The Walworth County Lakes Association (WCLA) was formed to share resources and experiences in lake protection and management issues among the many lake operations in Wisconsin’s Walworth County.
Association members meet regularly with experts from industry, conservation groups, the DNR, universities, state legislators, and local governments. A goal of these individual lake groups is to further educate and engage the local public on issues affecting each lake. The WHY is known, that is, to make our lakes healthy and fun for all, but the HOW TO is often the greatest challenge. The accumulating wealth of information and experience is being shared by lake organizations to make these lakes safe and a joyful experience for everyone.
Our lakes attract weekenders and seasonal visitors for a variety of fishing, water skiing, kayaking and paddle boarding, and then in winter ice fishing, ice boating, snowmobiling and cross-country skiing. Some lakes are enjoyed for their variety of water sports and some lakes are just enjoyed for their beauty, serenity and bucolic “Up North” scenery near the southern state line with easy access to Chicago and Milwaukee area visitors. Once you are on our lakes, you’ve crossed the chill line where you can relax and enjoy nature.
As our way of giving back, the Kevin MacKinnon Education Fund provides educational opportunities for lake advocates who desire to increase their natural resource knowledge and enhance their leadership capabilities.
Board of Directors
What is the history of the WCLA?
There are 37 named lakes in Walworth County, ranging in size from 8 to over 5,000 acres. In July of 2001, Walworth County Lakes Specialist Audrey Greene gathered representatives from a number of these lakes to determine if there was a need or interest in forming a countywide lakes group. After just two meetings, it was apparent that indeed, there was not only a need, but also an enthusiastic response. Leaders of lake improvement associations, sanitary districts, lake management districts and conservancy groups expressed a desire to share resources and experiences in lake protection and management issues among one another and with governmental units. There were 11 lake organizations that formed the core group during the initial planning stage, and that has now expanded to represent approximately 15 lakes. Each lake may have more than one organization represented in the Walworth County Lake Association (WCLA) and each organization is given a vote on association matters.
The purpose of the WCLA is to provide a resource for Walworth County Lakes to share lake-related information and concerns among one another and with governmental units.
In September 2003, the Walworth County Lakes Association was formed under Chapter 181 of the Wisconsin Statutes and in January 2005, it was granted tax-exempt status 501(c) 3 by the IRS. The Association meets every other month, and the programs include speakers from the DNR, town, city and county governments. In addition, association members make presentations regarding special projects undertaken on their respective lakes. Sharing information, experiences and expertise is the key element for the lake group.