The campaign is a joint effort of the Friends of Lake Wingra, Friends of Monona Bay, Friends of Starkweather Creek, Madison Advertising Federation, city of Madison and the Storm Water Partnership.
Not all leaves can be kept out of the lakes, but the campaign has some suggestions to keep as many leaves out of the flow as possible:
• Compost leaves for a nutrient-rich fertilizer for your gardens, or till them directly into the garden.
• Chop leaves into small particles with a lawnmower so they decompose directly into the lawn.
• Rake leaves into piles at the edge of the street but not into the street or ditch. Sweep or rake leaves out of the street, gutter or ditch so they don't wash down into the storm drain. When piled on the terrace (that area between the curb and sidewalk), leaves should be wet down so they don't blow around, or cover the pile with a tarp, or bag them into lawn cleanup bags.
"Improving leaf management to keep leaves from yards out of the street is a small but simple action that residents can take to help improve the health of Starkweather Creek, Lake Monona and all the other lakes and streams in Madison," said Laura Hewitt, Friends of Starkweather Creek member.
Friends of Monona Bay will hand out free compostable leaf bags on Oct. 15 and 29 from 9 a.m. to noon at Cargo Coffee, 1309 S. Park St.