Friends of Yahara River Headwaters

Fall 2016 Newsletter

Our Mission

To enhance and protect the quality of the Yahara River headwaters while educating the community and providing sustainable recreational opportunities.

River Clean-up This Saturday

Saturday, October 8, 9 AM

Veteran's Memorial Park

Help us clean the river of trash and woody debris. The group will meet at Veterans Park and distribute work crews to various locations. Attendees will be provided waders but are encouraged to bring warm clothes and good work gloves. A lunch will be included.

Clearing the river of blockages and woody debris improves the current, helps remove silt and sediment, and creates better fish habitat. During clean-ups we also find old tires, bicycles, shopping carts, toys, construction materials, plastics and trash. We travel the river channel toting several canoes and bring trash up to several river bank locations along the way. The Village of DeForest Parks Department comes by later to haul it away. We also work a little bit each year to improve the channel to make spring time and early summer canoe and kayak trips more fun.

Rake leaves to improve water quality

Fall is a beautiful time in Wisconsin, the leaves are turning colors and the weather is still nice which makes it a great time to spend outside. However, falling leaves contribute to a big problem for Yahara River and our local lakes when they are left to decay on pavement.

When leaves get wet and start to decompose in the street (or on a driveway, sidewalk or parking lot) a nutrient “tea” is produced which runs off into the storm sewer and contributes to algae growth and nuisance vegetation growth in our local river and lakes. Research has actually shown that this nutrient tea from decomposed leaves is the biggest source of phosphorus in stormwater runoff from urban areas.

Properly disposing of your leaves - keeping them out of the street - can help make a big difference. Here’s what you can do:

  • Rake the leaves out of the gutters each time you rake your yard.
  • Give home composting a try. The compost can be used on lawns and gardens to enrich the soil. A variety of styles and sizes of compost bins are available for purchase at most hardware stores.
  • Chop leaves up when you mow and leave them on your grass as fertilizer. Or, rake the chopped leaves up and put them around trees and shrubs as mulch.

Please help us in protecting the Yahara River Headwaters by raking the leaves out of the street this fall!

Friends of the Lakes of DeForest Clean Up SUCCESS

By Jim Greenya

On Saturday, September 24th, about two dozen concerned residents of Flambeau Parkway took it upon themselves to clean up “Little Lake Mendota” and the attached streams. Most of the culverts connecting the streams to the Lake were plugged or crushed. Some were opened, others were not. No one counted how many bags of garbage was collected along with other debris from the waterways.

This group hopes to form some type of association/club to restore these waters to how they once were when developed back in the 50s or 60s. There are too many weeds, carp and who knows what else combining to the deterioration of the water. If you have an interest in joining in to help us prevent this beautiful body of water from turning into a weed filled swamp contact John Ackley now at

Don't Forget to Renew your Membership

Did you see our membership renewal email this spring or the reminders on Facebook? Our membership year runs from June 1 - June 1, so there is still time to renew your membership for the 2016-2017 season. Membership is only $10 but it makes a big impact locally! Not sure if your membership is current? Email and we'll check.

As a member you will:

  • Support our mission of enhancing and protecting the quality of the Yahara River headwaters while educating the community and providing sustainable recreational opportunities.
  • Play a vital role in supporting our fishing clinics and river clean-ups.
  • Connect with a community who cares about your Yahara River.
  • Receive personal invitations to our special events.
  • Receive quarterly email newsletters.
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Friends of the Yahara River Headwaters