All posts by Dea Larsen-Converse


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.

FSC February Agenda

Friends of Starkweather Creek Board

February 16, 2016

7 pm, Goodman Community Center


  1. Water Quality Monitoring – Laura Rozumalski, P.E., President, FreshWater Engineering LLC
  2. Carpenter Ridgeway Neighborhood improvements – Melissa Denman
  3. Budget – Doug Johnson
  4. Outreach – Watershed wanderers update
  5. Quarterly Meeting with City of Madison – agenda items discussion
  6. Voit Property Redevelopment Plan – update and discussion
  7. Trailer & canoe transportation – Dave
  8. Lowell Grounds Rebuild Project – Lance

Next Meeting: March 15: Board Meeting, 7-8 pm, Goodman Center

Our Waters Our Future: Writing Contest

What’s your vision of a positive future for water and people in south-central Wisconsin?


The “Our Waters, Our Future” Writing Contest seeks inspiring short stories that can fuel conversations and actions to ensure healthy waters and vibrant communities for generations to come. The winning story will be published in Madison Magazine. Top finalists will receive other awards. Submit your story by February 1, 2016. The contest is open to all Wisconsin residents and students ages 18 and up.

For complete details, visit

The following organizations have teamed up to tap your creativity: UW-Madison’s Water Sustainability and Climate Project and Center for Limnology, Madison Magazine, Sustain Dane, and the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters.