Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Volunteers Needed to ‘Get Dirty for Dane,’ Day of Volunteer Stewardship This Saturday

May 10, 2012
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive 608.267.8823 or cell, 608.843.8858
County Executive

Volunteers are still needed to ‘Get Dirty for Dane’ by participating in a variety of environmental stewardship projects across the county this Saturday, May 12th, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today.


The Dane County The Dane County Environmental Council and outdoor retailer REI are teaming up on the event – focused on connecting county residents to nature through a day of volunteer service.

Individuals or large groups are encouraged to sign up for a number of diverse projects – including prairie restoration, invasive species removal, and the tidying of land and water trails.  Minimal experience is necessary, and volunteers will be trained on-site before work begins. 


Each site will also have prizes and giveaways, courtesy of the county’s community partners.  Volunteers can help out for hours or an entire day.  A current listing of project descriptions with links to sign up can be found below, or  online at events listed as ‘Get Dirty for Dane.’ 


“’Dirty for Dane’ is the perfect chance to get outside and experience all that Dane County has to offer.  Our natural spaces, lakes, and waterways are world-class, and it’s up to us to protect them,” said Parisi.  “I encourage people to sign up for one of these worthwhile projects, and bring along a friend or two as well.”


Events across the county are being coordinated by the Dane County Environmental Council (DCEC) and REI.  The Council assists groups in recognizing and protecting natural areas in Dane County and assumes an educational role in the awareness, conservation and protection of the environment.  REI is a national outdoor retail co-op dedicated to inspiring, educating and outfitting its members and the community for a lifetime of outdoor adventure and stewardship. 


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 ‘Get Dirty for Dane’ Project Listings From the REI Event Page


Nine Springs Creek:  Join Capitol Water Trails as we clean up Nine Springs Creek in Madison just south of the Beltline.  Volunteers will remove full blockages for better trout habitat and paddle navigation. Will also build piers at two separate sites. Volunteers must supply their own watercraft, work clothes, gloves, and waders if they have them. Supply tools, equipment and drinking water will be provided. This project will require paddling to a remote location and physical work. For questions, contact Capitol Water Trails at


Ice Age Trail Alliance – Tread Upgrades:  Volunteers will focus on the very popular Table Bluff segment of the Ice Age National Scenic Trail just 2 miles northwest of Cross Plains.  Volunteers will upgrade a number of small sections where the footing is no longer optimal. 


The Ice Age Trail is overseen by the U.S. National Park Service and other parks partners, but is built and maintained by volunteers through the non-profit Ice Age Trail Alliance. The Dane Co. Chapter of IATA will supply all tools (pick/mattocks, McLeod rakes, saws, shovels and dirt-buckets), and experienced crew leaders.


Volunteers should wear clothes they can get dirty, and boots if they have them. Volunteers are encouraged to bring leather work gloves and a water bottle if possible.  If volunteers would like to work past 1pm, they are encourage to bring a sack lunch.  This enjoyable activity can be done at any pace - people of many fitness levels can contribute.


Middleton Pleasant View Bike Park:Join the Capital Off Road Pathfinders (CORP) for a day to improve and polish an important part of Dane County's cycling infrastructure. Projects will include invasive species control, construction of a beginner area, and improvements to dirt jumps and existing singletrack. Volunteers should wear pants that can get dirty and supportive shoes/boots along with a pair of gloves.  Organizers will provide all necessary leadership, tools, snacks, and beverages during the workday. Volunteers are encouraged to join CORP for a pay your own way lunch in the club house following the workday.


Prairie Planting – Yahara Heights County Park:  Volunteers will gather to plant a prairie. Wayne Pauly, Dane County Parks Naturalist will be leading this project.  Volunteers should dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes as the ground is uneven in most of the areas the group will be planting. Please bring your own water.


Salmo Pond Near Festge Park:Volunteers will remove invasive brush around Salmo Pond and open up view of the pond from and to Festge Park. Great activity for individuals or groups.  Tools will be provided. Work is fairly easy, but can provide good exercise. Volunteers should wear work clothes and gloves, and bring water and a snack or lunch. It is not necessary to stay for the entire time, but volunteers can go longer into the afternoon if they wish to continue.


Volunteer for Donald Dash Run:Help with Donald Park's 8K and 16K run on May 12th.  Volunteers needed to facilitate parking, hand out water to runners during the race, hand out of treats afterwards, and clean up the park afterwards.


Please dress according to weather. There will also be a lot of walking involved to get to the areas we need the volunteers and to walk the trails for clean up.  Proceeds to this run will be donated to Donald Park and other trails.

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