Wingra Watershed--key areas

The Board of the Friends of Lake Wingra decided to assemble a list of key or priority areas within the watershed.  The purpose is to focus attention on these areas for improvements in management, or for volunteer work.  They also need to keep abreast of news, and of City or neighborhood plans for these areas.

Below is the beginning of a list.  Feel free to add new items to it, or adjust the details.

Major street reconstructions
Plans for Monroe Street reconstruction, scheduled for 2014, are a key chance to introduce green infrastructure to whole City.  Would it be possible to redirect some runoff into gardens on Edgewood property, which is below the street grade?  Commonwealth Street is a future opportunity.

The Arboretum lands
Add any concerns you that you feel aren't being addressed by the Arboretum.
Erosion and invasives. Potential area for rain gardens at edge of golf course.  Link to photos.

Glenway Golf Forest
Erosion and invasives.  Potential area for rain gardens at edge of golf course.  Photos.

The Southwest Bikeway
Invasives, (and potential erosion in area where knotweed is being eradicated). Link to article.
The swales on either side of the bikeway represent a significant opportunity for rain gardens.  Swales already infiltrate to some degree, but proper plantings and check dams in swales west of Midvale Blvd could increase infiltration, and slow floodwaters that cause streambank erosion in Nakoma Park. Photos.

In the prairie along the bikeway at Glenway and Glen streets, there's a swale where a chain of rain gardens could be built.  This would help to moderate erosion downstream in Glenwood Children's Park.  Photos.

The Arbor Hills greenway
Potential area for large-scale infiltration into sand deposits   Photos.

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The Westmorland Greenway and Westmorland Park
The greenways above and below the park are neglected areas, full of invasives and yard waste, with relatively few native plants.  The large rain garden in the park needs maintenance, and there may be a good location for an additional rain garden.  Rain gardens in the park. Greenway above the park. The greenway immediately below Westmorland Park is called Tillotson Park.

Large Parking lots outside commercial areas
Churches, schools, & golf courses.

Three commercial areas
Westgate, the South Beltline at Midvale, and the South Beltline at Fish Hatchery Rd, are all sources of excessive salt and runoff.  (Only the first area is in both the groundwatershed and the surface watershed.)   Salt reduction program and training for private spreaders. Can runoff be diverted to sanitary sewer during spring flush?  Photos.

Odana Pond and woods
Algae blooms, invasives?  Habitat restoration for animals?  Incoming flume is crumbling.  Rain garden locations??  Photos.

Golf courses are ideal locations for large rain gardens
Ponds are often considered to enhance a golf course.  Two of the golf courses in the watershed are owned by the City.  There are many areas along the edges of golf courses that are downhill from streets, which could accept runoff.
Odana Golf:   A large pond was built within the last two years, but I don't think it accepts runoff from Odana Rd. Photos.
Glenway Golf: Rain gardens are needed just inside the woods, to moderate erosion in the woods. Photos. The grassy swales running from Glenway to the woods should be sculpted to retain some water after a rain.
Nakoma Golf:  Limited potential, since it's a discharge area for groundwater??
George Vitense golflands: Rain garden areas along Schroeder Rd. exist.

MG&E infiltration field at Odana Golf
Monitor compliance with permits.  Work to mitigate its shortcomingsby getting MG&E to bankroll salt reduction and rain garden programs nearby.  Photos.

Glenwood Children's Park
Reduce erosion.  Create check dams/rain gardens in the swale upstream of the park.  Work to improve park with native plantings.  Photos.

Nakoma Park
Bank erosion along Cherokee Creek below Thoreau School.  Photos of flood.  Floodwaters here could be reduced by building check dams and rain gardens in the swales along the SW Bikeway.

Vilas Park 

  • Lagoon shoreline: Maintain native plantings and pull weeds.  Geese issues.  Link to photos.
  • Lake Wingra shoreline: Encourage design improvements, especially reduction in parking and traffic.  Link to photos.
Schools and University
These involve large buildings and parking areas, with substantial runoff.  But these locations are especially important as places to introduce children to good watershed management.  Some of these schools are setting a poor example.  The schools in italics are just outside the watershed.

  • Dudgeon private
  • Thoreau ES
  • Midvale ES
  • Queen of Peace: Kids play on asphalt. Extensive parking area. Erosion. No rain gardens.
  • Blessed Sacrament School
  • Also Leopold ES
  • Chorokee Heights MS
  • Van Hise ES & Hamilton MS
  • Wright Middle School: Newly constructed terrace swales could become rain gardens. 
  • Edgewood College: Has many rain gardens. Invasives. Extensive parking. No erosion. Low areas below Monroe St. could accept runoff from Monroe St.
  • St. Maria Goretti School
  • Orchard Ridge MS
  • Randall School: Kids play on asphalt. Erosion. One rain garden. Extensive parking.
  • Stephens ES
  • Lincoln ES
  • Falk ES
South Beltline
Work with county to reduce salt, or send salty runoff to sanitary sewer in Spring.

Schroeder Rd. depressions
There's a deep, wooded depression just E of the Wildlife Health Lab and N of Schroeder Rd. It may house a vernal pool. An ideal groundwater recharge area.  Photos. Can the area feeding runoff to this and similar nearby depressions be expanded?

Shroeder Rd. Prairies
There are two prairies that are important recharge areas: TheRayovac prairie, and one at the Wildlife Health Lab. We should seek permanent protection for the Rayovac land. (Rayovac is in the groundwatershed only.)

Sunset Village park (not in watershed, but IS in groundwatershed)
Potential for a constructed wetland (large rain garden) where the creek flows through the park.  Retain and infiltrate floodwaters.  Photos.

Hoyt Park neighborhoods visioning process
Some of this is on the boundary of the groundwatershed.  Street reconstructions are planned.  The lack of curbs creates creative opportunities for rain gardens.  Photos.

Wingra Creek
Maintain wetland vegetation on artificial benches; remove weeds from shoreline plantings, litter removal.

Alleys parallel to Monroe St
Some of these are unpaved and sloping, so they produce much sediment during a heavy rain.  Photos.

Medians of boulevards
Midvale Blvd, Segoe Rd, Whitney Way, South Beltline, and Grandview Blvd.  These are areas where runoff from streets could be infiltrated.  The northern portion of Midvale Blvd already has swales built in, but no inlets for water from the street.