All posts by Dea Larsen-Converse

Annual Meeting Announcement

Friends of Starkweather Creek Annual Meeting

Healing & Honoring our People & Place

  • History in the watershed: Missy Tracy, Ho-Chunk Nation
  • Friends of Starkweather mission, vision, values and report
  • New board elections – All are welcome to join our board
  • New input: What do YOU want or envision?

Goodman Community Center, Brassworks Building, 214 Waubesa Street, October 23, 7:00 p.m.

For up to date information visit our Facebook page


December Board Meeting Minutes

Friends of Starkweather Creek

Board Meeting


Meeting notes


Parks Report – Deborah is completing the report to Parks. Last piece that is needed is a survey of the group to see if anyone used the canoes for personal use. No one except Carl and he emailed Deborah already.


Solstice Celebration – Event starts at 4:00 with drummers. Parking at Olbrich Gardens is allowed. Fire will be lit at 4:30. Lance and Doug will be there early.


Miles Varna Contact – wants to volunteer to do some GIS mapping. Contacted us through facebook. Lance will follow up with him.


Revolution Cycle Meeting – Art event last Friday night. FSC received $50 in donations at the event. Good partner group. Opportunity to partner on extending the bike path to Sun Prairie. Need more representation at their meetings. is leading the charge. Jeff at Revolution is the contact. Dave will set up a meet up.


2018 Madison FUN Calendar and Events – Paul passed out a 2018 draft events list. Good year last year with lots of events.


2018 Events are at

Starkweather Outings (Draft)

January 20 – Deborah Crabtree – sledding and hot chocolate

February 17 –

March 17 – Jeff Steele: Spring Phenology Signs

April 21 –

May 19 – Jeff Steele: Woodland Ephemerals

June 16 – Tom Murn: Nature Lives in the City

July 21 – Lance Green: Monitoring the Creek & Critter Viewings

August 18 – Biking the creek

September 15 – Carl Landsness: Canoeing Starkweather

October 20 – Tom Murn: Autumn Traces of Nature

November 17 –

December 15 –


Treasurer Report:

$1,000 Annual meeting

$     50 Revolution Cycles

$ 160 Mailing

$   60 renewals

$1,270 Total


2018 Meeting Dates: keep the third Tuesday. Lance will book the Goodman Center.


Darbo-Worthington Proposed Canoe Access – $35,000 is available build canoe/kayak access for the neighborhood. Marsha Rummel requested a letter from our group to the Mayor to say how good this would be for the neighborhood. Lance will write a letter in support of a canoe launch. Carl will think about setting up a meeting with the neighborhood.


Garver Construction – access to the creek during construction. Last nature outing was forced out into the wetlands. Carl will reach out to the project manager for Baum and take a walk to see where the access is blocked. Lance will put it on the agenda for the meeting with the city.


Spring Planting Project – Feb 1st application deadline to get native plants for our plantings. Pictures need to be taken. More plants are needed where the fall planting happened in 2017. Early January subgroup should get together to decide on sites. Jeff, Dave, Deborah, and Carl want to be on the subgroup. Jeff is on the Eken Park Neighborhood Association and will approach that group to see if we can do a joint planting.


Meeting adjourned at 8:27


Friends of Starkweather Creek

2017 Annual Meeting

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Come Hear about FUN and SCIENCE on Starkweather Creek!

Goodman Community Center
149 Waubesa St, Madison

Co-Chair Dea Larsen-Converse will present our past year’s activities

Co-Chair Lance Green will present on the creek’s health

We will elect board members

All are welcome to help plan and direct our next year’s actions

Drinks and refreshments for all!

Thanks for your support!

Here’s video taste of our adventures this year:

Paddling Adventures

FreshWater Engineering Report on Starkweather Creek

Friends of Starkweather Creek is proud to have worked with the City of Madison Engineering and FreshWater Engineering to produce an updated report on sampling for toxicities on the creek.

Here is a link to the draft report. Draft Final Semipermeable Membrane
Device (SPMD) Water Quality Sampling Study of Starkweather Creek

The original sampling for the Water Resources Management report, Starkweather Creek Watershed: Current Conditions and Improvement Strategies in an Urban Context, showed the worst water quality in a golf course ditch and a site immediately downstream of the airport. The third most toxic location after the ditch and airport was a site near Milwaukee Street.

The updated sampling compared the 2005 study to the current 2016 study and found that

“water quality has improved in all sampling site locations except for the “East Towne Mall” location. Considering toxicity, the primary area of concern is the “Golf Course Ditch” location. This is by far the area where the water quality is the worst. This water within the creek throughout this reach is standing water during base conditions with little to no flow. The airport is also a concern for pollution as the results show that between the above and below airport testing sites, there is a 55% light reduction over approximately 3.5 miles of creek length. The land adjacent to this length of creek is owned and operated by the Dane County Regional Airport and though it’s still in poor condition compared to the rest of the creek, this reach has shown improvement since the 2005 study.

Interest in the Kipp Corporation’s effluent discharging into Starkweather Creek was brought up as a
potential source of contamination to the creek…. However, from the background research that was reviewed and the results of the SPMD analysis, there is no noticeable increase in (polyaromatic hydrocarbons) PAHs downstream of the Kipp Corporation. Sample analysis indicates, the Kipp Corporation effluent does not decrease the water quality in Starkweather Creek or contribute additional PAHs to the waterbody.”

We will post the final report when it is ready.

2016 Calendar of Events

Friends of Starkweather Creek
2016 Calendar of Events

CONTACT US at if you want to volunteer to help at our listed events or if you’d like to lead a bike/hike/canoe tour. 


11th:    Tree Walk led by Sean Gere. 10:00 am. Walking Tour of Starkweather Creek led by certified arborist Sean Gere of Gere Tree Care. Meet at Olbrich Park near the beach.

15th:  Goodman Summer Camp begins (featuring tours of the creek for the campers)

19th: Solstice Bonfire.  5:00 – 10:00 pm.  Friends of Starkweather Creek and the Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood Association are going back to basics with the 14th annual Starkweather Summer Solstice Celebration on Sunday, June 19th from 5 – 10 pm. This free event, held below the sledding hill at Olbrich Park on Lake Monona, features free canoe rides starting at 5 pm, music, drumming, singing, and dancing all finishing with a bonfire lighting before dusk. Bring thoughts to forget and lose in the fire ash and wishes to ascend with the smoke as we celebrate the beginning of Summer. For information: madsolstice dot org or 608-251-1893.

21st:  Board Meeting, 7-8 pm, Goodman Center

28th:  Earth Partnership for Schools tour of Starkweather Creek

FSC Board Activities:  Creek Monitoring, Watershed Wanderers Camp in partnership with Goodman Center


19th:  Board Meeting, 7-8 pm, Goodman Center

30-31:  Table at Atwood Fest.  Learn more about Starkweather Creek at our table.  VOLUNTEERS TO BE AT THE TABLE ARE NEEDED.  To volunteer, send us a message at

FSC Board Activities:  Creek Monitoring, Watershed Wanderers Camp in partnership with Goodman Center


16th:  Board Meeting, 7-8 pm, Goodman Center

TBD:  Bike Tour

FSC Board Activities:  Creek Monitoring



20th:  Board Meeting, 7-8 pm, Goodman Center

TBD: Canoe Tour

FSC Board Activities:  Creek Monitoring



Annual Meeting:  TBD


18th:  Board Meeting, 7-8 pm, Goodman Center

FSC Board Activities:  Creek Monitoring



Dec 21st:  Winter Solstice Celebration at Olbrich Gardens.  Meet at the baseball diamond near the lake for a parade and BONFIRE.