The Wisconsin Shoreland Restoration Initiative
~ Executive Residence Shoreland Restoration Project~
About the Project ~ Volunteer Planting Day ~ Donate to the Initiative ~ Serve on a Committee ~ Partners ~ About the Lake Leaders Institute
About the project
A group of citizens, made up of graduates of the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership's Lake Leaders Institute, is leading an effort to restore the shoreland with native plants at the State Executive Residence on the shores of Lake Mendota in Madison. The project is part of a statewide initiative to show how shorelands planted in native vegetation can improve water quality and wildlife habitat.
The State Capitol and Executive Residence Board voted unanimously in December 2011 to approve the shoreland restoration project at the Executive Residence. The Executive Residence has served as the official residence of Wisconsin Governors and their families since 1949. It sits on 3.7 acres and includes 300 feet of shoreline on Lake Mendota.
Volunteers will use native plants to provide erosion control, runoff filtering, wildlife habitat, and scenic beauty. The design is in harmony with the formal look of the Executive Residence grounds. This project will provide an excellent example of how everyone can naturalize their shorelands and yards.
The design, like the project itself, represents how a partnership can combine and highlight the talents of a diverse group. The design was prepared by:
- Hope Oostdik of Dutch Designs
- Lisa Reas of LJ Reas Environmental Consulting Corp.
- Bradley Vowels, an independent landscape architecture consultant
- Barb Gajewski, Lake Leader and independent environmental consultant
Ways that you can help
There are many ways that you can help launch this statewide initiative to improve water quality and wildlife habitat by restoring shorelands!
Volunteer to help plant the shoreland restoration in Spring 2013
The shoreland restoration at the Executive Residence will be planted with native flowers, grasses, and shrubs in Spring 2013.
We need volunteers for planting, placing mulch, and watering the new plants. There will be a variety of tasks to match your interests and abilities. We welcome you to join us!
The work party will be a fun way to help our lakes! Plus it's an opportunity to learn first-hand:
- Simple steps to naturalize your own shorelands and yards.
- How to choose the best plants for specific site conditions, property use patterns, and preferred scenic views.
- How to identify, plant, and care for native plants.
- Benefits and values of native plants to attract beneficial wildlife, hold soil in place, cleanse runoff water, and meet specific landscape aesthetics.
Once the Spring 2013 planting dates are set, we will provide event details and a link to register for the shift that fits your schedule.
Please contact Susan Tesarik, Education Director at Wisconsin Lakes, at 608-661-4313 or
with any questions you may have about volunteering.
Looking ahead, the Lake Leaders have committed to providing maintenance 4 times a year for 10 years. We will announce future work parties to help care for the area as well.
Help pay for project materials with your tax-deductable donation
The shoreland restoration materials and future maintenance is being funded by donations. The Rock River Coalition, a non-profit organization working to improve the waters of the Rock River Basin, is serving as the clearinghouse for financial contributions.
Individuals and businesses can make a tax-deductable donation online at the Rock River Coalition website
You may also download the volunteer & donations form to complete and mail with a check payable to the Rock River Coalition, to 864 Collins Road, Jefferson, WI 53549. Please indicate "Shoreland Project" in the lower left corner of your check. For more information, contact Patricia Cicero, Project Chair, at 920-723-2728 or
Serve on a Project Committee
Help guide the Shoreland Restoration Initiative by serving on any of the following committees: education, fundraising, publicity, volunteer coordination and long-term maintenance. If you are interested in serving on a committee or would like to learn more, please download and complete the volunteer & donations form
Share these volunteer opportunities with others in your lake community! Download the news release about the Shoreland Restoration Initiative.
The lead project partners for this endeavor include:
- State Capitol and Executive Residence Board
- Wisconsin Executive Residence
- Department of Administration
- Department of Natural Resources
- UW-Extension Lakes
- Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute
- Wisconsin Lakes
About the Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute
The citizen Lake Leaders who launched the initiative graduated from the Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute in 2008. The Institute offers people interested in lakes intensive training to help them develop their technical knowledge about lake ecology and management, state laws and processes regarding lakes, and how to be an effective voice on behalf of lakes.
The Lake Leaders Institute is sponsored by the Wisconsin Lakes Partnership, comprised of the UW-Extension Lakes Program, the WI Department of Natural Resources, and Wisconsin Lakes.
~Graphic images provided by Bradley Vowels