365 Days a Year

365 Days a Year

About Take a Stake

Take A Stake In The Lake Logo
Take a Stake in Our Waters is a program by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission and the Office of Lakes and Watersheds.

For almost 30 years, Take a Stake volunteers have been working to protect and improve the lakes, streams and wetlands of Dane County. Since its creation in 1988, Take a Stake has been expanded by the Dane County Lakes and Watershed Commission and Office of Lakes and Watersheds from two days of shoreline clean-ups, to a two-week series of countywide special events, and now year-round activities that help people celebrate, learn about, protect and improve Dane County waters, recognizing that care for Dane County’s lakes, streams and wetlands doesn’t happen only a couple weeks out of the year.

During Take a Stake in Our Waters events, groups, clubs, individuals and families adopt beaches, shorelines, streams and more to collect litter, remove invasive species, plant native plants, mark storm drains, as well as a number of other activities. Thousands of volunteers have participated in these events and made a huge impact in Dane County over the decades.


Interested in volunteering?
Click here to request more information


Aquatic Debris Collection

Shoreline Residents:

The annual Take a Stake in Our Waters shoreline trash and aquatic debris collection by Dane County Lakes Management barges begins on:

Lakes Mendota & Kegonsa
Monday, July 24, 2017

Lakes Monona & Waubesa
Monday, July 31, 2017

YES: Aquatic vegetation (lake weeds, algae), debris washed up on shore (trash, dead fish, etc.)

NO: Yard waste or brush (grass clippings, leaves, tree limbs), household waste (garbage, pet waste, etc.)

Barges will make ONE pass around the lake. Have debris on your pier by 6 am Monday so you don’t miss the collection. It may be a few days until they get to your pier. If the water adjacent to your pier is too shallow to allow our access from the water, we may not be able to pick up debris from your pier.

Questions about this shoreline cleanup? Call John Reimer at (608) 224-3612. For all other questions about Dane County waters, visit

If you don't currently reside at your lakefront property, please make sure that those who live there are aware of this shoreline debris collection.