Avid fisherman Dave Grote has fallen for Lake Lavon hook, line and sinker.
But every time he would cast his line there, the only thing he would catch was disappointment.
“If the amount of litter and glass bottles and stuff prohibit us from enjoying the lake, where do people who love nature go,” Grote asked.
Dave says each time he returned, trash was just piling up.
“No matter what I did or how much I picked up, it was never enough,” he said. “I’d clean up an area, come back next week and there’s even more trash.”
So, a few weeks ago, Dave tried to reel in some help through Facebook.He created a group called Lake Lavon cleanup to see if anyone would help him pick up this mess.
Dave said he wasn’t sure he’d make much of an impact, but it turns out, a lot of people felt the same way he did.
“I said why not? I mean, it’s all about helping each other,” said one volunteer.
“We’re gonna do what we can to make this better for other people,” another volunteer said.
Over the past three weeks, Dave and his growing army of volunteers have cleared nearly 5,000 pounds of garbage all because of Facebook. Businesses like Wylie Printing & Office Supply, ProAngler Tackle and Marriott Residence Inn have even donated prizes to hand out to volunteers.
Dave says once people realize there’s a problem, they’re happy to help take care of it. People like Rowdy Roller, who didn’t even know about Dave’s group.
He was just enjoying the lake with family and decided to pitch in.
“You don’t want to leave an area worse than when you left it, so why not make it better,” Roller said.
Dave says there’s a long way to go before they clear the lake of garbage, but he’s hoping they won’t have to and that through their efforts, lake goers will think twice before littering in the first place.
“I want them to have that same sense of future generations enjoying this lake just like we are,” he said. “So long term preservation is my ultimate goal.”
Because sometimes, one lake’s trash is hiding an entire community’s treasure.
Lake Lavon Cleanup will hold its next cleanup August 6 at 7 p.m. The group will clean at Little Ridge Park.