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

Take a Stake in the Lakes Days Continues with Thermo Fisher Volunteers on June 5

June 06, 2012
Sue Jones, Dane County Office of Lakes & Watersheds, Office: 608-224-3764, Mobile: 608-220-9672; Chris James, Dane County Parks, Office: 608-224-3763, Mobile: 608-235-2252
Land & Water Resources

(Madison, WI) The flagship of volunteerism continues on Tuesday, June 5 when employees of Thermo Fisher will roll up their sleeves and help launch the work on the Lower Yahara River Trail as a part of Take a Stake in the Lakes Days.

The concept of a bicycle pedestrian trail connecting the Village of McFarland to the Capital City Trail was identified in the 1996 Dane County Park and Open Space Plan. Since that time, the vision for this trail has grown into what is now being called the Lower Yahara River Trail, a proposed multi-use trail spanning nearly 10 miles from the Capital City Trail in Madison to the City of Stoughton.

Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission Chair Melissa Malott said, “The Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission is passionate about matching volunteers to projects that will help connect people to water and expand their knowledge and actions to improve water quality. The Lower Yahara River Trail will expose many more recreational users to beautiful Lake Waubesa.”

The most challenging portion of the Lower Yahara River Trail project implementation will be the segment from Lake Farm County Park to McDaniel Park in the Village of McFarland. The wooded area of McDaniel Park has become densely overgrown with non-native invasive species that have been a barrier to completing necessary environmental field review and survey work.

Thermo Fisher employees to the rescue! Over 80 employees will help to clear invasives while protecting rare swamp white oak species that will enable final design and engineering to be completed.

Don Peterson, McFarland Village Administrator, said, “Today’s volunteer work marks the unofficial start of the eagerly anticipated trail project which will provide greatly improved access to users of the regional network of trails, bicycle commuters to Madison and users of the Village’s internal trail system. The Village appreciates the leadership role that Dane County Parks has taken in conceiving, planning and securing funding for this innovative project.”

The proposed first phase of this bicycle trail will include a combination of paved trail, boardwalk and a new 100-foot clear span bridge over the Yahara River adjacent to the existing railroad trestle.

“Take a Stake in the Lakes is such a success because of partners like Thermo Fisher,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “The event is a testament to the significant community partnerships that are coming together at just the right time to make a difference in the health of our lakes.”

Partnership is the word of the day, between the Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission, Dane County Parks, Clean Lakes Alliance, Village of McFarland and of course, Thermo Fisher. This project is a critical first step to realizing a vision for Dane County residents developed long ago.

2012 marks the 25th anniversary celebration of Take a Stake in the Lakes Days. The Dane County Lakes & Watershed Commission is partnering with the Clean Lakes Alliance and large regional employers to make the event bigger and better than ever.

Over time, thousands of volunteers have cleaned up innumerable tons of garbage from Dane County’s waterways, shorelines and more. Other Take a Stake in the Lakes Days events include:

June 9            Many groups clean up Mendota and Kegonsa

June 14            Paddle to Work Day

June 16            Many groups clean up Monona, Waubesa and Wingra

June 16            Dane County Waters Champion Ceremony, Anniversary Party and Volunteer Celebration at Jazz in the Park

A complete listing of all events during 2012 Take a Stake in the Lakes Days 25th Anniversary is available at

At Jazz in the Park ( ) at Wingra Park on Saturday June 16, The 25-year anniversary celebration will continue at Jazz in the Park from 2-5 p.m. Volunteers should wear their favorite Take a Stake in the Lakes t-shirt from the past 25 years to gain entry to the Clean Lakes Alliance tent. From 3 - 4 p.m. on the main stage, current and past Take a Stake in the Lakes clean-up volunteers, Lakes and Watershed Commission members, Take a Stake in the Lakes coordinators, and Commission staff will be recognized for taking a stake in the lakes over the past quarter century.

To volunteer, contact Rhea Stangel-Maier, Dane County Parks Volunteer coordinator, at 608-224-3601 or

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