Every year, we complete pillar projects aimed at improving water quality in Big Green Lake. This work is important, but the GLA also recognizes that this is just the beginning of addressing the lake's problems. We will need to scale up our efforts even more in the face of environmental and human inputs that threaten its water quality.
The projects are divided into three categories known as our pillar projects. They are:
PILLAR PROJECT: CLEAN STREAMS
Stream and wetland restoration to reduce the amount of phosphorus entering Green Lake.
$80,000 per mile of restored stream
Eight streams, also known as tributaries, flow into Big Green Lake. Some of these tributaries are classified as exceptional waters while others are listed on the impaired waters list.
1. Assembly Creek, 0.2 miles long
2. Dakin Creek, 6.2 miles long
Restored: 3,600 feet
3. Hill Creek, 1.8 miles long
Restored: 9,740 feet
4. Roy Creek, 7.2 miles long
Restored: 9,689 feet
5. Silver Creek, 34 miles long
Restored: 842 feet
6. Spring Creek, 2.5 miles long
Restored: 3,600 feet
7. Wuerches Creek, 4.4 miles long
Restored: 892 feet
8. White Creek, 1.1 miles long
Restored: 520 feet
PILLAR PROJECT: GREEN ACRES
Since over 65% of our drainage area is agricultural, we have to think beyond our lake and think about the 107 square miles that drain into Big Green. Project Green Acres focuses on building a community of farmers who are economically and environmentally sustainable.
Since the average age of a farmer in Green Lake is 65 years old, we must invest in educating the next generation of farmers. As part of our scholarship program, we've sent farmers to grazing workshops to learn about practices that are good for the land and good for Green Lake.
We also helped launch the watershed's first-ever demonstration farm at Pollack-Vu Dairy. It's an important informational resource for other farmers in our watershed.
Each year, we host a Conservation Field Day. This day helps display the economic and environmental impact of implementing best management practices.