Friends of Starkweather Creek

 - Winter Update -

Pictured above: Carl and guests on the creek for an outing in November. 

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As Friends of Starkweather Creek emerges into a new year, we have new and old shape-shifters for co-chairs: Carl and Dave. Both are long time board members, FUN guides, restoration & renewal alchemists and angelic trouble-makers.

We seek 20/20 vision to elevate & deepen our mission and impact, exploring new opportunities to serve & honor the heart & soul of people & place in courageous & humble ways, starting with a restoration work day this Saturday, January, 25th at a hidden sanctuary in the Carpenter Ridgeway neighborhood, which we call the Sacred Starkweather Woods. We will continue by collaborating with local groups & individuals to catalyze leaps in consciousness, connection, and community with all life.

Our passion is to inspire new ways of seeing, hearing and feeling nature. We intend to inspire the wonder, awe and glee of our inner child, woven with the courage, patience and humility of a wise elder. We invite you to share your passion & magical self at our many activities.

Carl Landsness and David Pulkowski
Your Starkweather Creek Co-Chairs

Thank you to our new co-chairs for the inspiring welcome message! Please read on for a calendar of events and a 2020 stewardship preview.

Upcoming events

The Friends of Starkweather Creek hold public events around the creek, year-round! For paddling events, we provide canoes, paddles, life jackets and basic instruction. 
  • Restoration Work Party: Starkweather Woods Work Day (NEW)
    THIS Saturday, January 25th, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    Join Friends of Starkweather Creek board members Dave, Carl, and Jeff to do important winter work managing trails and clearing woody invasive species in Starkweather woods.
    More information available on Facebook event.
    Meet at Carpenter St. kiosk, near connection to Starkweather Creek bike path

  • Bird & Nature Outing: Life Beneath the Snow with Paul Noedler
    Saturday, February 15th, 10 a.m. to noon
    Learn about the magic of the 'subnivian' layer beneath the snow with Master Naturalist Paul Noeldler. We will look for signs of tunnel mazes where mice, voles and other small creatures look for food, out of the weather and concealed from predators. Wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing appropriate for the weather.
    Meet at Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St.

  • Bird & Nature Outing: Spring Phenology
    Saturday, March 21st, 10 a.m. to noon
    Discover the hidden signs of spring with a trained local naturalist.
    Meet at Goodman Community Center or check Facebook event

  • Bird & Nature Outing: Earth Day Cleanup with Carl Landsness
    Saturday, April 18th, 10 a.m. to noon
    Our annual creek clean-up, by canoe and foot.
    Meet at Starkweather Creek boat launch, 3402 Atwood Ave.

  • 8th Annual Bird & Nature Festival
    Sunday, April 26, 2020, 1 to 4 p.m.
    Welcome nature lovers, students, families and kids! Annual event presented by Madison Friends of Urban Nature (FUN), including live raptor presentations and other exhibits.
    Warner Park Shelter, 2930 N. Sherman Ave.

  • Bird & Nature Outing: Canoe Starkweather with Friends of Starkweather Creek board
    Saturday, May 16th, 10 a.m. to noon
    Explore the two branches of Starkweather Creek by canoe.
    Meet at Starkweather Creek boat launch, 3402 Atwood Ave.

  • Board meetings (open to the public) 
    Every 3rd Tuesday of the month
    Email to let us know you'd like to attend. Coming up: Feb. 18th, Mar. 17th, Apr. 21st, May 19th.
    Meet at Goodman Community Center Ironworks mezzanine, 149 Waubesa St.
More details are posted to our Facebook events.

2020 Stewardship Preview

We are looking forward to several exciting opportunities to address the creek's health this year, including: 
  • Planting more native plants in several locations with City Engineering, Fresh Start volunteers and the Plant Dane program.
  • Working with the Capitol Area Regional Planning Council (CARPC) on a study to determine chloride sources in our watershed and plan reduction methods.
  • Consider possible wetland restoration and improvements with Dane County.
  • Continued volunteer monitoring under the Wisconsin DNR's Water Action Volunteers program.
  • Gaining understanding of PFAS effects and reduction possibilities.
  • Clearing trails along the West Branch near Carpenter-Ridgeway neighborhood.
  • Working with a coalition considering visionary plans for the Voit Farm property.
In addition, we continue to support our mission by:
  • Advocating for the creek with city and county officials
  • Leading free canoe, bike, and walking tours all year long
  • Work with Goodman Community Center and Madison Friends of Urban Nature (FUN) to get people out on the creek
  • Provide a place for community members to share their concerns and plan projects around the creek
  • Work with experts on projects to promote a healthy creek ecosystem
  • Work to keep creek navigable using low-impact techniques
  • Share news about the creek

If you'd like to help with a donation, you are welcome to join us at one of the suggested donation levels:

Cranefly Larva ($10) | Crayfish ($25) | Damselfly Nymph ($50) | Mayfly Nymph ($100)


Checks may be made out to Friends of Starkweather Creek and mail to Friends of Starkweather Creek, Post Office Box 8442, Madison, WI 53708-8442.

Thank you for your support

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting our work to revitalize Starkweather Creek by participating in our canoe tours and creek cleanups, by lending your expertise, volunteering, and other support.
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Friends of Starkweather Creek
PO Box 8442
Madison, WI  53708-8442

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Friends of Starkweather Creek · PO Box 8442 · Madison, WI 53708-8442 · USA

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