June 2012 marks the 25th year of Take a Stake in the Lakes volunteer actions to protect and improve our lakes, rivers and streams. Created by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, the annual Take a Stake in the Lakes Days event has grown from two days of shoreline clean-ups to a two-week series of county-wide events for learning about and acting to protect and improve Dane County lakes and streams. Take a Stake in the Lakes has become the flagship of volunteerism and care for our treasured waterways. Thousands of volunteers have cleaned up innumerable tons of garbage from Dane County’s waterways, shorelines and more. This calls for celebration.
This year, the Clean Lakes Alliance is partnering with Dane County Lakes and Watersheds to expand the annual event and make it bigger and better than ever. The new partnership brings resources not otherwise available to expand the scope of work to improve water quality in Dane County. A wide variety of events offers everyone a chance to have fun and help our lakes:
Saturday, June 2:
Arboretum Wingra Oak Savanna Work Party - Help improve native habitat and help native plants thrive by removing invasive plant species in an oak savanna near the shore of Lake Wingra.
Madison Scuba’s Stake in the Lakes Underwater Clean Up Dive – Madison Scuba leads divers for an underwater clean up just off the Monona Terrace; non-divers can help with shoreline clean-up.
Saturday, June 09, 2012:
Paddle for the Polar Bears – Learn how to Stand Up Paddle with proceeds going to building the new, state-of-the-art Arctic Passage home for the Vilas Zoo Polar Bears. Participants can also help support the Henry Vilas Zoo by renting any boat from Wingra Boats.
Dane County Breakfast on the Farm – Learn how farmers participate in an experiment to improve water quality. Fun, family-friendly activities on the farm including: full breakfast, horse-drawn wagon rides, face painting, music, and water quality displays
Arboretum Core Area Work Party – Help improve native habitat and help native plants thrive by removing invasive plant species near Curtis Prairie, one of the oldest prairie restorations in the world. Learn how the Arboretum is managing stormwater for the Lake Wingra watershed.
25th Annual Take a Stake in the Lakes Clean-Up Event – Spring cleaning for the lakes, brought to you by community groups, businesses, citizens and the Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission. Clean shorelines, haul weeds, mark storm drains and more on Lakes Mendota and Kegonsa.
Token Creek Water Trail Volunteer Day – Work with Capitol Water Trails to remove downed tree limbs and manmade refuse from the Token Creek Water Trail.
Sunday, June 10, 2012:
Fools Flotilla to the Yahara Waterfront Festival – Adorn your canoes and yourselves to Float from the dam at Lake Mendota to Yahara Place Park on Yahara Place, the site of the Festival. Prizes awarded for the most foolish of fools among you. All welcome to participate in the Yahara River Canoe Race at 12 noon.
Thursday, June 14, 2012:
Paddle To Work Day – Trade rush hour traffic and road construction for paddles and fresh air, a fun alternative to the morning commute and a great opportunity to help raise awareness of the importance of preserving our waters.
Celebrate the Lakes with a Night at the “Duck Pond” – Join the Madison Sail & Power Squadron as we celebrate our lakes with a night at the “Duck Pond” as the Madison Mallards take on the Battle Creek Bombers.
Saturday, June 16, 2012:
Token Creek Water Trail Volunteer Day - Work with Capitol Water Trails to remove downed tree limbs and manmade refuse from the Token Creek water trail.
Friends of Monona Bay Monthly Shoreline Cleanup - Pick up trash along the shoreline and in the water of Monona Bay. Pull invasive plants like thistle, mustard weed and burdock.
Dane County Waters Champion Award Ceremony – Groups and individuals are officially recognized by the Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission at this annual event for the work they have done to protect and enhance Dane County’s water resources. Wingra Park at Jazz in the Park Day.
Saturday, June 23, 2012:
Capital Lakes DragonFest - A dragon boat festival features 40 foot-long boats – each filled with 20 people paddling in unison, a steersman, and a drummer. Three teams race each other along a Lake Wingra watery course, while bringing friends, family and community together for a common cause.
For a complete listing of all events during the 2012 Take a Stake in the Lakes Days 25th Anniversary, go to www.takeastakeinthelakes.com. To participate in Take a Stake in the Lakes as an individual, organization or volunteer group, contact Rhea Stangel-Maier, Dane County Parks Volunteer coordinator, at 608-224-3601 or email@example.com. To participate as a business or employer, contact James Tye of Clean Lakes Alliance, at 608-836-4001 or firstname.lastname@example.org.