Roger Bannerman

Roger at a community library event, always first to jump in line for outreach events!

Our long-time board member Roger Bannerman has passed away on October 15, 2020. This webpage is to honor Roger’s commitment to Lake Wingra, water quality, and the phenomenal person he was.

Roger in a Nutshell

Roger cherished his wife Jane, his children, and his grandchildren. Above all, this true family man, once left in the middle of a board meeting. He went home, read a storybook to his grandkids before bed, and then returned to the board meeting.  Variety is the spice of life and Roger embodied that. His experience in almost every topic that Friends of Lake Wingra took on was unrivaled, just like his passion for discussing it! One of his special skills was understanding the need to bridge public outreach with technical information in a way that motivates and stirs emotion and excitement for everyday people. Interacting with the public, you could see his energy and passion transcended the impact of the content he shared. He felt like the Bill Nye of stormwater management. Many stormwater projects and initiatives in Madison might not have happened without Roger. 

Roger Bannerman’s Board Bio

Roger working with Badger Volunteers to monitor chloride at the springs near Lake Wingra.
Roger working with Badger Volunteers to monitor chloride at the springs near Lake Wingra.

Roger joined the board in 2011.  Roger’s first experience with Lake Wingra was as a graduate student in the Water Chemistry Program (1969-1973). First, his master thesis title was “Interstitial Inorganic Phosphorus in Lake Wingra Sediment”. Before leaving the program, Roger did one more study on Lake Wingra entitled “Effects of Urban Runoff on Lake Wingra Marsh.” 

Employment with Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) provided sufficient funds to buy a home in the Lake Wingra Watershed.  The Bannerman’s bought their home in 1975. Now, after 36 years they would never think of leaving their home so close to Lake Wingra. Roger visits the lake almost every day. He might bike, walk along the shoreline, or explore the shoreline by canoe. Most importantly, he tries to share this experience with others, so they too can discover the sometimes hidden treasures of the lake.

Also, living in the watershed made it an easy choice for many of Roger’s research projects when he was at the WDNR. Working with the USGS and University, much data has been collected on the sources of pollutants in urban runoff and the efficiency of different treatment methods. Overall, these results are not only useful in the Lake Wingra Watershed, but to all the cities in Wisconsin. Roger hopes to continue his long-term relationship with the lake by staying involved in efforts to protect and improve it.

Discover Roger’s Impact in Our Community

Read Roger’s obituary.

Learn about the City of Madison’s Roger Bannerman Rain Garden Initiative. From the initiative’s webpage, “the program will provide grant funding and technical assistance to private property owners who would like to construct a rain garden in the terrace of their property associated with a street project.”

Read about a life remembered an article about Roger Bannerman in this Wisconsin State Journal article.