The staff, volunteers and board of directors of Upper Sugar River Watershed Association has been hard at work in 2016, and we have lots to be thankful for. Here are some of the accomplishments we’ve all worked together on in 2016:
Worked with farmers in the watershed to create a farmer-led council (Farmers for the Upper Sugar River) focused on limiting agricultural runoff
Organized nine workdays at Sugar River Wetlands State Natural Area restoring prairie and managing invasive species, accumulating over 400 volunteer work hours.
Managed 25 water quality monitoring sites around the watershed and hosted a training for new volunteer water quality monitors
Completed year two of total phosphorus testing at 15 sites in the watershed (up from 10 in 2015) to establish baseline data for water quality
Continued collaboration with UW-Whitewater geography students to create an Erosion Vulnerability Assessment for Agricultural Lands (EVAAL) model for the watershed. This will allow USRWA to better assist farmers who are looking to limit runoff from their fields, including phosphorus.
Participated in youth educational programs, including organizing a canoe trip for 40 4th & 5th graders from New Century School in Verona and prairie seed collection days
Worked with two landowners on the Sugar River to either remove cattle fences or replace existing fences with safer alternatives for paddlers
Held the 2nd annual Rob’s Sugar River Ramble; an annual fundraising event that attracted 164 participants in year two and raised nearly $5,000 for USRWA
Over 100 volunteer hours spent on river clean-up days to improve the Sugar River’s water quality, while making it more enjoyable for paddlers and other recreational activities
We can’t wait to continue these efforts in 2017, and expand into many more. Thank you to everyone for a job well done!