Upcoming Events:

BECWA Sign Roll-out: Saturday, June 26, from 10AM to 2PM behind The Shoe Box, in Black Earth

                                                                             Check out our signs here!

Black Earth Creek Sign Project Tells of Outstanding Resource, Major Challenges 

The Black Earth Creek Watershed Association (BECWA) and its community partners are installing interpretive signs along the stream in Cross Plains, Black Earth, and Mazomanie that talk about the stream as an exceptional natural resource, the major challenges that it faces, and protection efforts.

BECWA will host a community event to celebrate the creek and mark completion of the sign project on Saturday, June 26, from 10AM to 2PM behind The Shoe Box, 1314 Canal St., in Black Earth. Local organizations active in restoring and protecting Black Earth Creek will be on hand to provide information about those efforts and how to get involved. The event is free and open to the public.

The sign series, developed with support from Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) and University of Wisconsin Extension, covers a range of topics including elements of a healthy stream ecosystem and the value of a nationally known wild brown trout stream next to a large population center.

“The purpose of the signs is to highlight and communicate to residents, users, and visitors the outstanding qualities of Black Earth Creek and its tributaries. For over 50 years community partners have worked together to take care of the creek—this wonderful stream still needs our protection,” said Andy Morton, the BECWA board member coordinating the sign project. 

Black Earth Creek is fed from groundwater and springs that originate at edge of Driftless Area located west of Madison. WDNR classifies Black Earth Creek as a Class 1 wild trout fishery and Outstanding Resource Water. Interpretive signs will also be installed at The Shoe Box in Black Earth, Salmo Pond, and along the Wolf Run Trail in Mazomanie. Additional sign topics include storm water management using ”green Infrastructure” watershed resiliency to handle major flood events, management of invasive species, and restoration of formerly impounded or channelized areas of the stream.

The interpretive signs are weatherproof, made of a high quality, durable plastic, and are attached to a steel backplate.  Other project partners include Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited, Dane County, Village of Cross Plains, The Shoe Box, Wolf Run Association, Ice Age Trail and Park Foundation, Dane County Parks, Gateway to The Driftless, , Groundswell Conservancy, Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, and Wisconsin River Alliance.


For more information, contact Andy Morton at 608-345-5898
or andymorto1@yahoo.com.

Past Events:

"Bugs by the Creek" (exercise for about a dozen Brownies from Black Earth and Mazomanie)

May 15, 2021 1-4PM, Zander Park, back of Pharmacy 

News release of event courtesy of NBC News 15 Madison. 

Free Riversmith Casting Clinic

(SWTU) Saturday April 20, 9AM till noon, Zander park, Cross Plains


Decoding the Driftless

April 22, 2019, Glacier Creek Middle School, More Info


"Bugs by the Creek" co-sponsored by TU  

May 4, 10 AM, Zander Park, back of Pharmacy 

Nelson Institute Community Environmental Forum
The New Normal: What does climate change mean for Cross Plains and the Black Earth Creek Watershed.
Wednesday, Feb. 13 | Rosemary Garfoot Public Library | Cross Plains

Black Earth Creek Clean Up Day
April 21, 2018 | Salmo Pond 

"Fly Casting Demonstration" With Dennis Franke and Dan Buckland

May 5, 2018, South side of BEC behind the Pharmacy

& Assessing the Health of BEC and Identifying the Bugs that live in it w/ Mike Miller -- DNR

BECWA Anniversary Social
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 | CrossRoads Coffee, Cross Plains, WI

Saturday, May 6 1:00 PM
Across the bridge across from the new building.

Update on ATC Transmission Line
Friday, Feb 17 @ Barneveld Legion Hall

Saturday, Feb 18 @2 PM Arcadia Book Store in Spring Green

Saturday, April 22 @ Salmo Pond

Cross Plains Trout Days, May 6 w/ Bobbi Peckarsky

Black Earth Creek Stream Assessment Day Review

Review and analysis of data collected during June 2016
December 1, 2016 | CROSS PLAINS LIBRARY


JUNE 4, 2016
Click Here for more details




Annual Black Earth Creek Clean-up w/ Southern WI Trout Unlimited


Saturday April 16, 2016 - Zander Park, Cross Plains

Black Earth Creek Management Plan Developmental Meeting 

Thursday, November 12, 2015 | Town of Cross Plains Community Center (Pine Bluff)
This was an opportunity to develop an action-oriented framework for a Black Earth Creek Management Action Plan that will be used to build support for, and guide development of, good management practices in the Watershed by landowners, local and county governments and the Department of Natural Resources.


SEPTEMBER 19, 2015— 1 TO 4 PM 
Lake Marion, Mazomanie September 19, 2015

Black Earth Creek Watershed Health Summit

July 28th, Rosemary Garfoot Public Library | Cross Plains
Join Us to Hear About –
- Trout Population Troubles from Scott Stewart & Kurt Welke, DNR
- Updates on Local Government Actions Affecting Water Quality
- Campaign to Highlight Black Earth Creek Support

Wolf Run Trail Grand Opening

Saturday June 6, 2015 12-3PM 
Crescent Street Trail Head
Program at 1 pm and Lunch at 2:00 PM

Trout Days May 2, 2015  in Cross Plains

—Join us for “Bugs by the Creek":
Meet back of the CrossRoads Coffee Shop— 1-3 PM.

Black Earth Creek Clean-up with Trout Unlimited

April 25, 2015 : Salmo Pond

Second New Zealand Mudsnail Public Meeting: 
Cross Plains Library at 6:30pm

Bugs by the Creek

October 4, 2014 - BECWA will offer as part of the Taste of Cross Plains event. Join us back of the Ice Age Trail building where Dr. Bobbi Peckarsky invites all interested students—young and old— to examine the small creatures from the Black Earth Creek. We will collect, identify and examine the small life forms that inhabit the BEC and then return them to the Creek.

BEC Stream Clean-up with Trout Unlimited.

April 19, 2014 @ Salmo Pond. Brief presentation at 9 AM by River Alliance of ways to prevent spread of New Zealand Mud Snail (NZMS) followed by clean up crews moving out.

Preventing Spread of NZMS Workshop
April 26, 2014 - Festge Park 

River Alliance, Dane County, DNR and Village of Cross Plains 


Trout Days in Cross Plains
May 3, 2014 -  BECWA will have display in AM and will offer “Bugs by the Creek” at 1:00 PM with Dr. Bobbi Peckarsky to identify aquatic life in BEC. Meet back of Ice Age Trails building.


Dr. Bobbi Peckarsky (in red vest) offered “Bugs by the Creek” on May 3, 2014. Young students examined the various water critters found in the sample collected from the Black Earth Creek back of the Ice Age Trails Alliance building in Cross Plains.

Trout Days in Cross Plains

May 3, 2014 @ Salmo Pond. Natural Heritage Land Trust will honor the participants from Operation Fresh Start who helped build the new accessible fishing sites for those with limited mobility. Join us to thank these folks who worked so hard on such a worthy project.


On May 3 2014, Jim Welsh from Natural Heritage Land Trust joined by folks from Madison Community Foundation and Dane County honored participants from Operation Fresh Start who helped build the accessible piers at Salmo Pond.

Board meeting 2014  

March 29th at the CP Fire Station

Annual Black Earth Creek Spring Clean Up

Saturday April 24 | Salmo Pond

Lake Marion and Lower Black Earth Creek Corridor Meeting  

April 29th | Wisconsin Heights High School

Board Meeting on Monday

April 27th | Cross Plains Library 


Creek Clean Up Day

Held on April 25, 2009 | Salmo Pond 

Stream Monitoring Workshop

May 16, 2009 | Cross Plains Fire Station Detailed Flyer (PDF)

DNR Presentation on Cedar Hill Subdivision Development Impacts

May 18, 2009

Board of Directors Meeting

January 26 | Cross Plains Fire Station 

Board of Directors Meeting

Monday, October 27 | Cross Plains Library.

April 19, 2008 Annual Black Earth Creek Clean Up, with Trout Unlimited and Local Schools -- Salmo Pond

Trout Days Event

May 3, 2008 BECWA Display at Cross Plains

UW-Arboretum Native Plant Sale

May 10, 2008

Family Fishing Day

May 10, 2008 , Lake Marion Begins 

Primer on Lake Marion 

May 12, 2008 6:30 PM Lake Marion 

Trout Days in Cross Plains

Saturday May 5, . Check out the BECWA display back of the brat stand on Main Street.

Family Fishing Day

Saturday May 12, 2007  at Lake Marion, 10 AM to 3 PM

Black Earth Creek Annual Earth Day Clean Up

April 21,2007 Meet between 8:30-9 AM  Salmo Pond or back of old fire station in Cross Plains to get bags and section assignments.

Annual Trout Days Cross Plains Lions Club

Saturday May 5 


The Black Earth Creek Watershed Association Invites You To Explore The History of the Black Earth Creek Watershed


Delivering Plants

July, 2006 Carl Jones (left), BECWA board member and Bobbi Fehr (right) Garfoot Library Volunteer and Master Gardener transporting prairie and rain garden plants. These plants were provided by a grant from the Graham-Martin Foundation and have been or will be planted on the site of the new Garfoot library in Cross Plains.

Lion's Club- Trout Days Activities

Date: 5/06/2006
Trout Days in Cross Plains
BECWA will have a display booth

Earth Day: Black Earth Creek Stream Clean-Up

Date: 4/22/2006

Fly Fishing in the Black Earth Creek

Date: 4/06/2006
Scot Stewart: Fly Fishing in the Black Earth Creek
Black Earth Library