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Dane County Parks

Clean Lakes 101: A New Vision Through UW Student Design

Event Dates

  • 12/08/2021 8:00 am - 9:00 am

Event Description

Join us online on Wednesday, December 8th from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. to hear from two UW-Madison Civil and Environmental Engineering senior Capstone teams who will present their culminating designs for two lake-friendly improvement projects.


ABOUT THE TALK: Since 2016, Clean Lakes Alliance has worked in partnership with the UW-Madison Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department to support student capstone projects focused on designing more accessible and lake-friendly parks, beaches, and community spaces. Senior Capstone Design is a required course for all civil and environmental engineers at UW-Madison and serves as the culminating work of their undergraduate degrees. Clean Lakes Alliance, along with CG Schmidt, is proud to be a sponsoring partner of these student capstone projects. While Clean Lakes Alliance serves as a “client”, the students work diligently all semester to apply their acquired expertise to inspire the community through unique project designs that advocate for healthy lakes and beaches. With 48% of the shoreline owned by the public and 25 beaches in the Greater Madison area, this is an excellent avenue to elevate a variety of project opportunities for the students and the community. In this month's Clean Lakes 101, you'll be presented two unique projects in the Madison area: Plaenert Drive/Wingra Creek Revitalization and the John Nolen Drive Redesign.


  • Project 1: Plaenert Drive/Wingra Creek Revitalization - This project is located along Wingra Creek in southern Madison, Wisconsin. The creek is bounded to the north and south by W. Wingra Drive and Plaenert Drive, and Fish Hatchery Road and S. Park Street to the west and east. To highlight the importance of waterways within the heart of Greater Madison, the creation of an inclusive and inviting greenspace and park setting is the focus of this project. By providing an alternative route design for Plaenert Drive, this allows for development of a park setting on the south side of Wingra Creek. This project aims to improve and protect Madison’s water resources while involving the community in its development. Phosphorus reduction is at the forefront in enhancing water resources and continuing to establish Madison as a ‘green city’. Enhancing water quality, sustainably protecting the shoreline, improving access, and improving placemaking of the region is incorporated into every aspect of the project design. This region will provide a space for the community and environment to seamlessly interact by featuring many amenities including a viewing platform over Wingra Creek, pedestrian path, and non-motorized boat launch for creek access.
  • Project 2: John Nolen Drive Redesign - John Nolen Drive across Lake Monona serves as the primary gateway to downtown Madison. To reflect the significance of the causeway, our objectives are to improve recreation opportunities for users, manage runoff to minimize negative impacts of stormwater, address shoreline erosion from waves, and improve aesthetics and landscaping along the causeway. Our designs seek to improve water quality, increase sustainability and access, and to enhance placemaking. The improvements for the bike and pedestrian path will create a significant positive recreational impact on the community’s transportation network and remind users that Greater Madison values green infrastructure and the lakes. The bike and pedestrian path final design includes a 16 ft wide pedestrian boardwalk stretching the southern half of the existing bike and pedestrian pathway, use of recycled materials, and the inclusion of several surface level and underground stormwater management techniques. Alongside the boardwalk there is a two-lane bike path, two 225 sq ft outlook points along the boardwalk, and a 625 sq ft capital outlook point. In addition to the boardwalk, this alternative includes amenities such as bike racks, benches, emergency call boxes, signage, local art, coastline steps for increased erosion control and recreational use, and landscaping.

EVENT DETAILS: This event will be held online via Zoom. The online talk is free and open to the public. A link to access the talk LIVE will be sent to all registered attendees ahead of the event.

CLEAN LAKES 101 LECTURE SERIES: Clean Lakes 101 is a series of educational events open to the public and a great chance for residents to learn more about the science behind the issues that affect our lakes. Each month we feature a different expert to make the science accessible and interesting to non-technical audiences. The series is produced in partnership with the UW-Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and UW-Extension Lakes, with presenting sponsors First Weber Foundation and Johnson Financial Group, hosting sponsor The Edgewater, supporting sponsor National Guardian Life Insurance Company, and media sponsor WKOW.


Online via Zoom


Categories: Talk or Workshop