Join Arcadia Lake Sweep Saturday for Free Food and a Cleaner Environment

If you are a nature lover or simply want to do a good deed you are invited to the Arcadia Lake Sweep on Saturday, August 8.

This lake was built up in coordination with the City of Edmond and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and opened in 1987. With a surface area of 1,820 acres to a maximum of 3,820 acres, the Arcadia lake functions are; a recreational and educational area, providing a haven for fish and wildlife as well as a flood control for the Deep Fork River Basin and an important source of water for the City of Edmond.

In 1997, the office of the Arcadia Lake in Edmond, with the help of the National lake sweep program, started seeking for volunteers to help the staff of the lake to clean up the debris such as bottles and branches.

The Clean Lakes Program was established in 1972 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (better known as the APE) to get communities involved in maintaining their local lakes. The program provided resources such as documentations, expertise and experience about watersheds. “[The EPA] only helped Lakes get started.  After a few years of doing it, they would leave you to continue on your own and they would go to help others,” said Nicole Offutt, Arcadia Lake Park’s Administrative Supervisor since 2000.

The Regional EPA’s office in Dallas said that the Clean Lakes Program was stopped 15 years ago because that this program was not considered the EPA’s highest priority.

This event does not replace the staff who are working all year to collect trash and detritus, but it is principally focused on cleaning the areas around the Lake that were flooded during storms. “Most people don’t realize that anything that washes into a storm drain ends up in a body of water somewhere,” expressed Offutt.

The Oklahoma Clean Lakes and Watersheds Association (OCLWA) will provide volunteers with brochures containing information about where the water comes from and how the quality of a watershed can be altered.

According to their website, the OCLWA is a non-profit organization is dedicated to the proper management of the lakes and watershed, through the promotion of partnerships, support research or funding event such as the Arcadia Lake Sweep.

“OCLWA provided a donation for the persons putting on the lake sweep can purchase things like trash bags, gloves that are needed for the event,” said Julie Chambers, OCLWA’s Past President and current Environmental Programs Manager at Oklahoma Water Resources Board.

Because of all of the debris deposited around the lake during the recent flooding in May, Offutt expects over 100 participants to volunteer to help clean the lake this year

This annual cleaning event will take place in Spring Creek Park, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and Sam’s Club and Homeland will sponsor a free brunch.

Tee shirts and gloves will be provided, but Offutt suggests that for the comfort of the participants, it is better if they come with their own gloves.

“We have had Scout groups, church groups, companies, clubs, equestrian groups, families, and individuals who just want to make the world a cleaner place,” reported Offutt.

For more information concerning the event call Arcadia Lake office at 405-216-7471.

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