Thinking Like Water

Josephine Mandamin’s words:

Ahow suh gwuh Manitou, N’mishoo. G’daanis Biidaasige minwaa gwii ganoonik, semma zhaashi gii jaagisoo. wewenii gagwedaawaay yaan
wewenii geh jjibwaa p’si taagosiiyaan. Apichi sinaagot ewe zhaginaashiimiwin. Me i ewe daash wewenii eshi gigoodaayan, Biidaasige is asking for help in saying what needs to be said in a good way, because the mainstream language is so difficult. and so she asks Creator’s help in what needs to be said, in a good way. Tobacco has been burned for Spirit to acknowledge and guide her words. She knows we must think as the water thinks.

In thinking like water, our personalities must also be that of the flow of water, to soften our hearts and minds so we can empathize with others without judgement. In other words, ‘go with the flow’, as the water flows we too must think the way water thinks, feels, hears, sings and above all: loves. This love is the uniter and inifier, we are all connected by water, each droplet is us, where we came from is in the droplet of water. When in the womb, we were living in water for nine months, Imagine! What did you learn? We came out in a gush to life, to go with the flow. It seems we stop the flow of love when we do not use our invisible gifts. Love is universal, without discrimination, without judgement, without preferences, but just plain forgiveness of all and for all.

We must look at our neighbors in a good way, as the water flows, so should our love for one another. Humbly, as Biiidadsige is your servant, she asks for forgiveness and help for all in bringing about the healing of our Nations and the Waters on Mama aki.. Megwech Baasindoowiiyek.
Me i ewe, minik from your humble servant.

The National Water Dance Project

A movement choir of bodies in motion and voices in unison across the United States of America.

Water is the Lifeblood of the Earth

We are blessed with a beautiful network of lakes, streams, rivers and wetlands in our area, but the health of our waters is increasingly compromised. Join us in a nation-wide project using simultaneous site-specific community dance to bring attention to the fragility of our waters, encouraging a local and national water ethic. (

On Saturday, April 12, 3:00pm at Olbrich Park we will join a volunteer recruitment effort coordinated by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission. (They will provide information and opportunities to sign up for various projects improving our area water resources) We will perform our water dance as a flash mob on the shore of Lake Monona.

No particular dance training or ability is required! This is a community arts activism experience!

Public Rehearsals: (join as many as you can, but all are not required!)

  • Sat, Mar 29, 11am-noon, Tapit Studio, 1957 Winnebago St. (enter using back door, off of Russell Street)
  • Wed, Apr 2, 7-8pm, James Reeb Unitarian Bldg, 2146 E. Johnson St.
  • Mon, Apr 7, 6-7pm, James Reeb Unitarian Bldg, 2146 E. Johnson St.
  • Wed, Apr 9, 7-8pm, Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa, Bolz Rm A

Please share this information far and wide, and let’s join together in this intersection of community arts, environmental education and civic engagement!

Sponsored by Moving from Within

Contact Dianne at for more information

National Groundwater Awareness Week

This last week was National Groundwater Awareness Week put on by the National Ground Water Association. The NGWA website is a wealth of educational information and links to local resources.

The City of Madison also has a great write up of information on our local groundwater initiatives.

What is groundwater, and why should we care about it? Groundwater makes up approximately 95 percent of the fresh water resources of the planet. This valuable resource is created when rain and melted snow soaks into the soil and filters through openings in beds of rock and sand creating underground reservoirs of fresh water. Forty-four percent of the U.S. population relies on groundwater for its supply of drinking water; while the rest rely on surface water sources such as lakes and rivers. Here in Wisconsin, we are water wealthy to the point of taking our riches for granted, unlike much of the American Southwest, where supplies are scarce and threatened by drought conditions.

Read More

Keep leaves out of the streets!

Great information from our friends the Clean Lakes Alliance.

What do leaves in the streets have to do with algae in the lakes? Rainfall and stormwater that run through streets and gutters leach phosphorus from fallen leaves and carry the nutrient-rich “tea” down the storm drains and straight to the lakes. Phosphorus is the nutrient that drives algae growth; so let’s do our part to stop leaf litter leaching!

Find out what you can do to help!


Also this Thursday the 14th Yahara Lakes 101 will be feature Bill Selbig of the USGS presenting “Leaves and Lakes: Urban Phosphorus Runoff”.

When: Thursday, November 14th
7:30 am – Coffee & Breakfast
8:00 am – Presentation
9:00 am – Q & A

Where: Bluephie’s Café at Verex Building (150 E. Gilman St.)
Sign up to attend!

Water and the City

A powerful way to stop wasting money and help support nature doing what nature was designed to do.


Andy Lipkis of Los Angeles TreePeople demonstrates using a multi-screen animation how rainwater can be redirected to save millions for our cities and provide the water we need for our sustainable survival.

Clean Lakes Festival 2013

Looking for fun ways to show your support for the lakes? Check out this year’s Clean Lakes Festival! All proceeds raised the Festival help advance the mission and vision of the Clean Lakes Alliance. Hope to see you there

Saturday, July 27th, 2013
9:00am to 9:00pm
Law Park by Monona Terrace

More details on the Clean Lakes Festival website!

9:00am – 12:00pm Water Ski Lessons*
Learn to ski with instructors from the Mad-City Ski Team.
*Advanced reservation required.

10:00am – Noon Lake Monona Heritage Boat Tour*
Get a lakeside look at the intriguing landscape and development (sponsored by Ho Chunk Gaming)
*Advanced reservation required.

10:00am Loop the Lake Bike Ride
Hop on your bike for a ride around Lake Monona

11:00am – 3:00pm Crazy4Lakes Discovery Center
Check out exhibits from local environmental organizations

11:00am – 6:00pm Rentals from Wingra Boats
Free canoe, kayak and stand up paddleboard rentals

2010 Natty Nation on the Entertainment StageNoon – 9:00pm Live Music
Watch the bands perform on the floating stage

11am – 6:00pm Kids’ Actvities Area
Games, Slip & Slide & more!

1:00pm – 4:00pm Betty Lou cruises
Relax and listen to the sound of lapping waves while enjoying a free Betty Lou Cruise on Lake Monona.

6:00pm Mad-City Water Ski Show
Enjoy a free water ski show from one of the nation’s top show ski teams

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!

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.