Community Engagement Program


The Office of Lakes and Watersheds' Community Engagement Program aims to improve Dane County waters through engaged, informed, and effective community leadership. The program supports the many local organizations working to protect and improve the quality of Dane County surface and ground waters, preserve and restore natural landscapes, and enhance recreational opportunities.

Working closely with the Lakes and Watershed Commission and fellow Land and Water Resources Department staff (LWRD), the Office of Lakes and Watersheds (OLW) collaborates with these groups, as well as local non-profits and interested citizens, to eliminate duplicative efforts, ensure that local conservation efforts align with LWRD water quality improvement goals and management plans, and increase the capacity and effectiveness of these groups.

The OLW expanded the Community Engagement Program in January 2014, recognizing the critical importance of community engagement in achieving water quality improvements. Each year we publish a report highlighting the accomplishments of the community engagement program.  


Annual Reports


Program Objectives

The Community Engagement Program includes the following four objectives:

Objective 1 

Increase effectiveness of water leaders in Dane County, including their ability to sustain organizations, fundraise, recruit and retain volunteers, use communication and marketing plans and tools, increase membership, and set and meet strategic goals.

One of the primary ways of meeting this objective is through the ongoing Watershed Network Gathering networking events and workshops.

Objective 2

Increase water volunteerism and the impact of water volunteer activities in Dane County.

One of the primary ways of meeting this objective is through the “Take a Stake in Our Waters” volunteer program.

Objective 3

Develop informed constituencies to support implementation of water-related groups, LWRD, and Lakes and Watershed Commission program priorities and water resource goals.

Objective 4

Develop and strengthen strategic partnerships among organizations contributing to meeting Dane County water resource goals by promoting collaborations among organizations to complete projects, hold events, develop policies, etc., benefiting Dane County waters.