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Lands' End Partners with Clean Lakes Alliance to Keep Local Lakes Clean and Healthy

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Clean Lakes Alliance

Lands' End doesn't take clean water for granted. Employees live, work and play near many lakes in Wisconsin, and so we have a big stake here. As part of its sustainability program, Lands' End has been supporting a clean lakes initiative since 2009. In 2010, Lands' End became a founding and sustaining corporate partner of The Clean Lakes Alliance. Lands' End supports the alliance through financial contributions, thousands of employee volunteer hours and donations of custom clothing.

The alliance is a nonprofit organization based in Madison. It's dedicated to keeping local lakes clean and healthy and encouraging residents to engage with the lakes. A key mission is to reduce phosphorus in the Yahara Watershed, which is a natural drainage basin for rain and snowmelt that includes the Yahara's chain of lakes in the Madison area. The chain of lakes consists of Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa and Kegonsa.

The relationship with the alliance began with the joint sponsorship of the Clean Lakes Festival. Drawing families from around southern Wisconsin, the Clean Lakes Festival brought together music and water activities, all with the goal of raising more awareness about the importance of protecting lakes and waterways. This festival was held from 2009 through 2015.

In 2015, the alliance launched a winter festival in Madison called Frozen Assets. What began as a one-day event in February is now a three-day event with 6,000+ attendees. The festival is held on Lake Mendota where participants enjoy curling, ice fishing, ice hockey, ice skating, sleigh rides, snowman contests, snow sculpting, face painting, fat bike rides and kite flying. During the evening, a cocktail party is held in the ballroom. The festival's efforts net the alliance about $170,000.

From Celebrating the Lake to Cleaning the Lake

When it comes to volunteering, Lands' End employees represent the gold standard. Over a period of more than five years, 1,000 employees have volunteered to work on "Take a Stake in Our Lakes," a program sponsored by the alliance and the Dane County Office of Lakes and Watershed.

Lands' End employees have also completed a four-year restoration project at Lake Farm County Park on the north shore of Lake Waubesa where they spent hours clearing out truckloads of invasive species that were crowding out native plants and eroding the shoreline. The volunteers worked come rain or shine, building on their progress each year and the project paid off in many ways. With the land cleared, the county expanded a bike path that now runs through the park now known as the Lower Yahara Bike Trail.

Having Fun, and Raising Money Too!

Lands' End employees also participate in sports-related fundraising activities sponsored by the alliance. About 750 riders - up to 50 from Lands' End - participate in the annual "Loop the Lake" bike ride around Lake Monona in July. Participants ride the scenic, 12-mile "Loop the Lake" route to raise money to support the alliance's lake improvement and protection efforts.

Another 25 Lands' End employees take part in another alliance fundraiser, the "Fore! Lakes Golf Outing." In addition to donating apparel for golfers and supplying volunteers at the outing, Lands' End funded the construction of a professionally-sized scoreboard for the golf outing, which is held annually in September.

Employees also participate in the annual "Save Our Lakes Breakfast," held each May. During the breakfast, alliance members and local lake advocates evaluate ongoing programs and launch new initiatives.

For more information on the Clean Lakes Alliance, or to find out how you can help, please visit cleanlakesalliance.com.