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Volunteer Day

Volunteers remain loyal to our lakes

It was a year of obstacles for our lakes, but volunteers are dedicated to improving our waters

From cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms, to elevated bacteria (E. coli) levels, to flooding, our lakes have had a tough season. With our lakes facing so many obstacles, it makes Clean Lakes Alliance even more appreciative of its volunteers.

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A busy summer for our lakes

Summer in Madison would not be the same without our lakes. This year, especially, we’ve seen our lakes at their best and their worst due to record rain events, cyanobacteria blooms, and beach closures. Here at Clean Lakes Alliance, the summer is a time to get out and enjoy our lakes while also doubling down on our efforts to protect them. From innovative grant projects, to county policy recommendations, to record-setting engagement, we’ve been hard at work for our lakes this summer, and so have you! Let’s take a look back at some highlights from this lake season.

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America’s only 5K on a frozen lake

Join Clean Lakes Alliance for our Frozen Assets 5K, America’s only run entirely on a frozen lake!

Take a break from the hilly pavement and bring your stride to the ice. In this 5K race, participants will run or walk across the ice on iconic Lake Mendota for beautiful views of downtown Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The course will start and end at The Edgewater. Medals will be awarded to our top finishers. Best of all, your registration supports work to protect and improve water quality in our lakes!

Online registration ends Wednesday, January 31st. Walk-ups welcome! Register at the start line at 9 a.m. the day of the race.

Click here to register

Contact Clean Lakes Alliance at info@cleanlakesalliance.org or 608-255- 1000 if your organization would like to get involved by becoming a sponsor.

Learn more about the Frozen Assets Festival: cleanlakesalliance.org/frozen-assets

Frozen Assets Fat Bike Race

Compete on Frozen Lake Mendota!

Join Clean Lakes Alliance for our second annual Frozen Assets Fat Bike Race on Lake Mendota!

In this night race, participants will cruise across the ice on iconic Lake Mendota and pass by downtown Madison and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. The race will start and end at the Edgewater. Choose from a single lap, 4.25 mile course or a three lap, 12.75 mile course. Top finishers will receive medals. Best of all, your registration supports work to protect and improve water quality in our lakes!

Online registration is open until Wednesday, January 31st. Walk-ups welcome! Register by 5:30 p.m. the day of the race by the start line.

Click here to register

Contact Clean Lakes Alliance at info@cleanlakesalliance.org or 608-255- 1000 if your organization would like to get involved by hosting an activity or becoming a sponsor.

Learn more about the Frozen Assets Festival: cleanlakesalliance.org/frozen-assets

Frozen Assets Festival 2018

Meet us on Lake Mendota for the Frozen Assets Festival

Every year, the Frozen Assets Festival highlights the status of our lakes as one of our community’s biggest assets. This event has raised more than half a million dollars for our lakes since 2012! You’re invited to our fourth annual family-friendly outdoor winter festival at The Edgewater and on frozen Lake Mendota.

Join us for FREE activities all weekend long, including ice skating, sleigh rides, pond hockey, snowshoeing, ice science, figure and speed skating demos. Warm up with complimentary s’mores and hot cocoa!

Contact Clean Lakes Alliance at info@cleanlakesalliance.org or 608-255- 1000 if your organization would like to get involved by hosting an activity or becoming a sponsor.

Learn more: cleanlakesalliance.org/frozen-assets

UW-Madison Memorial Union Terrace

Urban Action: UW-Madison Water Quality

With over 4.5 miles of shoreline property on Lake Mendota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison has more lake frontage than any other university in the country.

In 2016, the University implemented stormwater management techniques in the iconic Memorial Union Terrace. Structural soil vaults for eight new shade trees will capture and use stormwater on site. The historic 1929 terrace features permeable natural stove pavers allowing infiltration into sandy subsoil.

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Lake Mendota is the largest of the lakes in the Yahara chain. The watershed surrounding the lake is primarily agricultural, including many fourth and fifth generation dairy farms to the north, but is experiencing rapid urban growth.

Phosphorus that enters Lake Mendota from its tributaries are carried down the chain of lakes via the Yahara River and represent the largest sources of excess nutrients in the lower lakes. To improve water quality in the chain of lakes, we need to make improvements in the land surrounding Lake Mendota.

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On March 7, The Wisconsin State Climatology Office declared ice was off both Lake Mendota and Monona. Channel 3000 discusses what this early ice-off date means for the lakes with Paul Dearlove, the watershed program director of the Clean Lakes Alliance:

“An early ice-off date, a fast spring melt and a rainy spring means runoff could cause more issues for lake health throughout the summer. The more runoff that reaches the lakes, the higher chance we have for summer algae blooms and other lake clarity issues.”

Check out the full article here.

During Clean Lakes Alliance’s 3rd annual Frozen Assets Festival, WKOW 27 came down to Lake Mendota to check out the event and chat with Adam Sodersten, the Director of Marketing of Development. Here is an excerpt from the interview:

“A lot of cities have these big huge green spaces in the middle of the city; Central Park in New York, Boston Commons, well when winter comes [the lake] becomes our Central Park. It’s really such an exciting thing for us to have here in Madison and to be able to have all of these really fun winter activities is just a really great opportunity.”

Check out the rest of the coverage at wkow.com! 

Clean Lakes Alliance’s first fat tire bike race is the perfect way to kick off Madison’s Winter Bike Week! The race takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 3rd on frozen Lake Mendota, and bike-related activities run throughout Madison through the 10th. Read more at isthmus.com.

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