Lakes and farms: our culture and our economy

Save the date: May 5th 2015! Fourth annual Save our Lakes Breakfast! Presented by the Clean Lakes Alliance.

Fourth Annual Save Our Lake Breakfast
Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 – 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.

Secretary Ben Brancel will give the keynote address on the economic impact of agriculture and the innovative ways farmers are working to protect water quality and the landscape.

Clean Lakes Alliance will also present the State of the Lakes Annual Report, which shares our community’s progress in reducing phosphorus runoff, and reports on the status of water quality in lakes Mendota, Monona, Wingra, Waubesa and Kegonsa. A series of videos and speakers will explore these topics, and guests will each receive a copy of the report.

Aldo Leopold Nature Center holds open house to celebrate 20 years in Monona

Looking for more activities during this years Water Walk? Check out Aldo Leopold Nature Center!

Location: Aldo Leopold Nature Center, 330 Femrite Drive, Monona, WI 53716
Date/Time: Sunday, July 13, 2014 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Visit the Aldo Leopold Nature Center on Sunday, July 13th Wisconsin’s native habitats and to galaxies far away, all from your own back yard! Join our new Executive Director, Monona Mayor Bob Miller, for a free open house to celebrate ALNC’s 20th anniversary.

For 20 years, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center has been a part of the Monona and Madison community. Monona is home to some of Wisconsin’s most beautiful native habitats – the towering oak savannah, the green expanse of prairie, and the wetlands and waterways, teeming with life – and ALNC has maintained each of them as part of our interpretive trail system. Inside the center, guests can explore interactive exhibits about local and global climate science, and journey through the solar system on our Science on a Sphere. Visitors can also follow a self-guided tour of the various water conservation features at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, installed to help ALNC in the mission of living lightly on the land.

Explore ALNC at our Open House, featuring FREE admission to our interactive indoor exhibits and nature nooks, FREE family activities, FREE nature walks, door prizes, refreshments, and more!

Finally, join us inside at 4 pm to learn the history of ALNC as a part of the community, see how we’ve grown over the years, and hear about our plans for the future!

Clean Lakes Festival

Support our lakes after this years Water Walk with the Clean Lakes Festival! Held in Law Park on Saturday, July 26, there are numerous activities for all ages including kayak and canoe rids, log rolling, live music, food and drinks.

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. The ski team has been a fixture in downtown Madison for nearly 50 years, and had first-hand experience with the decline of area water quality. 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 clean-up projects.

Water Walk 2014

Walk, bike, or paddle to raise the public awareness of our collective need to honor and steward this lake and all waters in a mindful, sacred and joyous way.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

7:00 am – 9:00 am – All Traditions Water Blessing
9:30 am – 4:30 pm – Lake Monona Water Walk 2014

Led by the Ancient Mother MoonLodge and Sponsored by 4Pillars4Health EcoSpace, Llc.

Water Blessing & Water Walk Meeting Place at Frost Woods Beach, 5850 Winnequah Road, Monona, WI 53716.

Gathering locations to Rest the Waters along the Walk will be at these parks:

Frost Woods Beach (Gathering of the Waters)
Monona Bay
Schluter Beach
Frost Woods Beach (Return of the Waters)

We invite and encourage bicyclists, paddlers, sailors, and boaters to follow along on the Lake while we’re walking!

Walk at your own risk! Please be mindful of hydration, fatigue, heat & hunger. Come Prepared!

Inclement Weather: The walk will continue as planned. As Grandmother said, “I hope it Rains!” 🙂

This Event is FREE & open to the Public. Please consider volunteering and making a tax-deductible donation to support operating expenses.

Join us for a Meditative Journey with Pete Calgaro on the Tank Drum to Honor the Waters and the Water Walkers.

Saturday night, July 12th, 7:00 – 9:00 PM at 4Pillars4Health EcoSpace, 6020 Kristi Circle, Monona, WI, 53716.

The Tank Drum will not need to be amplified in any way due to the magnificent acoustics of the raw cedar wood EcoSpace yurt. You will be able to hear and feel all the natural overtones of the instrument in a way you may never have experienced before. A magical opportunity to set your vibration high for the Water Walk.

$20 at the door. Space is limited so reserve your place today by emailing

Pete Calgaro is a multi-instrumentalist with 14 CD releases on iTunes, Amazon, and, including “Meditanktion in D”, an all Tank Drum release.

4Pillars4Health EcoSpace is a rare acoustic gem in the round. As a sacred, nourishing, and enchanting space 4Pillars4Health will inspire your journey.

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

Permaculture and Water

When: Thursday, December 5, 6:30-8:30 pm
Where: Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Join Madison Area Permaculture Guild Founder Kate Heiber-Cobb and learn how to construct swales and berms, rain gardens, and other water catchment devices in your landscape. These holding methodologies help our community deal with water issues and can be used for growing plants. She will discuss why you want to hold water where it falls, how this practice relates to healthy soil, how it refills our aquifers, and much more. Bring drawing/sketch paper, pencil, and eraser for beginning to create a plan for your landscape with guidance from the instructor. Limited space; register early. To register, call Olbrich at (608)246-4550.

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!

Wisconsin’s Water: Valuable, Vulnerable, Vanishing?


Green Thursday Presentation on Wisconsin’s Water: Valuable, Vulnerable, Vanishing?

Thursday, October 3,
Willy Street Co-op West

Melissa Malott, environmental advocate and attorney will speak about how we as a community and as individuals can protect and promote clean, safe water here in Dane County and throughout Wisconsin. Melissa was previously the Water Program Director at Clean Wisconsin, and now serves as Executive Assistant to Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, specializing in environmental issues. Sponsored by the City of Middleton Sustainability Committee and Willy West. Presentation to be held at Willy Street Co-op West. Free refreshments provided.

Visioning a Sustainable Wingra Watershed

You are invited to participate in shaping a sustainability vision for the Wingra Watershed, sponsored by Edgewood College’s Sustainability Leadership Program in partnership with Friends of Lake Wingra.

Wingra Watershed Design Charrette: Visioning a Sustainable Wingra Watershed
When: Tuesday, July 30, 3:30-5:00 pm
Where: Washburn Heritage Room, Regina Hall, Edgewood College

This participatory workshop will build on past and current visioning & planning initiatives and work toward a Wingra Watershed comprehensive sustainability plan, with goals of:

  • Integrating place-based design ideas (including specific ideas already generated by landscape architect and urban planning students and professionals) into watershed planning effort of the City of Madison, Strand Engineering, and Friends of Lake Wingra
  • Generating new ideas for land use, green infrastructure, policy and practices, etc., to move the Wingra Watershed toward sustainability visions of the City of Madison and the Capital Region Sustainable Communities
  • Creating and supporting a community of experts and learners interested in advancing green infrastructure and sustainable watershed management in the Madison area generally, and the Wingra Watershed in particular