Lake Monona Water Walk 2013

An anniversary tribute to the beautiful energy set in motion in 2012!

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

7:00 am: Meet at Frost Woods Beach in Monona (on Winnequah) for a Blessing of the Waters and a sharing of memories from last year’s Water Walk.
9:00 am: Set out (clockwise) for a Walk, Bike Ride or Paddle around Lake Monona.

I have seen much good and inspiration come from the Lake Monona Water Walk 2012. I heard from many of those who had the opportunity to attend some or all of the weekends festivities that it was, indeed, a consciousness raising experience. This was the vision for the Walk last year. To raise consciousness and also to foster a heart centered connection to the Waters in our community.

This year we gather to remember so as to give energy to our continued commitment to Water, to one another and to the next 7 generations.

Please join me this year in blessing the Waters once again with our gratitude, our love and our prayers for healing.

This years Walk is a personal experience as opposed to a community organized event. Unlike last year, this years walk will require that all walk, ride or paddle at their own risk. We will not provide the resources of volunteers, transportation, water, etc. during the walk. Please Come Prepared with food, water, communication devices, and a secure knowledge of your ability to make the journey. If you feel you are unable to make it all the way around the lake, join us for the morning blessing or walk a portion of the lake as it suits your ability.

A special thank you to Grandmother Josephine Mandamin and William Waterway Marks for their continued inspiration and work on behalf of the Waters. We appreciate your contribution to our community last year. May you be blessed in all your endeavors and come visit us again soon!

Watershed Network Gathering

Received the following from the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds:

In 2011, the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds conducted a survey of local groups throughout Dane County to learn more about their outreach and communication activities designed to raise awareness and inspire action to protect and restore water quality, habitat and other aspects of watershed health. Attached you will find a summary of those findings.

Respondents indicated an interest in collaborating. To that end, we have scheduled a Watershed Network Gathering for Friday, April 26, 2013, 1–4 p.m. in Conference Rooms A&B at 5201 Fen Oak Drive (formerly One Fen Oak Court), Madison, WI.


  • Introductions (including your group’s priorities, challenges and successes)
  • Show-n-Share of outreach tools and materials
  • Needs/Yields Collaboration (what does your group need most; what can your group share to help others)
  • Capacity Building Brainstorming (ideas of ways to address group needs to expand capacity)
  • Future Directions

PDF of Survey Results

Aquatic Plant Management Public Information Meeting

When: Tuesday April 16, 7:00 p.m.
Where: McFarland Municipal Center — Training Room, 5915 Milwaukee Street, McFarland, WI

County staff and other aquatic plant experts will present information about recent plant survey results, review the goals and recommendations of current aquatic plant management plans (all available at, and invite public comment on ideas for changes to existing plan goals and objectives, and observations about 2012 harvesting.

This meeting will focus on:
Lake Waubesa
Lake Kegonsa
Yahara River
Upper Mud Lake
Lower Mud Lake
Jenni and Kyle Ponds
Verona Quarry

After the meeting, county staff will post (at the presentation slides.  Public comment can also be provided to through April 19.

What Happened on April 23, 1872?

On April 23rd, 1872, the ice officially broke up on Lake Mendota.  That is the latest ice-off date on record!  Thanks to the Clean Lakes Alliance for passing along this fun information in their build up to the 2nd Save Our Lakes Annual Meeting.

A Community Breakfast Event
to Present
the 2012 State of the Lakes Report


Friday, April 19th, 2013

7:30am – 9:00am


Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center

Exhibit Hall A & B


$45 ~ 1 person

$450 ~ 1 table of 10 people

Buy Tickets or Become a Sponsor!


The “Save Our Lakes” summit is CLA’s annual meeting where the State of the Lakes Report is presented. Come learn about how lake conditions were in 2012, as well as Yahara WINs and our community’s efforts to implement adaptive management.

This year’s event will be built into Isthmus Publishing’s Green Day, an expo featuring speakers and exhibits on sustainability. Among other program highlights, the Yahara Lakes Stewardship Award will be presented for outstanding service and commitment to protecting the Yahara Watershed. The “Save Our Lakes” summit is a great opportunity to network with key players in the water quality field.


CLA together with its partners, is preparing the 2nd annual State of the Lakes Report and the Yahara Lakes Report Card. The report is a collection of data from scientists, Dane County, Madison & Dane County Public Health Department, park managers, local residents and business owners all of whom share an interest in the Yahara River Watershed and its lakes.

The first State of the Lakes covered a general overview of the Yahara Watershed, the Yahara Lakes Report Card, which included metrics on Lake Water Quality, Beaches, Aquatic Plant Harvesting, Lake Levels, and Ice Conditions, and a feature on community actions. The 2011 Report Card provided a baseline for the community to begin tracking lake conditions.

Welcome Back RainReserve Rain Barrels

Spring is here and so are RainReserve rain barrels. This season, they are offering a wide variety of new barrel colors and shapes. Check out their upcoming special sale in Wisconsin and details about the new Build-a-Barrel storage tank exclusively available from RainReserve.

A limited supply of re-purposed 60 gallon barrels available in Earth Brown, Nantucket Gray and Forest Green will be offered for this special sale event.  Orders will be available for pick-up on April 27th at Paradigm Gardens (4501 Helgensen Drive, Madison, WI).

Our Freshwater Future: Peril and Promise

Advanced registration for this free event is required! For more information and to register visit the Our Freshwater Future: Peril and Promise event site.

Capitol Theater – Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 – 7:00pm to 8:30pm

In a very special launch of the Wisconsin Academy’s renewed Waters of Wisconsin Initiative, global water expert Sandra Postel returns to Madison to discuss the threats to our precious freshwater resources—and what we can do about them. She will discuss the challenge of feeding and sustaining seven billion people in a warming, water-stressed world—while at the same time preserving the freshwater ecosystems that support our economies and the web of life on the planet. Postel directs the Global Water Policy Project and is Freshwater Fellow of the National Geographic Society.

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.”

Monona Water Conservation Challenge Celebration

The Monona Water Conservation Challenge Celebration is just around the corner!

Come to the Monona Community Center to cheer on the Water Conservation Challenge winners as they are announced. Prizes will be awarded to the conservation winners and the innovation winners. You’ll hear from local water advocates, our “Gallon” sponsors, and our mayor, and even be treated to a couple of songs penned for and about the Water Conservation Challenge. Celebrate the closing of the 2012 Year of Water with song, cookies, learning, and fun.

Where: Monona Community Center
When: January 30th, 2013
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Water Words That Work

We posted last month about the Lakes in the Landscape: Values > Visions > Actions 32nd International Symposium being held November 7-9, 2012 at the Monona Convention center. Today we wanted to highlight a workshop taking place on November 6th called Water Words That Work. If you’re interested in attending register today to express your interest, the workshop may be canceled without enough registered attendees.

Make a splash with your communications! Relearn the language that everyday citizens use and you’ll become more confident and successful as you set out to enlighten the uninformed and persuade the undecided to take a stand or take action on behalf of our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Water Words That Work is offered in three 90 minute blocks:

  • Water Words That Work, Part 1. Reconnect with the perspective that everyday citizens have on nature protection and pollution control, and discover the shocking secret of what motivates them to take action.
  • Water Words That Work, Part 2. Master steps 1 through 4 of the Environmental Message Method, a step-by-step process for transforming professional language into action language that will help make your next fundraising, issue advocacy, and behavior change campaign a success.
  • Water Words That Work, Part 3. Master steps 5 and 6 of the Environmental Message Method, and learn how to “open up” your message to readers and listeners from all walks of life.

Eric Eckl’s role models include Aldo Leopold, Martin Luther King, Maxmillian Berlitz, and P.T. Barnum. Eric loves campaigns and would run for office if he could give the job to somebody else after winning. Instead, he helps people like you with your pollution prevention, fundraising, and issue advocacy campaigns. Eric founded Water Words That Work LLC as a marketing and public relations firm for nature protection and pollution control organizations. Since 2009, the company has assisted more than 50 conservation organizations. Before launching Water Words That Work, Eric managed fundraising, media relations, and publishing activities for many conservation organizations. His past employers include Beaconfire Consulting, American Rivers, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Eric has appeared in countless media stories, including CNN and the New York Times. He is a frequent speaker at environmental, marketing, and technology conferences.

Yahara Lakes: Implementing a Vision

Part of the North American Lake Management Society’s 32nd International Symposium: Lakes in the Landscape: Values > Visions > Actions will be focused on our very own Yahara Lakes! The entire symposium is running November 7-9, 2012 in Madison, WI.

In these tough economic times, the values we place on our natural resources, including lakes, becomes more important than ever. These values are brought into focus by our vision for lakes, essentially what we want as an outcome of successful management. Finally, turning these visions into actions requires partnerships, good science, and perseverance! Because lakes respond to stressors at a variety of scales, NALMS 2012 will emphasize the science of lakes in the landscape, ranging from in-lake to watershed to global, as well as approaches that facilitate lake management … from satellites to surveys to shorelines.

The program committee is excited to bring NALMS back to Madison and the Yahara Lakes, building on the successes of two previous symposia in 2001 and 2005. As before, we will begin each day with a set of plenary talks that relate to the theme and serve as an introduction to special sessions: Lake Values and Ecosystem Services, Landscape Limnology, Adapting to Climate Change.

The 2005 NALMS “Madison Lakes and Nearby Waters” session strengthened and expanded collaborations and actions to improve these waters. The 2012 Madison conference again features a special session on the Yahara River watershed and its more than 22,000 acres of lakes and streams that are so important to the region’s economy and quality of life. The Friday November 9 session, “Yahara Lakes: Implementing a Vision,” open to all conference attendees and Madison area residents, will consist of presentations by local scientists, managers and conservation groups on successes and challenges of implementing the water quality improvement strategies that emerged from the 2005 conference. The special one-day rate of $45, supported by sponsors to enable maximum participation by local residents, includes the Yahara Lakes Community Breakfast, the full day of presentations, lunch, and a closing reception.