Wisconsin Bat Festival


Bring your best "battitude" to the Wisconsin Bat Festival!

This family event will be held
Saturday May 12, 9 am-5pm
Warner Park Community Recreation Center
in Madison.


The last "commons" in Madison

The commons was an idea, descended from English custom.  It was a common grazing ground near a village, where everyone could graze their cow.  Early Boston had one.

The Boston Commons today

As the environmental movement ramped up in the 1960s, Garrett Hardin wrote an influential article, The Tragedy of the Commons.  He described the process, at work in many places of public ownership, where lack of regulation leads to environmental abuse.


The nursery network

Improve your neighborhood, one scoop at a time.

While politicians dither, you can transform the world.

If you have a little extra space in your yard, plant some native plants.
Then, as they spread, make them available to neighbors for terrace or other improvement projects.

You can establish a native-plant nursery in the greenway or park behind your house--such as in this greenway just W of Westmorland Park.

Shade plants that are low-maintance, and spread
  • Ostrich fern-native tall
  • Celandine poppy-native medium height
  • Sweet woodruff-non-native very low
  • Foam flower-native low
  • Wild ginger-native very low
  • Snakeroot-native  tall
For good design, plant a group of three tall plants, surrounded by lower ones.

For example, ferns and sweet woodruff (white flower) make a dynamite combination!

Sun plants
  • Day Lily (there are some dwarf varieties for sidewalk edges)
  • Iris
Sun/shade list

An inexpensive way to obtain plants in spring is to search on Craigslist.  Put the search term "plants" into the box, under the "for sale, farm & garden" categories.   Sometimes there are free plant exchanges.  If you don't have a plant to exchange, you can contribute snacks instead.

Easy rain garden in one hour

You can make a big contribution to safety, lake quality, and neighborhood beauty in only one hour!

Runoff flowing down sidewalk and into the street

Sidewalks are an important link in the health of our lakes.  In many places, runoff from storms is channeled down sidewalks, and then into the street.  From there, the water washes nutrients and pollution down the stormsewer and into the lakes.

Instead, you can trap the rain and nutrients and use them to grow flowers!  By placing a garden next to the sidewalk, you don't have to water your garden.


"Know your watershed" lawn sign contest


Take a Stake in the Lake days are coming up in June.  The Friends of Lake Wingra are developing a sign to promote watershed awareness.  We need your ideas!

Why watershed awareness?  To solve problems of stormwater control and lake quality, it's helpful to think big, in terms of the whole watershed.  That's why Friends of Lake Wingra is working with the City to develop a management plan for the Lake Wingra watershed.  A sign will help promote the watershed perspective.

Walt Kelly, father of Pogo the Possum cartoons, designed a poster for the first Earth Day.  The Pogo cartoon above is more appropriate for watersheds--but we need something without an alligator!

Ideas for a better slogan?   Do some kids want to try some art or cartoons--on the theme above, or something else entirely?  If you have something to contribute, call David Thompson at 233-9589.

Pop quiz !

Which lake does the runoff from your driveway run to?
Can you describe the rough boundaries of the Lake Wingra watershed?

If you didn't get 100%, you may need a lawn sign!


Take a Stake in the Lakes--2012

The 25th Annual Take a Stake in the Lakes

A volunteer cleanup of local lakes and streams will be held on June 9th (Lakes Mendota and Kegonsa) and 16th (Lakes Monona, Waubesa and Wingra), although volunteers can join in the fun anytime June 1-17.

Take a Stake event during 2010


Meeting--Sustainable Living Network

Wednesday, April 18 at 6:30PM
at Sequoya Library

The Sustainable Network...

A community of citizens, friends and professionals making connections to learn how to live more sustainably and network with businesses, organizations and individuals who desire to make a greater impact on our community. This group is designed to have fun, share great ideas, and meet compassionate people interested in environmental initiatives, humanitarian efforts, and living a more sustainable lifestyle. A great opportunity to find green businesses, get involved, or just socialize. Make a difference and join today!
At this meeting, 2 EnAct teams will be formed. They will meet over the next few months to discuss the book EnAct: Steps to Greener Living.
Download the book here

Links for more info.
EnAct website
Sustainable Living Network on Meetup