Rake your leaves out of the street!


Friends of Lake Wingra asks you to do your part for Lake Wingra this fall and rake  your leaves out of the street.

Fall is a beautiful time in Wisconsin, the leaves are turning colors and the weather is still nice which makes it a great time to spend outside.  However, falling leaves contribute to a big problem for Lake Wingra and all of our local lakes when they are left to decay in the street.  When leaves get wet and start to decompose in the street (or on a driveway, sidewalk, parking lot, etc) a nutrient “tea” is produced which runs off into the storm sewer and contributes to algae growth and nuisance vegetation growth in our lakes.  Research has actually shown that this nutrient tea from decomposed leaves is the biggest source of phosphorus in stormwater runoff from urban areas.

One of the goals of the Lake Wingra Watershed Management Plan is to reduce phosphorus levels coming in to Lake Wingra.  Raking leaves out of the street is a key component in reaching this goal and it is one action that all of us can do!  We are asking everyone in the Lake Wingra watershed that if they pile leaves out on their terrace for collection by the City of Madison to check the city’s collection schedule and place them on the terrace as close to the scheduled pickup time as possible.  Also, please take care to pile the leaves neatly and not to pile them in the street.  Using paper bags is allowed as is covering the leaves with a tarp to prevent them from blowing around.  An alternative to utilizing the city’s collection process is to manage leaves on your property yourself.  Options include mulching the leaves into the lawn with a lawn mower with a mulcher or collecting them and composting them or turning them into mulch for flowerbeds.  Other tips can be found here: https://www.cleanlakesalliance.com/renew-the-blue/

Please help us in protecting Lake Wingra by raking your leaves out of the street this fall!


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