Stewardship update – Lance Green

As spring unfolds amidst our own health concerns, we’re excited to tell you about some efforts to help our creek’s health.

Across the state, the threat of increasing chloride concentrations in surface and ground waters is growing. Under a DNR grant, the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission is conducting a Chloride Management Plan for the creek’s watershed. This pilot study will quantify chloride entering and leaving the watershed and develop practices to reduce chloride loads in addition to current WI Salt Wise Partnership efforts. Partners in the study include Madison City Engineering, Public Health and Sewage District, area businesses and our Friends group. Contact Board member Lance Green for more information.

Board member Jeff Steele is working with City Engineering to restore native plants in an area near Commercial Avenue. The City will help prepare the area and supply hundreds of plant plugs for volunteers to plant and maintain. Watch for our announcement for when you can come and help!

As you’ve heard, Starkweather’s West Branch is seriously contaminated with PFAS chemicals that are continually leaching from Truax field. These hazardous chemicals were sprayed on grounds near the Creek during many years of testing fire-fighting foams containing PFAS. The DNR is working with the airport, City, County and Air National Guard to characterize the locations and amounts of contamination and develop plans to reduce and hopefully eliminate this contamination. We are closely monitoring these efforts and hope to report on progress soon.

Although we aren’t holding our annual Earth Day spring clean-up, we encourage you to bring a trash bag as you paddle and explore areas along the creek. We can all take pride in our watershed as we clean up in celebration of the 50th Earth Day!

– Lance Green, Friends of Starkweather Creek board member and stewardship committee member