Letter: Friends of Hicklin Lake wish to thank SPU students for cleanup efforts

Again we wish to give many THANKS to Seattle Pacific University and the students of City Quest who gave up a day to clean up Lakewood Park and Hicklin Lake beach area (on Sept. 22, Herald coverage found here).

We gave some brief information on the polluted waters of the Lake and showed samples of the invasive weeds to remove. Then they broke up into groups and went to work. One group spread garden bark around plantings. A large truck load of invasive weeds was removed plus 4 sacks of litter. It was interesting to note around a Disc Golf Tee off Pad next to children’s play equipment we found and removed 62 cigarette butts. At the first Disc Golf tee off pad one hundred forty seven cigarette butts were picked up, plus tiny pieces of candy wrappers and debris, typical of all the tee off pads. It was also interesting that even though there were many Disc Golfers using these facilities that day, not one volunteered to help in this clean up. One student remark was “there sure is a lot of litter around here.”

We also asked students to think about a solution to this growing problem of litter on our streets, roads and Freeways. This throw- way litter is clogging our waterways and contaminating Puget Sound. The students recognized that a school classroom is not the initial place that environmental respect needs to be taught: it begins in the home. And the student leader commented that if, indeed, parents are careless with litter, it will set an example for their children and have a “generational effect”.

We had the impression that these students are not used to seeing this volume of litter, and it was probably somewhat unsettling. But these are problems that they, as tomorrow’s leaders, must face.

Marcia, a Friends of Hicklin Lake member, gave a summary of our pursuit to encourage King County to install Floating Island technology to clean up the polluted waters of the lake. It is likely that the idea was new to most, if not all of the students, and some asked interesting, thoughtful questions on this subject.

Dick Thurnau
Friends of Hicklin Lake

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