Water Hero: David Taylor

“I developed the Yahara Watershed Improvement Network (Yahara WINS), an urban-agricultural watershed initiative.”
Yahara Watershed
Verona, WI

How do you work to protect Wisconsin’s waters?
My entire 37 year professional career has focused on implementing programs and initiatives that have protected or enhanced water resources. The initiative that I am most proud of is developing an urban-agricultural watershed initiative called the Yahara Watershed Improvement Network (Yahara WINS). This initiative brings together 24 municipal entities (six cities, seven villages, six towns, three wastewater treatment plants, UW-Madison, and a state owned fish hatchery), a farmer-led watershed group, county land conservation departments and multiple other partners who are working collaboratively to meet phosphorus reduction goals for the Yahara Watershed. Yahara WINS has become a national model for advancing urban-agriculture watershed improvement projects.

What are your biggest concerns right now?
My biggest concern and primary focus has been on addressing nutrient impairments, with a particular focus on phosphorus. Building off of the success of Yahara WINS, I have been collaborating with other partners to help facilitate urban-agriculture partnerships in neighboring midwestern states.

What keeps you strong and inspired in the face of challenges?
I actually really love challenging situations, knowing that if you have a vision and work hard, you can really make a difference. I am also motivated by a desire to leave the watershed that I call home in a better place for future generations.

What’s your favorite “water spot” in Wisconsin?
Any place along the shore of Lake Superior!

More information:
Yahara Watershed Improvement Network

Learn about other Water Heroes in Wisconsin:
River Alliance Water Heroes – 2018