Partnership with UW-Whitewater to bring Watershed Modeling to the Upper Sugar River

August 27, 2015


In an exciting new partnership with Upper Sugar River Watershed Association and UW-Whitewater, geography students from Professor Dale Splinter’s class will be working to create an Erosion Vulnerability Assessment for Agricultural Lands (EVAAL) model for the watershed. The EVAAL model allows USRWA to better assist farmers who are looking to limit runoff from their fields, including phosphorus.

Developed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the EVAAL model evaluates locations of relative vulnerability to sheet, rill and gully erosion using information about topography, soils, rainfall and land cover. This tool enables watershed managers to prioritize and focus field-scale data collection efforts, thus saving time and money while increasing the probability of locating fields with high sediment and nutrient export for implementation of best management practices.

UW-Whitewater students will be working on this project during the Fall 2015 semester and hope to present their findings in December 2015. USRWA thanks Professor Splinter for this beneficial collaboration.

To find out more on EVAAL, check out the EVAAL Fact Sheet provided by the Wisconsin DNR.


Paddle & Pig-Out will be filled with Pizza and Hops on August 15th

Saturday August 15, 2015

Paddle & Pig-Out LogoOur famous Paddle & Pig-Out, offering 45-60 minute canoe/kayak rides down the Sugar River into Paoli, is back for its 9th year.  This is a free event providing the canoe/kayak, transportation to the start point and every thing else you need to have a great trip down the Sugar River.

The event starts at Paoli Park in Paoli, WI with canoe and kayak trips leaving at 9 am, Noon and 3 pm.  Arrive early to reserve your spot!  It’s great way for adults and children alike to experience what the Sugar River has to offer.

This year food, beverages (including beer!) and cake will be served at The Hop Garden across the street from Paoli Park. Pizza will be provided by Sugar River Pizza Company of Belleville, drinks from Tuvalu Coffeehouse & Gallery of Verona, along with other fixings to complete the meal.  Lunch will be provided free of charge for USRWA members, and pizza will be sold for $2.50/slice for non-members. Vegetarian options will be available. Beer brewed locally by The Hop Garden will also be available for $4.

Also, raffle tickets for the event are now available!  Our raffle includes over 20 items, including a brand-new kayak and paddle valued at over $300.  Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20, and can be purchased on event day or by calling 608-437-7707.  The raffle will be drawn on August 23rd at 3:30 pm and you do not need to be present to win. 


USRWA Receives Wisconsin Volunteer Stream Monitoring Award

August 6, 2015

USRWA is proud to accept the Wisconsin Volunteer Stream Monitoring Award, thanks to the tireless efforts of our committed volunteers. Since 2002, UW-Extension and Wisconsin DNR recognize exemplary work done by groups, individuals, employees, teachers and students who perform stream monitoring around Wisconsin.  Individuals and groups are recognized for their efforts leading to increased participation in stream monitoring, collecting stream data, and sharing their knowledge of stream monitoring.

To date, USRWA manages 10 volunteers and 25 stream monitoring sites in the Upper Sugar River Watershed. All data collected from our monitoring is given to the Wisconsin DNR to assess the health of our steams and make resources available should a problem arise.


Inaugural Rob’s Sugar River Ramble was a Success

May 31, 2015

Sugar River RambleA total of 163 participants registered for the inaugural Rob’s Sugar River Ramble on Sunday May 31, which successfully raised over $5000 for USRWA.  It was a wonderful event and fun was had by all!

Full details on the event can be found at the official Ramble website:

We look forward to bringing Rob’s Sugar River Ramble back in 2016!


USRWA Fights the Invasive Purple Loosestrife in Belleville

USRWA is working hard to stop the spread of the highly invasive Purple Loosestrife around the Sugar River and Lake Belle View in Belleville.  Watch to find out how, and go to to learn more about our efforts against invasive species around the watershed.



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The Upper Sugar River Watershed Association’s mission is to provide leadership for continuous resource improvement through strategic partnerships that benefit the watershed’s land, water and people.  We are a grassroots, self-sustaining, 501c3 non-profit conservation organization that serves all of those who live, work or play in the watershed. We have a board of directors, a paid membership and are able to complete many beneficial conservation projects with our own funds. We are considered to be a hands-on, project group that continues to rely on the outstanding dedication of our volunteers.

The Upper Sugar River Watershed, with a drainage area of approximately 170 square miles (109,404 acres) and 115 stream miles, is located in Dane County in southern Wisconsin. It is rich in resources, including fisheries, wildlife habitat (including rare and endangered species), native plant communities (many in decline), and recreational opportunities

We are always looking for volunteers to help us with our exciting projects. We frequently have canoe outings, clear waterways, help restore habitat and perform field studies. We have lots of hands-on projects which are always fun and always benefit the communities. Give us a call to see how you can help!