CLINTON — Three years ago, the Illinois Conservation Police and Clinton Lake SRA conducted its first volunteer lake clean up. So many people helped and so much trash was collected, it has become an annual effort.
The third annual Clinton Lake clean up is scheduled for April 28, and volunteers are needed for a variety of duties.
Volunteers are needed as team leaders for designated areas, boats that can operate in shallow areas and haul trash bags, and volunteers who are willing to get a little dirty walking shorelines and access areas.
Volunteers will receive lunch as well as the satisfaction of helping keep clean a major recreation area and wildlife habitat. Water also will be provided.
Seventy-five volunteers worked to pick up trash and debris on and around Clinton Lake during that first clean up in June 2016. Last year the clean up was moved up to April.
CPO Matt Vivenito, of the Conservation Police, came up with the orignal idea for the first volunteer clean up the, assisted by Conservation Police Capt. Jim Mayes and Melissa Armstrong of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).
Thirteen areas were designated for clean up. The volunteers managed to complete the five areas most in need.
“That’s pretty good for a couple of hours,” Mayes said in 2016.
Several area organizations provide volunteers for the clean up, including Clinton Youth Initiative, which also work on brush clean up at Little Galilee as well.
At least one Conservation Police officer from another area showed up to help in 2016 during the first clean up. CPO William Cottrell, of Danville, helped load trucks filled with garbage bags containing debris. He worked along side DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency coordinator Teresa Barnett.
The lake draws thousands of boaters and fisherman to the area each year. The county takes in revenue from boat slip rentals and has spent significant money in recent years on marina maintenance and upgrades.
Private boat storage and service businesses also serve users of the lake.
The 2018 clean up will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 28 at Mascoutin Beach, Clinton Lake State Recreation Area. Volunteers will receive trash bags and water, and a safety briefing.
Any volunteer under age 18 will need a parent / guardian or group leader signature next to their own names. There also will be waivers for liability purposes.
Anyone interested in using their own boats should contact CPO Matt Viverito at (217) 685-3969.
For further information, contact Melissa Armstrong at [email protected] or at (217) 935-6757 by April 20. Also, volunteers should reply to Melissa Armstrong with the number of volunteers they will bring, in order to plan for supplies and lunch.
Volunteers should dress appropriately, no open shoes, for example, and they will need reliable transportation to and from work sites.