Rain or shine, a happy shoreline.
Spring cleaning was accomplished early this year due to milder weather and a motivated team!
On Saturday March 28th, 20 dedicated volunteers dispersed themselves across Lake Windermere shorelines to tackle litter. Our team doubled in size compared to the fall clean-up, and thanks to everyone’s efforts, we covered nearly 19km of shoreline and removed over 80kg (25 bags) of trash and recyclable materials from Kinsmen Beach, Dorothy Lake, Bayshore, James Chabot, Athalmer, and Windermere Beach!
Picture from left to right: Liz and Bruce Robinson proudly showcase their loot at Athalmer; Kristine Philbrook holding collections her from explorations at Windermere Beach; Volunteer extraordinaires John Rouse and Marilyn Kraavanger join forces at Kinsmen Beach; Phew! No zebra mussels here: Hannah Phillbrook finds mussel shells from Windermere Beach.
Lakeshore litter can come from many sources, including recreation, dumping, sewage overflow, and construction, among others. Each team of volunteers kept track of what they collected on a data card. Once added up, this information can suggest the dominant sources of pollution and how to prevent them from entering the Lake. Cigarette butts were the most common piece of litter found, totaling 479, with greatest concentration around James Chabot Provincial Park and Athalmer. Beverage cans (155), plastic pieces (135), food wrappers (126) and foam pieces (125) were also among common items found. Items of concern noted by some of our participants were shingles, cigarette butts, and broken glass.
When public beaches and waterfronts are free of waste and debris, everybody wins. Lake Windermere is a source of pride and a gathering place for the community; the clean-up is no exception! One volunteer described how impressed she was with how the community came together to protect their watershed and a drinking water source. Others were inspired by the event as an opportunity to get outdoors and teach young kids about the value of shoreline habitat. Several participants returned from previous seasons to lend a pair of hands. There’s no question, the spirit of camaraderie and collective ambition is what consistently makes the clean-up such a success.
Very warm thanks goes out to Justin Atterbury at Rocky River Grill for offering to host a spectacular lunch for the volunteers, and to Gerry’s Gelati for donating prizes. Finally, to our volunteers for their dedication despite the grey weather (but boy, did the shoreline look polished in that afternoon sun!) – The Philbrooks, The Christys, The Cochranes, The Robinsons, Nevada Nicholas and Gladys, Shawn Wernig, Thorsten Gaul, Marilyn Kraayvanger, Zara Zychowicz and John Rouse – Thank you!
Missed out this time? Join us for the next shoreline clean up, which will be held after the busy summer season in September. We can always use the help! Contact Megan Peloso at (250) 341-6898 or firstname.lastname@example.org.