Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

27th Annual Take a Stake Continues with More Fun, More Opportunities

June 13, 2014
Sue Jones, 608-224-3764,; Rhea Stangel-Maier, 608-224-3601,
Land & Water Resources


(Madison, WI) So far in 2014, Take a Stake in Our Waters has seen divers clean up lake bottoms, other volunteers clean up shorelines, and others use their artistic talents to draw attention to the importance of clean water in our community. Take a Stake continues to offer events that help people celebrate, learn about, protect, and improve Dane County’s lakes and streams. Groups, clubs, businesses, individuals and families adopt beaches, shorelines, streams and more to collect litter and rake aquatic debris. Some adopt boat launches while others paddle their canoes or kayaks to pick up trash. Others mark storm drains with messages reminding folks to keep trash, leaves and grass clippings out of the street gutters, which drain directly to our lakes and streams. Thousands of volunteers have removed hundreds of tons of waste all over Dane County over the past quarter century. 


“Take a Stake offers everyone an opportunity to join in the unprecedented ongoing community effort to clean up our lakes and waterways,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Yesterday morning I joined 120 Lands’ End volunteers in a partnership with the Clean Lakes Alliance to clear invasive species from the Lake Waubesa shoreline at Lake Farm County Park. Dane County has promoted more than 170 events so far in 2014 at, so there are lots of ways for everyone to participate.”


Created by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, the annual Take a Stake in Our Waters event has grown from two days of shoreline clean-ups, to a two-week series of countywide special events, and now, to year-round action events that help people celebrate, learn about, protect, and improve Dane County’s lakes and streams.


Last year, 1,563 volunteers and 73 groups participated in Take a Stake projects throughout the year. These volunteers collected 14 tons of trash and debris from the lakes, and 281 volunteers stenciled 378 drains with the message “Dump No Waste – Drains to Lake (or stream).”


Sue Jones, Dane County Office of Lakes and Watersheds Director, said “If you swim, fish, paddle, water-ski, or just enjoy a picnic by the water, you’ll appreciate all the work volunteers do all year long to help improve and protect Dane County’s lakes, streams and wetlands.”


Jones highlighted several upcoming Take a Stake in Our Waters events and volunteer sign-up posted on


6/14/2014 - Dane County Conservation League Yahara River Clean-up

Join the Dane County Conservation League, veteran Take a Stake volunteers, in its annual cleanup of the Yahara River banks from Lake Mendota to Lake Monona.

Time and Place: Volunteers should meet at 8:00am in the parking lot of the Yahara river locks.

Contact: Contact Ed Brost at


6/15/2014 - Parent/Child Paddle on Cherokee Marsh

Event for children age 6 and over.  Event features an opportunity for kids accompanied by their parents/grandparents to experience paddling in Voyageur canoes. Event length will be about 45 minutes. If 1pm paddle tour is full, an additional arrangement will be made for 2pm. Bring your own PFD if you have one.

Time and Place: Meet at the School Road/Wheeler boat landing.

Contact: Email by Saturday, June 14th to register for the Parent/Child paddle.


6/20/2014 - Hasler Lab 2014 Open House

Modern limnology (the study of lakes) was born right here at UW-Madison. Scientists from around the world conduct freshwater research on the shores of Lake Mendota on issues such as invasive species, fisheries, algae and more. Tour the science of freshwater research and how it's helping to understand, protect and improve Wisconsin's lakes, rivers and streams. Ride on the Limnos (first come, first served) and take a turn using lake research tools. "Meet" fish living just off the lakeshore path. Family fun with a kids' craft station.

Time and Place: 2-6pm, Hasler Lab, 680 N Park St, Madison; park in the Helen C White library ramp or the State Street Campus ramp.

Click here for more information. 

6/21/2014 - Sugar River Trail Clean Up

Capitol Water Trails and the Upper Sugar River Watershed Association are teaming up for a variety of duties, from pulling logs from the bottom of a stream to picking up trash along the shoreline. All these tasks involve ensuring clear access for paddlers and maintaining a clean, healthy environment for plants and wildlife. There are no skills required to attend a volunteer day however, we'd suggest that you wear clothes that you don't mind getting dirty. If you have a canoe, you're welcome to bring it. It may or may not be needed, depending on the number of volunteers present and what jobs we're trying to accomplish for the day. We'll be happy to provide trash bags, rubber gloves, cold water, and a rewarding experience.

Time and Place: 9am-1pm, Meet at Paoli Park, Hwy PD in Paoli, WI

Contact:, or click here and here for more information.  


To add your water-related event to the Take a Stake list, send details to or complete the form at in the volunteer section. Be sure to indicate whether you are recruiting volunteers for your project or event. As in the past, Dane County staff will support your event, if requested, with tools, garbage bags, volunteer t-shirts, and promotion.