Student stresses importance of keeping Lake Paris clean

Ryan Jones

Water fowl around Lake Paris. Photo by Ryan Jones.
Water fowl around Lake Paris. Photo by Ryan Jones.

Since I was young, I was taught not to litter. I do my best not to, but sometimes accidents happen.

I was walking around Lake Paris on the Floyd campus the other day, and I noticed some litter on the ground, so I picked it up. I kept finding more trash and picking it up as I walked around the lake, and by the time I finished I had what felt like 50 pounds of trash.

Some of it looked like it could have been dropped that day, while other items looked like they could have been there for months.

I found three long pieces of fishing line. It seems like that would be harmless, but it can wrap around the legs of ducks, geese, turtles and beavers if it gets in the water and keep them from being able to swim.

I also found a number of plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans. The glass bottles pose a larger risk, because if broken they can injure the animals or the people that are walking around the lake.

I’m not suggesting that our lake isn’t taken care of, but it’s hard to keep up with the amount of litter that could be dropped around the lake each day.

One way to help is not to take anything around the lake that you wouldn’t want to carry all the way around it. According to Ken Weatherman, professor of physical education, if people cut behind the observatory and don’t walk down the peninsula, the lake is 1.58 miles around. If they do walk around the peninsula in front of the observatory, the distance around the lake is 1.85. Walking down the boardwalk in the wetlands adds another .73 miles.

If we don’t take care of the lake, we won’t have it to enjoy. So please, try to keep your trash with you when you are walking around the lake.