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!

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.

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.

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

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

Olbrich Botanical Gardens Tours on July 8th

During the Water Walk on Sunday July 8th Olbrich Botanical Gardens has opened their doors to any walkers or spectators for a guided tour! It will be a quick 15 minute visit with a sampling of the rain gardens, gravel gardens, and turf alternative sites. Providing aesthetic, native, and low input options for your home and business garden where water conservation is valued!

Tours will be at 10:30am, 11:30am, and 1:00pm.

Solstice Festival in Olbrich Park. Today!

Today! Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 in Olbrich Park! More information at

4:00pm – Opening Ceremonies, Canoe Rides, Hands-on Eco-science, Music
5:30pm – Procession of the Species & Giant Puppet Pageant!
6:30pm – Picnic Time (bring your own!) with Musicians, Dance, Kites, Canoe Rides & more!
8:41pm – Sunset – Bonfire!

Capital Lakes DragonFest 2012

The 3rd Annual Capital Lakes DragonFest will take place this Saturday, June, 23rd 2012 at Vilas Park! Full event and race schedule at

TEAMSurvivor Madison, Inc. is committed to raising awareness about fitness and survivorship. The Capital Lakes DragonFest is a perfect opportunity to:

  • share this exciting new sport with the community.
  • showcase another beautiful way to enjoy the City’s green space and lakes.
  • build community through a family-friendly event.
  • raise funds to support the year round, free or low-cost programs of TEAMSurvivor Madison, Inc.
  • provide an opportunity for companies and organizations to build unity through teamwork and support a local non-profit organization. All proceeds benefit women in Dane County and surrounding counties.