Shoreline Cleanup | News, Sports, Jobs

As part of “Rake for the Lake”, this is one of the piles of leaves and debris collected from the shores of Lake Chautuqua. PJ Photo by Michael Zabrodsky

Heather Caskey of the Chautauqua Lake Association told Southwestern Central School student volunteers Jayden Hultin, Nolan Froah and Nick Swan this Friday as they listened to further instructions for weeding the shoreline of Chautauqua Lake at the YWCA, 185 E. Terrace Avenue.

A few minutes later, some members of the SWCS National Honor Society arrived, were given the same instructions, and then with rakes and wheelbarrows in hand, the students followed CLA President Rudy Mueller to shore to begin “Rake for the lake.”

Mueller is looking for volunteers who live along the shore. He said it didn’t come from the earth, nor from the water. It’s just along the shore.

He said his goal was to get rid of the weeds that have been floating around over the past month. The CLA has no more material in the water, otherwise the association would try to pull out the weeds. What he doesn’t want to see are the weeds overwintering and decomposing. If weeds sit still, they turn into muck, muck and fertilizer for algae blooms and next year’s weed growth, he said.

Left to right, Southwestern Central School students Alexis Grijalva, Faith Hamilton, Samuel Mincarelli and Heidi Swan-Leuze help Rudy Mueller, president of the Chautauqua Lake Association, rear, weed the lake Chautauqua.

Heidi Swan-Leuze, Samuel Mincarelli, Faith Hamilton and Alexis Grijalva formed a group and started removing some weeds. As soon as the group formed a pile, Brandon Smith arrived with a wheelbarrow, and the pile was transferred to the wheelbarrow. Smith then grabbed the wheelbarrow and drove it to the sidewalk at the opening of Y’s driveway. There he emptied the pile into a larger pile of weeds.

“We are happy to do something for our community. They (students) will earn a few hours of community service, which are requirements for National Honor Scoiety membership. They also enjoy helping the community,” said Katie Damcott, adviser to the SWCS Honor Society, which oversaw society members Swan-Leuze, Grijalva, Mincarelli and Hamilton.

Mueller said because the water level will drop, the weeds will be fresh. He noted that this project is not affiliated with the Village of Lakewood Leaf Pickup. If you volunteer, the weeds will have to be taken to the side of the road. The village public works department will collect weeds during the week of Oct. 24, Mueller said.

Currently, this is a Lakewood-only project, but Mueller hopes other lakeside municipalities will host similar events.

Mueller said people who live along the shoreline in the village can start volunteering at any time, but all work must be completed and curbside by Sunday.

Chautauqua Lake Association President Rudy Mueller explains to Southwestern Central School students Nick Swan, Jayden Hultin and Nolan Froah about shoreline cleanup. CLA employee Heather Caskey is also listening. PJ Pictures by Michael Zabrodsky

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