CLA featured in Madison Magazine business column

Image via Madison Magazine.

Image via Madison Magazine.

CLA was featured in Madison Magazine’s business column for “blazing the trail in rebooting and rebranding community causes,” with a special mention for last year’s Schooling for Cleaner Lakes-themed Save Our Lakes Community Breakfast.

We’re very excited about the theme (to be launched soon) for this year’s breakfast, so save the date for Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 — we’ll see you at 7:30 a.m.!

Read more:

Local groups re-tooling strategies to stand out

With fierce competition for audiences and funding, local groups are upping the ante on their promotional strategies

Published On: Feb 20 2015 12:00:00 AM CST

Wisconsin State Journal – Free winter festival hoping to attract a crowd to the Edgewater

Wisconsin State Journal (2/6/15) – “Free winter festival hoping to attract a crowd to The Edgewater” 

Excerpt:

“The Frozen Assets Festival is a partnership between the Clean Lakes Alliance and the Edgewater and will take place at the newly renovated hotel and on the lakefront directly behind it.

“One way to get people to love the lakes more is to get them to use them, right?” said James Tye, executive director of Clean Lakes Alliance. “And a lot of people who live in Madison have never walked out on a frozen lake.”

Tye calls the Frozen Assets Festival a bookend to the group’s summertime Clean Lakes Festival, which has taken place for seven years…”

Read more: http://host.madison.com/lifestyles/recreation/free-winter-festival-hoping-to-attract-a-crowd-to-the/article_eb80a32a-e82c-51f4-bbb6-204a38eaa172.html#ixzz3S28mfi85

Yahara Lakes 101 with Beth Wentzel

Beth Wentzel, PE

“Stream Restoration as a Tool for Restoring Watersheds”

beth-wentzel_inter-fluve

Speaker Bio:

Beth recognized early that she preferred “problem solving rather than memorizing.” Today, she thrives on investigative fieldwork. “I love detective work,” she says. “I like figuring out what a place used to be like and comparing it to what’s going on now.”

With a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, she has a solid understanding of river protection laws and regulations. And as a former Peace Corp volunteer teaching math in West Africa, she gained a unique perspective on worldwide water issues.

She landed at Inter-Fluve in 2010, and contributes expertise in hydrologic and hydraulic analysis, stormwater management system design and monitoring, and river and wetland restoration design. “I like the spirit of collaboration [at Inter-Fluve],” she says. “There’s a respect for what everyone brings to the table regardless of their background.”

When work is done, time with family and friends takes priority, with hockey, canoeing, and cross-county skiing filling the hours left in the day.

Abstract:

Watershed health and stream health are linked. The water quality of lakes and other receiving waterbodies is dependent on the water quality of the streams and rivers draining into them. Stream restoration, if done in combination with landuse modification, can speed up the recovery process by reducing sediment and nutrient loading. However, some sediment transport is a normal part of river process. This talk will examine the processes of river systems and the landforms they create (known technically as “fluvial geomorphology”), and will discuss what is normal and what is abnormal erosion. We’ll look at stream restoration efforts nationwide, and some of the practices that can be used to restore streams and watersheds.

Yahara Watershed partners bring in $1.6 million federal grant

CLA policy director Elizabeth Katt-Reinders speaks about CLA's role in the project at the County Executive's press conference to announce the $1.6 million grant award.

CLA policy director Elizabeth Katt-Reinders speaks about CLA’s role in the project at the County Executive’s press conference to announce the $1.6 million grant award.

This week, the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded $1.6 million to the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department through a new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). CLA is a partner on the project, along with Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, Sand County Foundation, UW-Madison, and Yahara WINs. CLA policy director Elizabeth Katt-Reinders and Rural Program Manager Rachel Fossum worked with Dane County and partners to craft and write the successful proposal, which aims to build capacity for a watershed-wide approach to reducing phosphorus and reaching water quality goals.

Highlights of the proposal include the pairing of traditional agricultural conservation practices with new practices and technologies to reduce phosphorus and sediment runoff to lakes, rivers and streams; and with innovative approaches to engaging and supporting farmers throughout the watershed. Roofed feedlots, zero tillage, harvestable buffers, in-stream legacy sediment removal, and a regional community manure processing and storage site will all play a role in this collaborative effort to clean up the lakes and meet water quality standards.

Partners are providing cash and in-kind matches to the $1.6 million from NRCS. Katt-Reinders explains that the project allows partners to play to their strengths and leverage each other’s resources “to accomplish more together than any of us could accomplish by working alone. We’re all in this together to make sure that Dane County farms remain economically strong while operating in a way that helps clean up the lakes and reach our water quality goals.”

The grant process was highly competitive, with 600 proposals submitted nationally, and only 100 awarded across the U.S. The diversity of the public-private partnerships in the Dane County grant, as well as the established relationships and past successes among partners were integral to the proposal’s success.

 

Lake-O-Gram: $1.6 Million for the Lakes

Volume V, Issue 1

Spotted: an intrepid biker on Lake Mendota

Spotted on Lake Mendota: an intrepid biker

Happy New Year to the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) community! The year is off to a good start— we’re busy meeting with our partners to plan for phosphorus reduction projects in 2015.

To support our work in the new year, please become a 2015 Friend of Clean Lakes. Better yet, join the 63Club where Friends of Clean Lakes commit to a monthly recurring donation to support our efforts towards cleaner lakes. Your monthly support makes a big difference for our clean lakes efforts.

To show our appreciation, Friends of Clean Lakes receive free admission to all Yahara Lakes 101 events (a $110 value) and a Friends of Clean Lakes yard sign upon request. Thank you in advance for your contribution to healthy lakes and healthy communities – we continue to grow thanks to your support!

In Partnership,

The CLA Team

_____

Contents

Projects & Phosphorus ReductionRural Initiatives – Urban Initiatives

_____

Watershed partners bring in $1.6 million federal grant

 

NRCS grant press conference

CLA policy director Elizabeth Katt-Reinders speaks about CLA’s role in the project at the County Executive’s press conference to announce the $1.6 million grant award.

This week, the US Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) awarded $1.6 million to the Dane County Land & Water Resources Department through a new Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). CLA is a partner on the project, along with Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, Sand County Foundation, UW-Madison, and Yahara WINs. CLA policy director Elizabeth Katt-Reinders and Rural Program Manager Rachel Fossum worked with Dane County and partners to craft and write the successful proposal, which aims to build capacity for a watershed-wide approach to reducing phosphorus and reaching water quality goals.

Highlights of the proposal include the pairing of traditional agricultural conservation practices with new practices and technologies to reduce phosphorus and sediment runoff to lakes, rivers and streams; and with innovative approaches to engaging and supporting farmers throughout the watershed. Roofed feedlots, zero tillage, harvestable buffers, in-stream legacy sediment removal, and a regional community manure processing and storage site will all play a role in this collaborative effort to clean up the lakes and meet water quality standards.

Partners are providing cash and in-kind matches to the $1.6 million from NRCS. Katt-Reinders explains that the project allows partners to play to their strengths and leverage each other’s resources “to accomplish more together than any of us could accomplish by working alone. We’re all in this together to make sure that Dane County farms remain economically strong while operating in a way that helps clean up the lakes and reach our water quality goals.”

The grant process was highly competitive, with 600 proposals submitted nationally, and only 100 awarded across the U.S. The diversity of the public-private partnerships in the Dane County grant, as well as the established relationships and past successes among partners were integral to the proposal’s success.

_____

Community Events

Frozen Assets Festival at The Edgewater

FA-BANNER

Mark your calendar for Saturday, February 7th and join us on the frozen shores of Lake Mendota for our new FREE, family-friendly festival. There will be something for everyone!

On the Plaza

  • Free ice skating (courtesy of The Edgewater)
  • A “Frozen in Time” Figure Skating exhibition (courtesy of the Figure Skating Club of Madison)
  • A snowman decoration contest (courtesy of our Snowmen sponsors)
  • Photos with Princess Elsa (courtesy of Sugar and Spice Princess Parties)
  • Handcrafted s’mores and locally-prepared hot chocolate

On the Lake

  • A hockey slap-shot contest (courtesy of the Madison Capitols)
  • Curling demonstrations (courtesy of the Madison Curling Club)
  • Ice fishing demonstrations (courtesy of Blue Ribbon Outdoors and Fishidy)
  • Sleigh rides (courtesy of Blue Ribbon Outdoors)
  • Snowshoeing (courtesy of Rutabaga Paddlesports)
  • Shuffleboard, sledding, and broomball (courtesy of KEVA Sports Center)

Check out our event site for more activities and to explore the festival.

Last but not least, register ahead to participate in the first-ever Igloo Walk on Lake Mendota, complete with complimentary hot chocolate, s’mores and snowshoe rentals. The walk is designed to be fun and casual, and will be ongoing from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Renowned freshwater scientist and lake-ice expert John Magnuson will be on hand for fun lake science demonstrations. We can’t wait!

Want to get in on the behind-the-scenes fun? Sign up to volunteer at the festival – your support helps to make the festival free to all!

The Fundraiser portion of Frozen Assets is SOLD OUT. Tickets will be mailed to all guests on Monday, January 23rd.

A Special Thank You

Once again, our beyond-generous sponsors have helped us completely underwrite the costs of Frozen Assets. The Edgewater, as a platinum sponsor and event host, provided use of spaces for the festival and fundraiser completely FREE of charge. Our presenting sponsor, Lands’ End, graciously donated quality winter gear and attire for all volunteers and staff. That’s no small feat, as we expect 50-some volunteers! The annual Frozen Assets style guide for the evening fundraiser event was again completely donated, including design, photography, videography, and production provided by our partners. View the guide to see a full list – they deserve cred!

And as usual, our production partners, including Dynamic Events, Studio 88, Majic Productions, Canopies Events, and VAALID, went above and beyond to discount and donate services. Take a look at our full group of sponsors and partners on the Frozen Assets website – you’ll find them at the bottom of every page. They’re local, and they’re worth it!

Thanks to the dedication and passion of these organizations, we are on track to celebrate our lakes in style AND net $100,000.00 for our lakes. Thank you!

_____

Mendota Freeze

On Friday, January 2nd, the Wisconsin State Climatology Office officially declared Lake Mendota frozen! Congratulations to the winners of our annual Mendota Freeze Contest: Laura Graham of Madison correctly guessed the freeze date at 6 p.m. on December 1st, and won the grand prize of a $1,000 gift card to Lands’ End. The contest runner-up was Peppin Karras, who correctly guessed at 8 p.m. the same day and won four tickets to Walt Disney World, courtesy of Spectrum Brands. In total, 15 people guessed the correct date, and the top 11 won various prizes from our sponsors – thanks to everyone who participated!

_____

Yahara Lakes 101

yahara-lakes-101_bob-uphoff_web

On January 8, Bob Uphoff spoke to our Yahara Lakes 101 audience on Clean Lakes Alliance’s agricultural affiliate, Yahara Pride Farms (YPF). Uphoff is the vice chair of YPF, owner and operator of Uphoff Ham & Bacon Farm, and a very engaging speaker. Conversation with Uphoff, CLA staff, and 101 attendees continued long after the presentation concluded.

In his talk, Uphoff explained how YPF is so different from the many other groups and boards he had participated in previously. He also talked about the YPF cost-share and certification programs. Uphoff shared that “as a farmer, what impressed me was that [Clean Lakes Alliance was] trying to understand that we do run businesses,” and to keep the bottom line in mind when making the case for conservation practices.
Follow Clean Lakes Alliance on livestream to watch Uphoff’s presentation, and to view future presentations live. Videos are available through livestream for a month after the talk, and on our website and our youtube channel afterwards.

Upcoming speakers

  • Thurs., February 12, 2015: Marty Melchoir of Inter-Fluve on the streams-lakes connection & sediment loading
  • Thurs., March 12, 2015: Dr. Ankur Desai of UW-Madison AOS on climate change & the Yahara lakes
  • Thurs., April 9, 2015: Dr. Dick Lathrop on restoring shallow lakes by reducing carp densities

_____

Projects & Phosphorus Reduction

Rural initiatives

Cover Crops in snow

Spotted: cover crops peeking through the snow in Waunakee! These will help keep soil in place when the snow melts this spring.

While the ground is still frozen rock-solid, our agricultural affiliate Yahara Pride Farms is already preparing for spring. Read below to learn more about how we’re working on rural phosphorus-reduction through our Yahara Pride Farmers.

Save the date! Yahara Pride Farms Watershed-wide Conference

Thursday, March 5th, 2015 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Please join us for this year’s conference, which will focus on “Nutrient Management and Precision Ag.” This topic is at the forefront of ag innovation in our region and around the world, and we’re pleased to be hosting local industry leaders and speakers from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin-Extension to share their expertise.

We expect 100-150 attendees, including farmers, agribusinesses, agency employees, and other watershed stakeholders. Sponsorship opportunities are still available here.

The conference will take place at the Comfort Inn & Suites in DeForest, Wisconsin. If the topic pertains to your work in the watershed, please register to attend free of charge. Lunch is included.

2014 YPF Cost-share & Certification

Since 2012, Yahara Pride Farms has been cost-sharing conservation practices on local farm acreage, thanks to generous funding for the program from Yahara WINs. The program helps farmers to try out or expand practices like cover cropping, vertical manure injection, and strip tillage. In 2014, we exceeded our goal to grow the program: for our fall cost-share sign-up, farmers indicated plans to implement between 5,000-8,000 acres of conservation practices (compared to 3,000 in 2013). We will continue to finalize this number as Yahara Pride farmers report back the total acres that they were able to implement. Every acre counts, because these practices all keep soil on the fields and excess nutrients out of our lakes and waterways.

_____

Urban initiatives

We are in the process of meeting with partners and gearing up for our 2015 urban phosphorus-reduction efforts. 2014 was a successful year of engaging urban residents and getting more people involved in clean lakes efforts – read on here for a summary of last year’s Renew the Blue efforts.

Greater Madison Yard Care Survey – Results

Over 1,600 community members took our online yard care survey, and we have now aggregated the results into a brief report. The Yard Care Survey Report provides a baseline for how urban residents living in our watershed manage their stormwater and fall leaves, and it helps us evaluate the decision-making factors that influence these actions. The report also has confirmed that most urban residents are eager to find more information about sustainable yard topics like healthy lawns, rain gardens, leaf composting, and rainwater collection, and how yard care can affect our lakes. Thank you for helping to guide our urban outreach work!

 _____

Thank you to our Funders

In the last two weeks, we have received new grant awards from the following organizations:

  • Patagonia
  • Professional Dairy Producers Foundation
  • Dairy Business Association and Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative
  • Milk Source

These awards will go towards our work in the agricultural community through Yahara Pride Farms. Thank you!

_____

Lake Calendar

 

Yahara Watershed cleanup project gets $1.6 million federal grant

The Wisconsin State Journal published an excellent article on the recent 1.6 million dollar federal grant awarded to the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department through the USDA NRCS Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).

CCLA is a partner on the project, along with Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District, Sand County Foundation, UW-Madison, and Yahara WINs. CLA policy director Elizabeth Katt-Reinders and Rural Program Manager Rachel Fossum worked with Dane County and partners to craft and write the successful proposal.

The project aims to build capacity for a watershed-wide approach to reducing phosphorus and reaching water quality goals. See our press release for more information about the grant and our involvement.

Wisconsin State Journal (1/15/15) - “Yahara Watershed cleanup project gets $1.6 million federal grant”

Excerpt:

“A new federal conservation program boosted efforts to clean Dane County’s lakes Wednesday with a grant of $1.6 million for projects that will reduce phosphorous and sediment loads from neighboring farms and streams.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said the grant money will help fuel a ‘historic opportunity’ to clean up the Yahara Watershed, which encompasses land where all the water on or under it drains into the area’s chain of lakes.”

Video: Dane County receives $1.6 million grant

Watch the coverage by Gordon Severson of Channel 27 at the link below to view a video and article about the recent RCPP grant award of 1.6 million dollars to the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department. For more about the grant and our involvement in the project, view our press release.

Our very own Elizabeth Katt-Reinders, CLA Director of Policy and Communications, speaks with Severson in the video about the recent grant award.

Channel 27 (1/15/15) - “Dane County receives $1.6 million grant to help with ongoing clean lake effort”

Excerpts:

“Out of 600 applicants nationwide, a clean lake project in Dane County was among four projects in Wisconsin to receive federal funding from the USDA. The $1.6 million grant will go towards several ongoing initiatives to reduce the amount of phosphorus in the Yahara Chain of Lakes.”

“Together with countless community partners, the Clean Lakes Alliance and Dane County are working to prevent this runoff from getting into the water. The long list of clean water initiatives includes the creation of manure storage bins and buffer strips to protect the lakes.”

“Cleaning up the lakes and working to reach our water quality goals is something that everyone in the community can have a role in to reaching that solution [said Katt-Reinders]”

Renew the Blue: 2014 Highlights

2014 was a big year for our Renew the Blue efforts! Read below for an in-depth look at how we’ve been helping residents engage with the health of our lakes and learn about our watershed.

Engagement


Citizen Water Quality Monitoring

  • Launched in 2013 to perform weekly, near-shore monitoring around all five Yahara lakes.
  • Over two seasons, the program has grown from 9 to 44 monitors (46 sampling stations).
  • Provides the public with more accurate and timely beach condition information, and assists UW-Madison researchers in modeling blue-green algal blooms.
  • Nearly 1,000 individual sampling events were conducted in 2014 alone, involving over 420 volunteer hours, 150 phosphorus samples, and 67 E. coli bacteria tests.
  • In-kind donations were received from Thermo Fisher Scientific (sampling equipment) and Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (discounted phosphorus analysis).
  • Additional partners include Public Health Madison & Dane County and UW-Madison.
  • Invited to present and accept an educational/technical merit award at the North American Lake Management Society International Symposium in Tampa, FL. Also invited to present at the 2015 Wisconsin Lakes Convention in Stevens Point.
  • Next year, city of Madison lifeguards will begin collecting daily beach-monitoring data, and more volunteers will be recruited to perform near-shore sampling.
  • $5,000 in funding was awarded through a Wisconsin Citizen Based Monitoring Partnership Grant to further expand our volunteer base and site coverage in 2015.

Mobile-ready Website

  • A “Greater Madison Lakes & Beaches” mobile-ready website was developed and utilized by citizen lake monitors to report and share water quality data (ccw.cleanlakesalliance.com).
  • Offers a dynamic and interactive user interface for the purpose of reporting and communicating real-time water quality and beach-closure information.
  • Will soon allow the public to access and report on current beach conditions through a unique crowdsourcing function.
  • Partners include City of Madison, Dane County, Public Health Madison & Dane County, UW-Madison Center for Limnology, UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, U.S. Geological Survey, 100state and MIOsoft.

Business Volunteer Days

  • Launched in 2010, the program offers rewarding, meaningful and hands-on watershed-restoration and cleanup opportunities for area businesses and organizations.
  • Business groups engage in Yahara lakes trivia competitions, receive a primer in the lake-landscape connection, and participate in hands-on outdoor activities.
  • Eleven events were hosted in 2014, involving 8 businesses, 7 site partners, 274 volunteers, and 942 hours of donated time.
  • A single corporate outing cleared 50 dump truck loads of invasive shrubs from one of our most popular lakeside public parks.
  • 2014 partnering hosts: City of Madison Parks, Dane County Parks, City of Middleton Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission, UW-Madison Lakeshore Nature Preserve, UW- Madison Arboretum, Holy Wisdom Monastery, and the Friends of the Yahara River Parkway.
  • 2014 partnering businesses: CUNA Mutual Group, Lands’ End, Spectrum Brands, Alliant Energy Foundation, Filament Games, Thermo Fisher Scientific, American Family Insurance, and Thompson Investment Management.

Lake User Surveys & Economic Impact Study

  • Nearly 1,000 hours of face-to-face interviews were completed between Memorial Day and Labor Day to evaluate recreational use, water quality perceptions, and economic activity related to our five Yahara lakes.
  • Over two-dozen volunteers visited 52 access points, interviewed over 1,500 lake users, and invested 339 hours of donated time.
  • The first-of-its-kind effort of this scale and intensity is now contributing to a comprehensive, economic-evaluation assessment of our lakes.
  • A $10,000 grant from the Wisconsin Realtor’s Association was awarded to help fund the next phase of a comprehensive economic-impact study.

Schooling for Cleaner Lakes

  • A community-wide art project created in partnership with American Family Insurance DreamBank in spring 2014 to raise awareness about our lakes and watersheds.
  • 14 schools participated: Big Oak Child Care, Red Caboose, Bernie’s Place Preschool, Thoreau Elementary, Emerson Elementary, Northside Elementary, Blessed Sacrament School, Lowell Elementary School, Cherokee Middle School, Our Lady Queen of Peace School, Winnequah School, O’Keeffe Middle School, West High School and UW-Madison.
  • Over 875 life-sized fish cutouts were decorated and later transformed into giant fish mobiles displayed at CLA’s Save Our Lakes Community Breakfast at the Monona Terrace Convention Center.

Education


Yahara Lakes 101

  • Monthly speakers present on various lake-related topics at this café-style lecture series, covering thought-provoking topics such as climate change, agricultural innovations, stormwater runoff, lake-friendly lawn care, ecological trends, blue-green algae and wetland science.
  • Anywhere from 30 to 60 attendees attend each session, learning from and interacting with renowned experts.

Lake Explorers Camp

  • Over 180 students from the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County participated in a hands-on, summer camp experience on the shores of Lake Wingra.
  • The camp culminated in a graduation field day at Wingra Boats, consisting of various outdoor-education stations on topics such as fish and macroinvertebrate identification, paddling instruction, and other water-based activities.

 

Watershed Academy

  • In partnership with Aldo Leopold Nature Center, Sustain Dane, Edgewood College, and UW-Madison, plans are underway to launch a Yahara Watershed Academy in 2015-16.
  • The Academy will offer a unique educational experience designed to train and empower a new generation of active community leaders to serve as local champions of our lakes.
  • The first recruitment class will be announced at CLA’s 2015 Save Our Lakes Community Breakfast.

 

Lake-Friendly Yard Care

  • Over 1,600 individuals throughout the Yahara River Watershed took part in an online “baseline conditions” survey related to managing fall leaves and stormwater.
  • A Healthy Lakes Yard Tour demonstrating lake-friendly practices was hosted in partnership with the city of Madison, RainReserve, Earth Partnership for Schools, Weed Man Lawn Care, Friends of Lake Wingra, Natural Resources Foundation, Wisconsin Environmental Initiative, Steep & Brew Coffee, and Boy Scout Troop 16.

 

Lake-O-Grams

  • Monthly e-newsletter digests are distributed to over 6,000 subscribers.
  • Updates are provided on events, lake cleanup projects, and other lake-related news in the community, with links to full stories on the CLA website.

 

Community Events

  • Several festivals, fundraisers and educational events hosted by the CLA include: Frozen Assets, Save Our Lakes Summit, Clean Lakes Festival, Loop the Lake, World Water Week, Yahara Pride Farm Tours, Ag Innovation Days, Healthy Lakes Yard Tour, Crazy-4-Lakes Run, Fore! Lakes Golf Outing, Summer Starts Now!, and Mendota Freeze Contest.
  • Lake education booths are made available at other community events throughout the year to raise awareness and recruit new volunteers to the cause.

Yahara Lakes 101 with Bob Uphoff on Yahara Pride Farms

Bob UphoffBob Uphoff and his family own and operate Uphoff Ham and Bacon Farm. They produce approximately 3,000 hogs a year from farrow to finish, as well as grain. They work with a packer in Iowa, so that they can sell the finished products on their own to customers in Wisconsin and all around the world. Their farm is located in southern part of the watershed.

Uphoff has served on the Yahara Pride Farms Board of Directors since its creation in 2011, and his time and expertise has been instrumental to the organization’s success. Uphoff has received recognition for his land stewardship, business leadership, and involvement with Yahara Pride Farms. The McFarland Thistle recently profiled the Uphoffs in an article titled “Uphoff family raises respect for land.”

Abstract:

For his Yahara Lakes 101 presentation, Uphoff will present the “nuts and bolts” of Yahara Pride Farms: its formation, how it operates, its successes and challenges, its major programs, and its goals for the future.

Yahara Pride Farms (YPF), the farmer-led affiliate of the Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA), is at the forefront of a local movement to protect soil and water quality and preserve farm heritage. YPF believes that farming operations should be both lake-friendly and business-smart. YPF farmers are regional leaders: they use innovative conservation practices and technologies to manage phosphorus and other nutrients on their farms, and support CLA’s goal to reduce phosphorus inputs into the Yahara lakes by 50% by 2025.

The YPF model has drawn attention statewide and beyond for its strong agricultural program and diverse partnerships. The close partnership between Clean Lakes Alliance and YPF has proven to be invaluable to the growth of both organizations, and to local phosphorus-reduction efforts.

Press release: Lake Mendota officially frozen!

Lake Mendota declared frozen on Friday, Jan. 2, 2015

Madison, Wis. — On Friday, January 2, 2015 the Wisconsin State Climatology Office officially declared Lake Mendota frozen, prompting the announcement of the winners from the Clean Lakes Alliance’s (CLA) annual Mendota Freeze Contest. Contestants submitted their predictions for the freeze date of Lake Mendota as early as Dec. 1, with hopes of being among the first ten people to predict the correct date and win a prize.

This year’s grand prize winner, Laura Graham of Madison, Wisconsin, correctly predicted the freeze date at 6 p.m. on Dec. 1 and is the lucky recipient of a $1,000 gift certificate courtesy of Lands’ End. The runner up, Peppin Karras, also of Madison, Wisconsin, correctly guessed at 8 p.m. on Dec. 1 and will receive four tickets to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, donated by Spectrum Brands.

The contest generates public interest in the Yahara lakes and promotes CLA’s mission to protect and improve water quality throughout the Yahara watershed. To learn more about the contest, visit www.mendotafreeze.com.

Individuals can also celebrate our frozen lakes by attending CLA’s Frozen Assets celebration at The Edgewater on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015.

The first-annual Frozen Assets Festival will provide opportunities for anyone to participate in winter lake recreation. Community members are invited to try free ice-skating, snowman decoration, lake hockey and curling, and warm up with handcrafted s’mores and local hot chocolate. Activities will be ongoing on the plaza from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., thanks to the support of KEVA Sports.

The annual evening fundraiser, Frozen Assets :: Chill Out, will take place from 8 p.m. to midnight. The event, known for its creative themes, unique décor, and the fashion of attendees, highlights the status of our lakes as our community’s number one asset. The winter wonderland will feature beverages by Death’s Door Spirits and Ale Asylum, live entertainment and dancing, appetizers, deserts, and other surprises.

For event details, ticket pricing, and to register for the Festival’s inaugural Igloo Walk on Lake Mendota, please visit www.cleanlakesalliance.com/frozenassets.

 

###

 

Clean Lakes Alliance (CLA) is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization dedicated to the improvement and protection of the lakes, streams and wetlands in the Yahara Watershed.