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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.

The recent campus master plan update aligns campus landscape and green infrastructure goals. When implemented, the plan is expected to improve water quality by decreasing total suspended solids by 45%, while strengthening the campus connection to Lake Mendota and the larger watershed.

Visit the UW-Madison website to learn more.

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This update was originally published in May of 2017 in the 2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report.

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.

Lake Mendota Median Phosphorus

Lake Mendota Median Phosphorus2016 Phosphorus Levels: 0.022 mg/L (Good/Excellent)

2016 phosphorus were good in all the lakes and close to excellent in Lake Mendota, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources criteria. The conditions we experienced in 2016 represent what we hope to achieve on a consistent basis by continuing to reduce phosphorus loading into the lakes.

Lake Mendota Median Clarity

Lake Mendota Median Clarity

2016 Water Clarity: 7.2 feet (Good/Excellent)

2016 clarity conditions were good in Lake Mendota, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources criteria.

Water Temperature

Water temperature can impact summer water quality because blue-green algal blooms tend to proliferate in warmer temperatures. Lake Mendota water temperature in 2016 was slightly higher than the long-term median.

2016 Lake Mendota Beach Closures

2016 Lake Mendota Beach Closures

Source: Public Health – Madison & Dane County

 

 

Lake Mendota’s beaches were open most of the summer, with only eight beach days lost out of a total 792 possible days (99 days times 8 beaches). All of the closures were due to high E. coli levels. Spring Harbor lost six days and the Governor Nelson State Park and Tenney Park beaches were closed once each.

This post was originally published in the 2016 State of the Lakes Annual Report.

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.

New races, Kites over Mendota, and other family-friendly events announced

MADISON, Wis. – After unseasonable rain, the return of cold temperatures and a dose of winter white helped Lake Mendota stay solid for Frozen Assets! Back for a third year, the three-day, free family-friendly festival expects to draw near 10,000 people throughout the weekend. Frozen Assets is made possible thanks to title sponsors CG Schmidt, Hovde Properties, Lands’ End Outfitters, Spectrum Brands, and is hosted by platinum sponsor, The Edgewater. 

“Last year we had roughly 6,000 people experience Frozen Assets – many of them setting foot onto a frozen lake for the first time in their lives,” said Clean Lakes Alliance executive director, James Tye. “We hope even more people will join us this year to see how important healthy lakes are to our community, year-round.”

Frozen Family Fun – for FREE!

For three days, Friday, February 3 through Sunday, February 5, families will have a chance to experience outdoor activities and winter fun at The Edgewater. Free ice rink access and hot chocolate will greet people all weekend long. Additionally on Saturday, festivalgoers will be treated to demonstrations from the Madison Figure Skating Association, Olympic gold-medal winning speed skater Casey FitzRandolph, and other dance performances. If the weather gets too cold, kids can enjoy free face painting, zoo animals, a Saturday performance by children’s entertainer David Landau, and other fun activities inside The Edgewater.

Out on frozen Lake Mendota, snowshoeing, a slap-shot competition, s’mores, sleigh rides, ice fishing and an ice science lab led by the UW-Madison Center for Limnology all return and all are completely free!

NEW Events 

Winter lovers who miss the large kite event that used to take place on Lake Monona will love Kites on Mendota! The Wisconsin Kiters Club will bring dozens of large show kites to fly high over the lake throughout Saturday and Sunday.

For athletes and anglers, four new events are a can’t-miss. Friday night, riders can compete in a fat bike race on a lit course on Lake Mendota, and on Saturday morning, snowshoe lovers can compete in a run along the same course. Also on Saturday, weekend fishermen and women can try their luck at an Amateur Ice Fishing Derby where teams of two compete for cash prizes. On Sunday, the North American Ice Fishing Circuit makes an official stop on Lake Mendota. Weigh-in for the pros will be Sundayafternoon at The Edgewater.

A complete list of festival activities and times can be found at cleanlakesalliance.org/frozen-assets.

Play & Stay

The Edgewater has developed festival-specific family-friendly packages to encourage a full weekend experiencing Madison lakes. To take advantage of an Edgewater weekend room package, please visit cleanlakesalliance.org/frozen-assets/#stay-packages

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About Frozen Assets

Started in 2012 as a fundraiser, Frozen Assets has now transformed into a three-day event to highlight the importance of the lakes. Thanks to generous sponsors, Frozen Assets has netted nearly $700,000 to fund lake improvement projects, youth education, and watershed engagement events.

On January 4, WKOW reported that Lake Mendota is officially frozen. Adam Sodersten, the Director of Marketing and Development at Clean Lakes Alliance, tells WKOW more:

“The State Climatology Office made the call yesterday evening, they saw it complete frozen over on the first, but their rules is they have to see it hold a freeze for a full 24 hours. On the second we had a lot of fog so they couldn’t actually make that official and yesterday when the fog cleared, it still appeared to be froze over .”

Watch the coverage at wkow.com! 

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