The Big Sweep at Shelley Lake turned out to be the “Perfect Storm.” Following the record breaking rain storms earlier in the week, Shelley Lake flooded its banks across the paved greenway and all the way up the hill onto the large flat area east of the lake. Debris that had previously been on the bottom of the lake, including large tree limbs, drift wood, and all sorts of trash washed up on the surrounding areas and were deposited there as the water receded. So prior to this flooding the available trash we might have collected would have been fairly moderate. But now, there were dozens and dozens of recyclable containers, glass, cups, etc to collect. So our timing of our Perfect Storm resulted in having to deal with a muddy mess, but on the flip side, it resulted in our collecting and removing debris much of
which would have remained on the bottom of the lake at any other time.
The other cool part of our effort is that we had seven kids from 3 to 8 years of age, a couple of teenagers, as well as a few senior citizens andeveryone was able to contribute. The kids likely got a good introduction to the amount of litter that affects our parks and greenways and the importance of “big sweep” efforts to clean it. And all of us were surprised to see the variety of things we collected including a football, soccer ball, bike helmet, pumpkin, shoes, clothes, poker chips and more. We ended up with 19 large trash bags likely weighing more than 100 lbs. So we feel the morning we spent “at the lake” was well worth the mud and stains we may never get out of our shoes and socks.