11th Annual Lake Cleanup a Huge Success!
Over 120 volunteers from around the area converged on the frozen waters of White Bear Lake on March 8 and hauled off truckloads of trash left behind after the main ice fishing season.
This year’s event was the 11th annual late winter ice cleanup, and this year’s even drew a record number of volunteers and removed more trash than ever before. Volunteers came from throughout the region, including Scouts from thirteen different Packs and Troops, and over 30 members of the Minnesota Geocaching Association. Volunteers gathered at Bellaire Beach Saturday and spent two hours scouring the lake ice, pulling cans, bottles, tires, bricks, carpet, and other trash off the ice before it could fall into the lake at ice-out.
The first late-winter lake cleanup was the brainchild of T89 Scout Andrew Schuster, who planned and led the event in March 2004 as his Eagle Scout Project. After that initial success, the White Bear Lake Conservation District adopted the event and has hosted it ever since.
This year’s event started with a brief statement from Scott Costello, representative from the WBLCD, along with a few words from co-coordinator Jim Schuster, local Boy Scout leader. After that, volunteers dispersed over the lake and collected bagfuls of trash and remnants of several fish houses left behind after this year’s brutal winter.
Once the cleanup ended, volunteers were treated to free lunch provided by the Keep Zimmer VFW Post at the Bellaire Beach picnic shelter. Special thanks to Chris Price from the VFW who coordinated and delivered the food for this event.
Given the outstanding success of this annual event, plans are already underway to continue and expand the cleanup effort next year. Thank you to all who participated this year – ‘see you in 2015!!!