Explore Our Community’s Smaller Water Bodies at “Pond Exploration Days”

Anyone who lives in the Madison metropolitan area is familiar with Lake Mendota and Lake Monona, the two large bodies of water that frame the city skyline. But there are more modest freshwater systems that also define our landscape – the ponds scattered throughout urban parks and suburban neighborhoods. 

Aquatic research isn’t just for big bodies of water. Here CFL students take samples from an urban stormwater pond.

While Lake Mendota is often described as the “most studied lake in the world,” less attention has been paid to these smaller water bodies. A team of researchers at the UW-Madison’s Center for Limnology is hoping that their new project can help build connections to these ecosystems as well as advance our understanding of how they work. 

The Wilkinson Lab at the Center for Limnology invites the public to join them for “Pond Exploration Days,” a series of three events this summer aimed at introducing area community members to their local ponds. Visitors will have a chance to participate in hands-on activities, watch demonstrations of freshwater science concepts and meet some of the plants and animals that call these small bodies of water home. 

Visitors will also hear about the lab’s new Community Water Monitoring Network, a community-based monitoring initiative being developed to help interested members of the public participate directly in science on local ponds and engage more with our broader watershed. 


All events are free and open to all ages. Upcoming “Pond Exploration Day” events are at:

Elver Park (Madison): Saturday, June 4 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
McKee Farms Park (Fitchburg): Saturday, June 18 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Lakeview Park (Middleton): Friday, July 8 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

We hope to see you there!

More details about the Community Water Monitoring Network can be found at: https://cflwaternetwork.weebly.com/.