Projects

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Monarchs for Kids in 2017—Connecting with Mexico

Monarchs for Kids in 2017—Connecting with Mexico

In the library, a monarch butterfly rested on a small boy’s hand.  Suddenly it fluttered upward—zig-zagging over bookshelves toward a window. Four squealing children ran to where it landed on a windowsill.  Catalina approached, coaxing it onto her fingertip.  Her eyes flashed with uncertainty, bravery, and wonder.  A big smile[...]
Friends of Lake Wingra Participates in a Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey: Volunteers Welcome!

Friends of Lake Wingra Participates in a Wisconsin Frog and Toad Survey: Volunteers Welcome!

Friends of Lake Wingra has begun a new program to help understand and protect the amphibians that call our lake home.  We are working with a group of volunteers to listen for frogs and toads near the Vilas Lagoon throughout the spring and early summer to learn when each species[...]
Floating Plant Islands Offer Phosphorus Reduction & Food

Floating Plant Islands Offer Phosphorus Reduction & Food

Phosphorus is natural and essential, but when present in excess it can cause algal blooms, fish deaths, and decreases in water clarity. Phosphorus is currently one of the biggest challenges facing Lake Wingra so it’s time to get creative about finding solutions. Through my graduate studies at UW-Madison, I had[...]
Education, Awareness, Beauty: A Happy Note to Brighten Your Day

Education, Awareness, Beauty: A Happy Note to Brighten Your Day

  Rain gardens are a beautiful way of making our watershed a happier and healthier place. This year, Friends of Lake Wingra received a grant from the Natural Resources Foundation to spread the appreciation for all our dedicated rain garden care takers. Some of you may have noticed the bright orange[...]
New Year's Challenges and Opportunities for the Friends

New Year's Challenges and Opportunities for the Friends

      Happy New Year!  As Friends of Lake Wingra transitioned from 2016 to 2017, we looked ahead to the coming year, and saw immense opportunity, often balanced by immense challenges.  Opportunities and their associated challenges lead to change, and we embrace a year of coming change with optimism. Some changes will be[...]
New Resources for the Future

New Resources for the Future

      The future of water and people depends on the choices we make today – and the ideas we share with each other. Two new resources by the UW-Madison Water Sustainability and Climate project help communities think about what they can do to make sure the future is one they'd want. Changes and Choices[...]
Winter is Coming! Here's What We Know About Road Salt

Winter is Coming! Here's What We Know About Road Salt

Winter is a season associated with distinct feelings for all of your senses. There’s the smell of pine, the taste of apple pie, the sighting of the fist snowflake, and the crunch of rock salt beneath your boots. While we often give little thought to the last one, it’s certainly[...]
How anyone can Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers and Protect Lake Wingra

How anyone can Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers and Protect Lake Wingra

by Tim Campbell – UWEX, WDNR, WISG It is well known in the aquatic invasive species (AIS) world that recreational boaters are the primary pathway for new AIS to enter a lake or river. A combination of regulations that help prevent the spread of AIS and the “Clean Boats Clean Waters”[...]
Monarchs for Kids

Monarchs for Kids

Photo by Erik Zimmerman: Cloe Zimmerman gets one last kiss from the monarch she raised, before it starts migration. It’s a magical moment when the fresh young butterfly spirals upward, then heads resolutely SW towards Mexico, 2,000 miles away. By David Thompson The migration of monarch butterflies is one of our greatest natural wonders. [...]
Summer Gardening, Educational, & Service Opportunities on the SW Path

Summer Gardening, Educational, & Service Opportunities on the SW Path

By Sandy Stark Four neighborhoods along the SW Path maintain native prairies, flower gardens, and wooded areas in the Lake Wingra Watershed. Work crews provide tools and treats, and you take what you learn to your own yards and rain gardens. Most have both regular and flexible schedules. Come meet and[...]
Greening of the Monroe Street Festival

Greening of the Monroe Street Festival

(Friends of Lake Wingra pop-up park station - photo by David Thompson) by Ben Yahr Visitors to the annual Monroe Street Festival on October 10th got to experience more than good deals from merchants thanks to a new theme developed in part by Friends of Lake Wingra, Wisconsin Environmental Initiative and the[...]
Leaf Free Streets Pilot Update

Leaf Free Streets Pilot Update

(Badger Volunteers rake leaves out of the street - photo by Roger Bannerman) This fall, Friends of Lake Wingra has been working together with City of Madison Engineering on the second year of a leaf management pilot project in the Lake Wingra watershed. Proper leaf management is a priority because wet,[...]
Lake Friendly BMP's for Property Owners

Lake Friendly BMP's for Property Owners

Catholic Multi-Cultural Center Rain Garden - Photo by David Thompson By Susan Frett Throughout 2016 Friends of Lake Wingra will be asking property owners throughout the Lake Wingra watershed to do their part to help implement the Lake Wingra Watershed Management Plan (WMP).   The WMP was developed by Friends of Lake Wingra[...]
2016 Rain Garden Grants

2016 Rain Garden Grants

The Friends of Lake Wingra are pleased to announce a unique program designed to improve water quality and provide environmental education opportunities to schools and other institutions that impact Lake Wingra! If you want to apply for 2016, you will need to act soon. A tentative selection of your project’s location[...]
2015 Grants!

2015 Grants!

Friends of Lake Wingra is pleased to announce … We are offering grants of up to $4,000 for construction of a stormwater management features at schools, place of worship, or community centers within the watershed! Grant details and applications materials are available below: 2015 FoLW Grant Flyer 2015 FoLW final Grant Cover Letter 2015 FoLW[...]
SW Bike Path Stewardship

SW Bike Path Stewardship

Lake Wingra water quality is severely degraded by nutrient-containing soils and sediment that enter the Lake via the City of Madison storm water drains. Three storm drains discharge into Lake Wingra at the Ho-Nee-Um Pond and near the Wingra Park boat house (aerial photo: Ho-Nee-Um Pond Storm Sewers). Storm water[...]
Construction Site Monitoring

Construction Site Monitoring

Construction site erosion due to improperly installed/maintained erosion-control measures is a serious problem. Soil that is transported off a construction site as sediment-laden runoff can eventually reach storm sewers which discharge into Lake Wingra, causing a host of water quality impairments. On a per-unit-area comparative basis, residential and commercial construction is[...]
Rain Gardens

Rain Gardens

Homeowners in many parts of the country are catching on to rain gardens – landscaped areas planted to wild flowers and other native vegetation that soak up rain water, mainly from the roof of a house or other building. The rain garden fills with a few inches of water after[...]
EMPACT Beach Water Quality Study

EMPACT Beach Water Quality Study

FOLW, with partners from the Madison Department of Public Health (MDPH), Madison Information Services, State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH), US Geological Survey (USGS), and the University of Wisconsin Extension, are working on a US Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Monitoring for Public Access and Community Tracking (EMPACT) grant-funded comprehensive water quality[...]
Intensive Street Sweeping Project

Intensive Street Sweeping Project

FOLW volunteers met with Roger Goodwin, Director of the City of Madison Streets Department, twice to discuss the possibility of extending the City’s intensive street sweeping program to one or more neighborhoods in the Wingra Watershed (specifically the Vilas and Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhoods). The goal of the intensive street sweeping is[...]
Windows on Wingra

Windows on Wingra

Windows on Wingra (WOW) is an ongoing series of seasonal events that provides opportunities for members of the watershed community to learn about and contribute to the health of Lake Wingra. Friends of Lake Wingra began the WOW series in the summer of 2004 with All About Rain Gardens, a workshop[...]
Lake Wingra: A Vision for the Future

Lake Wingra: A Vision for the Future

Friends of Lake Wingra is proud to present the culminating document of a three year process of developing a vision for the future of Lake Wingra. You can download a pdf of the document now. Hard copies have been sent to our mailing list. You can also pick up a[...]
Shoreline Restoration

Shoreline Restoration

FOLW and partners have proposed shoreline habitat restoration practices that will lead to improvement of water quality in Lake Wingra. Proposed practices are the result of comprehensive and inclusive planning among numerous partners (including the public), and are aimed at the restoration of native species and natural habitats, the control[...]
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