- Our Town
Granby Wilderness Society tackles lake cleanup
As the weather warms and winter sports come to a close, its important to remember to leave no trace. The Granby Wilderness Society got out making sure there’d be no trace of the winter hockey games on Saddle Lake.
Many local residents expressed concern on social media about items left on Saddle Lake being allowed to sink into the water as the ice melts. One item in particular - a hockey net – was causing a lot of concern. After seeing the discussion on Facebook, Granby Wilderness Society president Andres Dean said he felt the society should do something.
“We were aware that hockey nets had been left on the lake, seen posts about it, and they were still milling around for a week without anything happening,” Dean said. “I touched base with the board and said, what do you think, and it was a go.”
Dean said the group moved quickly, gathering a truck to cart the materials away. As for getting out on the lake itself, Dean said he took a suggestion from Facebook and used a flat bottom kayak to propel himself across the ice.
“We set up a strategy for how to move on the ice. It is frozen but melting. Someone on Facebook suggested a canoe which is what triggered this but I thought, I have a kayak that would be perfect.”
With a life jacket on and a line tied to the kayak, Dean said he used an ice axe and a paddle to propel himself across the ice to retrieve the items.
Four people participated in the cleanup, which yielded two hockey nets, a floodlight, extension cord, many beverage empties and a lawn chair.
Dean said the volume of materials indicated that perhaps the issue was not really only of having “forgotten” the materials on the lake.
“My original impression was that they forgot the net, but when I showed up there was really quite a bit of stuff that had been abandoned,” Dean said. “My impression was that it was more neglectful rather than forgetful. There was quite a bit of stuff.”
A lake clean-up like the one done at Saddle Lake is unusual for the group, Dean said, given that they usually focus on grant-driven habitat conservation projects. Contrary to a perception of environmental societies, Dean said the group works to campaign in favour of initiatives rather than against them.
“We do habitat restoration projects, like last spring near we did one near Vaagen mill. We maintain the Granby Wilderness Trail, that’s a new project last year we’re getting going this spring. The projects are mainly grant-funded habitat stewardship, educational outreach and ecological monitoring type projects.”