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Projects

How Brown Leaves Help Turn Lake Wingra Green

By Roger Bannerman Every Fall the leaves accumulating in our residential streets contribute to making Lake Wingra turn green in the summer. Rain water running through the fallen leaves can release nutrients, such as phosphorus and carry it to the lake. If the leaves are left on the street for the few weeks of the …

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A Statewide Accomplishment: A New DNR Rain Garden Manual

The Department of Natural Resources has a new and improved rain garden manual for your use! Rain Gardens: A Guide for Homeowners and Landscapers, the new manual, discusses the three main steps to designing a rain garden for your home: Step 1 – sizing and siting, Step 2 – constructing, and Step 3 – Planting …

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Don’t be salty: The negative effect of road salts on water and Madison’s efforts to reduce it

By Sophia Dramm When snow falls in Wisconsin, children may think about the snowmen they’re going to build, students may think of the school cancellations they’re going to enjoy and drivers may think about their safety on the road. So when they hear the rumble of snow plows that clear the streets and scatter salt …

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Worth One’s Salt: Reducing Salt Application to Protect Our Lakes

      By Casey Hanson Have you heard the superstition that spilling salt is bad luck and that if you did, throwing a pinch over your left shoulder should help avert any evil omens you’ve just incurred? Maybe they were talking about road salt application the whole time! Let us explain. For years, a …

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Fall Leaf Control Study Continues in the Lake Wingra Watershed

    By Roger Bannerman The Friends of Lake Wingra (FoLW) have been cooperating with the city of Madison for over four years to determine how selected leaf control efforts in the fall can reduce the amounts of phosphorus reaching Lake Wingra. Results from the fall of 2016 are especially exciting. By increasing the leaf …

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How Capital High Students Helped Lake Wingra’s Watershed

      Have you ever explored the UW-Arboretum foot paths on the southwest side of Wingra Boats? If so, you may notice sections of it are dominated by oriental bittersweet, an invasive woody, climbing vine that can choke and kill native trees. A group of forty eleventh graders from Capital High came to the …

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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 appeared.  “Look what I caught!  …

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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 is most active in the …

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