Jefferson Award Winner for October-Kohl Boydston - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Jefferson Award Winner for October-Kohl Boydston


MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison has some beautiful lakes and creeks. Many of us enjoy spending time in them, but no one enjoys seeing litter in them. One U-W Madison pre-med student is going the extra mile to clean up Wingra Creek.  Elishah Oesch introduces us to this month's Jefferson Award winner Kohl Boydston.

Kohl says, " I'm going to pass out some garbage bags and gloves and we're going to go together as a group to the creek."

Gloves, bags and a strong stomach are needed for this cleanup. When asked "What's the grossest thing you've ever found out here," Kohl replies, "it's all gross!"

Kohl Boydston loves to be out in nature, especially here at Wingra Creek.  He says, "I love to go kayaking on the creek."  But, not surprisingly, Kohl hates seeing trash in it as he floats along the creek.  He says, "all the trash is disgusting. it's an eye soar. It's not good for the ecosystem." An ecosystem that includes, birds, fish, various plants, and something else...

"If you've ever been on this creek and canoed or kayaked it, you know, it's a way to escape the buzz of the city," says Kohl. But sadly, you can't escape this trash anymore.  So, a year ago Kohl started the "Clean Up Wingra Park" volunteer group. He and other students volunteer their time to pick up the trash around and in the creek.

Kohl says, "We generally try to get out here 3 or 4 times in the fall and the same thing in the spring." That might sound like a simple task, but how would you like to do it, over and over again? 

After walking down half of Wingra Creek Kohl and his team collected more than eight garbage bags full of bottles papers, you name it.

Kohl says, "If you're removing trash then you're doing as big a job as you possibly can."

And, when you have Kohl's schedule, it's an even bigger job.  He's a premed student at the U-W. He says, "I just got done with the MCAT in April and that was a doozie."  On top of that, he's about to up the anti for Wingra Creek. "I'm thinking about becoming more active on the political front of it. Getting signs out, recycling bins, and trash bins.

And while he works on that, he'll keep doing what he's doing so everyone can "experience how gorgeous this creek is. It is beautiful."

 If you'd like to get involved in the Clean Up Wingra Creek volunteer program here's how to do it:







CUWC requires three things of it's members. 1) To respect the wild and strive to conserve it, 2) attend regular meetings, and 3) pay a $5 semesterly activation fee.  Anyone can join, it is open to the public but is mainly composed of UW students. In order to join people need only to email me,, in order to join our mailing list. Below is the information about the organization from our web page:

Clean Up Wingra Creek is a UW-Madison student organization that aims to clean up and conserve Wingra Creek and related bodies of water in Madison, Wisconsin. Clean Up Wingra Creek members are able to give back to Mother Nature and experience the outdoors. Conservation Effort Days (CEDs) are carried out on and around the water in order to maintain a healthy state of the Wingra Creek watershed. Members will be required to attend meetings in order to plan CEDs. During CEDs,members will kayak/canoe/bike along Wingra Creek to clean up trash and other miscellaneous items that pollute this natural corridor and main artery of Madison ecosystems. Future projects include stream bank conservation and dual efforts with Friends of Lake Wingra:


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