Fund a need for Big Green

Researchers install buoys in Green Lake to monitor water quality data. The more data scientists can gather, the more the Green Lake Association can adapt projects to make a bigger impact. submitted photo

by Kristen Pieszko Rasmussen

As the Green Lake Association (GLA) takes its annual fund-raiser online this year with the Shine A Light celebration Aug. 1, it id looking to the community to support its dedicated efforts to improve the water quality of Green Lake.

For nearly 70 years, the GLA has been lighting the way on behalf of a cleaner, healthier Green Lake. Stream restoration, land management best-practices and the monitoring and removal of invasive species are at the core of their work. 

These pillar projects — Project Clean Streams, Project Green Acres and Project Invader Defense — allow the GLA to continue and to expand these essential efforts. 

​​Why are clean streams important?

Stream restoration keeps lake-harming phosphorus on the land and out of the lake. The increase in more intense, more frequent rain storms overwhelms streams and leads to soil erosion, flooding and potential bank collapse. Eroding streams result in more phosphorus entering Green Lake, which then degrades the water quality of Big Green.

The GLA and its partners have collectively restored over 4.8 miles of eroding stream so far. The Clean Streams Fund focuses on repairing the remaining 10 miles of crumbling streambank. The GLA aims to repair every foot of the eroding streambank that flows to Green Lake.

Local students demonstrate stream monitoring techniques on a watershed tour in 2019, a critical aspect of Project Clean Streams. submitted photo

What is Project
Green Acres about?

Agricultural land comprises approximately 65% of the Green Lake watershed. We’re lucky to have so many incredible agricultural neighbors —many working to incorporate farming techniques that reduce the nutrient footprint to Green Lake. 

The Green Acres Fund aims to increase the adoption of lake-friendly agricultural practices and ensure the region’s next generation of farmers will have the resources they need to be environmental stewards. 

This project focuses on the education of future farmers and the establishment of conservation practices, right here on the ground in the Green Lake watershed. 

Invasive Species are in Green Lake. Why is that bad and what else can be done?

The introduction of invasive species to Big Green has had a big impact on its water quality. Zebra mussels, carp, and invasive plants like Eurasian water milfoil have all made their way here — and have thrown Green Lake into a permanent ecological imbalance. 

The GLA needs the community’s help to prevent new invasive species from entering Big Green. The Invasive Species Fund helps the GLA staff boat launches, provide better tools and AIS signage, enhance monitoring and removal efforts, and reduce the likelihood of any new invasive species from making Green Lake their home.

Protecting, improving and ultimately restoring Green Lake is a complex, critical and urgent endeavor. In order to ensure that the GLA has the organizational resources to support needed research, development and innovative solutions to care for the beloved lake, they also established a “Greatest Need” Fund this year.

The community’s generosity is crucial to ensuring that the GLA can continue its work on behalf of Green Lake with the goal of a brighter future for Big Green. To participate in its Shine A Light celebration on Aug. 1, purchase an event ticket, take your chance at raffle tickets or consider making a contribution to their Fund A Need initiative at

Kristen Pieszko Rasmussen is the digital content strategist for the Green Lake Association.