MADISON (WKOW) -- Outdoor enthusiasts headed to Olbrich Park Saturday to not only work up a sweat but also help out a good cause.
Clean Lakes Alliance held its 9th annual Loop the Lake event. This organization is devoted to improving the water quality of the lakes, streams, and wetlands of the Yahara River Watershed.
Karen Hoffman said she bicycled in Saturday's event because she's witnessed the decades-long struggle to keep Lake Monona clean.
"When I was a kid in the 70s, I swam here, and we take our suits off and we'd be covered lime-green algae. So, anything we can do to help clean this up for future generations would be awesome," Hoffman said.
Participants canoed, biked, or walked a 12-mile stretch of Lake Monona and organizers said preparations for this year's event were unlike any other.
Adam Sodersten, Clean Lakes Alliance Marketing & Communications Director said, "We start planning six months advance, and at that point, we still weren't able to gather. As it looked like we were opening up more and more and vaccination rates were getting higher, we kind of pivoted to now we have a little bit of a larger in-person event."
The event may look a little different but organizers say the cause remains the same.
Sodersten says, "We're gonna raise over $50,000 for the lakes and that's going to go towards lake improvement projects, educational programming, and our volunteer monitoring. This may not be quite the way it was two years ago, it's still hit creating a huge impact to help the lakes."
WKOW is a sponsor of Loop the Lake. 27 News also partnered with Clean Lakes Alliance to take a deeper look at the issues impacting our lake health. Click here to watch the full 30-minute special report, The State of Our Lakes.