

Stay tuned for pictures and video of the Lake Monona Water Walk!

The water has circled Lake Monona.

In case you weren’t following along on Twitter or Facebook yesterday, the walk was a success! 17.35 miles all the way around, leaving Frostwoods Beach shortly after 10am and returning the water to the same place at 4:30pm. Thank you to all of the walkers for taking this journey with us!

We want to make a special mention of the Brittingham Bash at Brittingham Beach, put on by The Journey Community of Madison. Thank you for so generously giving to our walkers! Many said they could not have made it around without the food and water you shared with them.

We’d also like to say a special thank you to Bloom Bake Shop, Stalzy’s Delicatessen, Monty’s Blue Plate Diner, Willy Street Co-op, Weary Traveler Free House, and Glass Slipper Homes for providing food and refreshments for the potluck celebration!

The Water Expo was a day of learning and fun

There was so much to do today that it’s hard to summarize it! Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and William Waterway Marks spoke to us about their paths and journeys that brought them to a life of water advocacy. Michael Mucha from the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) talked again about the importance of what happens to water after it goes down the drain in our house. MMSD processes 44 million gallons of waste water a day. That’s enough to fill Camp Randall!

The expo tent was bustling with all the exhibitors. I couldn’t stay away from the USGS Stream Table.

At the gazebo Karen Wendt, Gerri Gurman, Ken Lonnquist, Mark Croft, and Skip Jones entertained young and old alike.

While the sky didn’t give up any rain, it did cool down considerably for the showing of Waterlife. It was, dare I say, nice outside!

Thank you all for coming out and participating with us!

We’d also like to say a special thank you to Bloom Bake Shop, Stalzy’s Delicatessen, Salad Creations Monona, Willy Street Co-op, and Weary Traveler Free House for providing food and refreshments to our special guests and staff. Lastly a very big thank you to Heidi Uhrig from Glass Slipper Homes for a masterful dinner with fish donated by the Seafood Center.

First day of the Lake Monona Water Walk weekend a success!

Thanks to everyone who came out in the sweltering heat! The Unitarian Dance Fellowship welcomed us all with a performance. It was a pleasure to watch the Whitehorse family sing, drum, and dance our spirits high. Be welcomed by Monona Mayor Miller and Madison Mayor Soglin. Listen to Grandmother Josephine Mandamin speak to us about our mission to preserve and clean our waters. William Waterway Marks reminded us how big of a part Wisconsin has played in protecting our waters and wildlife from pesticides like DDT.

The night was closed out with performances by Art Shegonee, the Red Feather InterTribal Youth Drummers, Carell Casey, The Raging Grannies, Joe Fred and Friends, and the Prairie Bayou Cajun Band.

Tomorrow will be an even bigger day of learning and exploration. Probably some sweating too if it stays this warm!

We’d also like to say a special thanks to Salad Creations Monona and Willy Street Co-op for providing food and refreshments to our special guests and staff.

Bike Recycling Drive

Do you have bicycles or bike parts that you would like to donate to a good cause? Working Bikes Cooperative, a non-profit organization that gives new life to old bikes and independence to those who ride them, needs your bikes and they will be at Winnequah Park Saturday, July 7th during the Expo!

Your donated bike will be kept out of the landfill, recycled, and sent to countries throughout the world to provide sustainable development. Last year, Working Bikes Cooperative shipped over 5000 bikes to Africa, Central and South America and some US urban communities including New Orleans and Chicago.

Sponsored by Unity Church of Madison. For more information, contact Jeanie or Bill at 608-226-8738.