About us

Friends of Starkweather Creek (FSC) was started in February 2002 by a group of concerned citizens who wanted to promote the rejuvenation of Starkweather Creek. Over the years, FSC has organized creek clean-ups and celebrations to raise awareness and pride in the creek. We also actively advocate for responsible development in the watershed and for commitments from city government to improve the creek.

Board of Directors

Deborah Crabtree
Dea Larsen Converse (Co-Chair)
Sean Gere (Secretary)
Lance Green (Co-Chair)
Doug Johnson (Treasurer)
Carl Landsness
Paul Noeldner
David Pulkowski
Theresa Vander Woude
Dane Wudel

Meet the board members:

Deborah Crabtree

Deborah when she is not busy at the Goodman Community center; she is out and about doing many FSC things! She has been helping out with the Watershed Wanderers for the last two years, and has gotten in to a lot of mischief with other boards members, ask her about it!


Dea and her husband on the creek after a cleanup event

Dea Larsen Converse

Dea Larsen Converse has over 20 years of experience in the field of environmental protection. She worked at the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C. and as the Director of the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program. Through her business, DLC Consulting, Dea has worked as an editor for the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and as a science writer for the Clean Lakes Alliance. She lives with her kids, crazy dog, and husband in a beautiful old house near the shores of Lake Monona.

Sean Gere

SeaSean out identifying some plantsn out on a tree climb with Gere Tree Care, during a summer program FSC partnered up with the Goodman Community Center on.



Lance Green

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Lance enjoying a paddle on the creek.

Lance has been lovin life here on Madison’s East side, walking, biking and paddling along the creek for over 30 years. He’s taught math and science in high schools and college, ran a pilot recycling pick-up program for Madison, given 150 talks on recycling to all ages as “Mr Green Genes,” worked two years at a nuclear weapons plant to eventually shut it down and for 20 years administered a Wisconsin DNR program to reduce releases of ozone-depleting gases. A lifelong peace and environmental organizer and activist, Lance 
now serves on the Sustainable Madison Committee and Friends of Starkweather Creek Board.


Carl Landsness

Carl on the creek during a tour
Carl on a creek tour

Carl is a Madtown and Starkweather native son, prodigal son, placemaker, peacemaker, troublemaker, recovering analytic, reformed rescuer and reborn steward (making amends for massive mischief all over the watershed in his 50’s/60’s youth).
After 30 years away (seduced by the glitter, glamour and gold of west coast hi-tech yuppiedom), he returned in 02, celebrating half and grieving half the changes he saw (outside and inside).
Paddling up the creek (with a paddle) for the first time in 04 (with FSC founders Doug Johnson and John Steines) did more to help Carl heal from deep dark depression (his reason for returning to Madison) than any pill or professional ever did (for many years).
He now sees nature (especially Starkweather) as a key vehicle for helping heal people and place in win/win ways… especially down and dirty clean-ups and childlike play: i.e. weaving the patience, wisdom and humility of the wounded elder with the wonder, awe and glee of the innocent child… the perfect antidote for  Nature Deficit Disorder Nature Deficit Disorder




Paul Noeldner

Paul has been involved with the Friends group for about the last two years, helping out with canoe tours, and the Nature walks that we do on the 3rd Saturday of every month.

David Pulkowski

Dave's out on the mountainsDave helps out with a little bit of everything. He is always searching out people who are passionate who enjoy sharing their skill with other people, especially kids; since he is one of the instigators for the Watershed Wanderers that has occurred for the last two years. If he is not, out running all over the eastside of Madison, or bike commuting through the streets, you can catch him outside rockclimbing out at Devils Lake or somewhere in the mountains.


Theresa Vander Woude

Theresa first paddled Starkweather Creek in fall of 2016 (on a Bird & Nature Outing) and was inspired to get more involved. She contributes to the Friends’ marketing and fundraising efforts. Theresa’s day job is in non-profit communications at Clean Lakes Alliance.

Dane Wudel

Dane is in his 2nd year with helping out with the Friends group!

Water Advocacy