The diversity of Jordan Lake clean up volunteers who turned out in June encourages us to push onward.
In early June, the YMCA Guides Dasamongueponke Tribe brought six dads with their seven sons to clean a littered shoreline at Northeast Creek off NC Highway 751. Their purpose is to strengthen the father-child relationship through one-on-one activities. This was the third time we’ve had either the ‘princesses’ or ‘braves’, ages six to nine, come to Jordan Lake to learn why littering is bad behavior.
Later in June, a total of 13 information technology specialists from BB&T volunteered through their annual Lighthouse Project, aimed at making a positive impact on the lives of people. William Posse, the group’s leader, said, “We wanted to work with CJL because of their great work in making the lake’s shoreline enjoyable and safe for all visitors.”
The BB&T volunteers tackled a cove on the Haw River Arm where trash from the watershed upstream gets trapped after heavy rain. They picked up 53 bags of trash and several tires in just two hours on an extremely hot afternoon. It was exhausting work, but the natural beauty of the lake seen on the boat ride back reinforced why removing trash is important.
On the last day of June, seven network management specialists from the Durham office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina volunteered at Third Fork Creek, which feeds into New Hope Creek that flows into Jordan Lake. It was another hot afternoon made worse by the huge amount of trash to be removed.
Troy Page, director of Network Contracting and Strategic Development for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, said afterwards, “Who knew picking up trash could be so much fun and so important to bring about community awareness of this mission.” The volunteers took pride in surveying the cleaned area after removing 15 bags of trash, several tires and even a very large toy jeep. They had good things to say about their experience — “Enjoyed the experience . . . a real eye-opener for me.”
“I never knew this much trash collected in places like this. Clean Jordan Lake is a worthy initiative.”
“It was very satisfying to see how much trash we collected, and how clean the area looked when we were done! I would encourage more people to volunteer to do these cleanups!”
“Working with Clean Jordan Lake was such an eye-opening experience. It was very sad to see just how much pollution accumulates from seemingly minor actions”
“Our work today made it clear that even the smallest amounts of litter can accumulate to be a huge problem – for the animals, our water system, and to us. I will never again look at a Styrofoam cup the same.”
“It was a fun time. I was amazed at how much trash (and the type of trash) we found in one little spot. We pulled together to get a lot done in a small amount of time….and we made a BIG difference.”
And these three cleanups were in addition to more hard work by our Adopt-A-Shoreline groups. Just in the last two months, 34 volunteers from nine groups have removed 84 bags of trash from their assigned sites. Volunteerism is working, not just measured by the number of bags, but by the example set for others when they see us caring for the lake.