About Us


Our History

We are a small volunteer-led non-profit group that  commits our efforts to the vitality of the Wingra Watershed as a place of natural beauty and recreation. Friends of Lake Wingra formed in 1998 under the fiscal umbrella of Edgewood College in order to create a broader and more encompassing watershed management team for Lake Wingra. As of 2018 we are our own independent 501c3 non-profit! Our journey has resulted in innumerable partnerships and community connections, something we nurture as we try to meet the ever changing needs of our watershed community.

Our Mission

Our mission is to promote a healthy Lake Wingra through an active watershed community.

Our Vision

What will Lake Wingra and the watershed community be like 20 years from now?

The Friends of the Lake Wingra value Lake Wingra and its surrounding uplands as a natural and community resource. Our hope is that all who live, work and play in the Lake Wingra Watershed will understand the lake’s ecology and be aware of how their actions affect the lake. We will protect and restore the aquatic wetland, savanna and woodland communities of Lake Wingra. We will also effectively manage the storm water runoff and its associated pollutants. This will make Lake Wingra habitable for our native wildlife, and safe for fishing, swimming, and other recreation. Our partnerships with watershed residents, businesses, interest groups, schools and the government will allow us to collaborate and maintain this balanced ecosystem approach.

Our mission, vision, and goals reflect our belief that sustaining the balance of a healthy lake ecosystem requires the participation and collaboration of many citizens, agencies and organizations. FOLW’s approach to watershed protection therefore involves partnerships with numerous stakeholders who live, work, and play in the Lake Wingra watershed.

Our goals

  1. Citizen Stewardship— To nurture present and future generations of watershed stewards.
  2. Integrated Watershed Management— To protect and improve the ‘lake as a system’ through innovative and coordinated management practices.
  3. Long-term monitoring and research—To ensure that the information needed to address the mission is available on an ongoing basis.
  4. Organizational Capacity and Resources—To build the internal capacity to achieve the mission.


Friends of Lake Wingra engages in a variety of projects aimed at improving the health of Lake Wingra. Our projects include both outreach to the watershed community and on-the-ground restoration and stewardship efforts. To get involved with one of our projects, contact the Friends at info@lakewingra.org or 608-620-5040.

Friends and partners

The Friends of Lake Wingra could not work without the help of our friends and partners — dedicated volunteers, members, and organizations contribute essential time and labor to the preservation and protection of Lake Wingra and the Wingra Watershed.

Meet our Board of Directors.