Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Land & Water Resources Department

26th Annual Take a Stake Continues with More Fun, More Opportunities

June 07, 2013
Sue Jones, 608-224-3764,; Rhea Stangel-Maier, 608-224-3601,
Land & Water Resources

(Madison, WI) Take a Stake in Our Waters (formerly Take a Stake in the Lakes) has seen divers clean up lake bottoms and other volunteers clean up shorelines. 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.  “Whether you’re a diver who can help us haul a wayward car engine out of Lake Mendota, or looking to spend a lunch hour clearing trash from the shoreline, there are lots of ways to participate.”


On Saturday, June 8, help the Friends of Indian Lake conduct a fish survey and learn about the planned restoration process. This is the first step in a two-year effort to restore the native fishery and vegetation in the lake. Starting at 9 a.m., get your feet wet (literally) catching and categorizing fish. Wear rubber boots or old shoes you don't mind getting wet and muddy. If you want to stay dry, you can help on shore. Afterwards, enjoy brats, hot dogs, veggie burgers and drinks with the Friends of Indian Lake. RSVP to John Strange


The annual Take a Stake in Our Waters shoreline trash and aquatic debris collection by Dane County Lakes Management barges begins on June 10 for Lakes Mendota and Kegonsa and on June 17 for Lakes Monona and Waubesa. Barges will make ONE pass around the lakes. Shoreline residents should have debris from their pier area on their pier by 6 am Monday so they don’t miss the collection. It may be a few days until they get to each pier. Pier pickup of aquatic debris is not an option for homeowners where barges cannot access piers. Only aquatic vegetation (lake weeds, algae), debris washed up on shore (trash, dead fish, etc.) will be picked up by barges. Yard waste or brush (grass clippings, leaves, tree limbs), household waste (garbage, pet waste, etc.) will NOT be collected. Call Rhea at (608) 224-3601 with questions. If you don't currently reside at your lakefront property, please make sure that those who live there are aware of this shoreline debris collection.


Sue Jones, Dane County Watershed Management Coordinator, highlighted her personal favorite event, Paddle to Work Day. “This event has gained notoriety in outdoor magazines,” Jones said. “Trade in traffic and frustration for a paddle and relaxation.” On Wednesday, June 12, Dane County residents will exchange rush hour traffic and road construction for paddles and fresh air during the 15th annual Paddle to Work Day. As a part of the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission's year-round Take A Stake in Our Waters celebration, Paddle to Work Day provides the community with a fun alternative to the morning commute; and a great opportunity to help raise awareness of the importance of preserving our waters. Those who are unable to participate on June 12th should paddle to work any day between June 8 and 15. Paddlers should use their own good judgment regarding the weather, and should avoid paddling in high winds or lightning. Paddlers are encouraged to share their paddle commute story by sending an email with any photos and a short description of your experiences to


A full listing of events and volunteer sign up for Take a Stake in Our Waters, sponsored by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission, are posted on


Information on other Take a Stake events will be posted as events are identified. To add your water-related event to the 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.