The City of Madison Engineering Division is leading a planning process to develop a watershed management plan for the 3,500 acre Lake Wingra watershed. Planning has been underway since February, 2013 with the guidance of a steering team composed of members of city staff, Friends of Lake Wingra (FoLW), UW-Madison Arboretum, University faculty, and other stakeholders.
Below begins an update and overview of the process to date. This blog will continue to cover this planning process with periodic updates, meeting minutes and interviews with the actors.
The Planning Process
Called the Lake Wingra Watershed Plan, the planning process is a response to the 2009 document Lake Wingra: A Vision for the Future, authored by The Friends of Lake Wingra in which four goals are outlined:
- Clean, clear water
- Restored spring flow
- Abundant native plants and animals
- Stewardship and enjoyment
The Lake Wingra Watershed Plan website gives a brief description of the planning process and plan objectives but does not outline ways in which the public can get involved in the process, other than contacting Genesis Steinhorst at the Engineering Division.
The web page includes links to meeting minutes but a click on the link “Steering Team 2/21/13, (presumably the Kickoff Meeting) did not lead to a meeting summary but rather to the Friends of Lake Wingra Vision for the Future plan mentioned above.
A review of attendance lists at the various steering team meetings so far shows that few, if any, members of the public have attended. Most members of the steering team and its interest groups (infiltration, phosphorous) are agency staff. See meeting summaries from the June 28th meeting or the July 11, 2013 meeting of the steering team to see which interests are represented, which are not, and which invitees have not attended. The meeting summaries are a rather detailed list of discussion topics, action items, and the person (s) responsible for taking action.
For example, Alder Sue Ellingson attends but she is only one the alders that represent the Lake Wingra Watershed. In addition, no one in attendance was officially listed as represented any of the neighborhoods in the Lake Wingra Watershed–for example, DMNA, Vilas, and the Westmorland Neighborhoods were not represented.
Next time: Links to various Lake Wingra Watershed visionary planning documents.