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Could poker run help chase away algae?

Staff writer

Marty Sampson has an idea to raise money to combat blue-green algae at the county lake and reservoir: an aquatic poker run.

She envisions people setting out on paddle boards, canoes, kayaks, and paddle boats just as motorcyclists do on highways.

Marion County Park and Lake hasn’t had to deal with a big blue-green algae as much as usual this summer, but Marion Reservoir has.

“We had a little bloom back in May,” said Isaac Hett, the county lake’s supervisor. “Besides that, we’ve not had any advisories. That’s very unusual because usually it’s off and on all summer.”

Marion Reservoir has been on the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s algae watch, warning or closure list weekly since May.

Sampson moved to Marion about a year ago from Wichita. She’s been coming to the county lake since she was 2.

A poker run on the water could help raise money for the two lakes and also raise awareness of the recreational areas, Sampson said. Events such as a recent bluegrass festival are helping get “this little lake on the map,” she said.

Sampson also would like to see a mural on the lake-facing side of the lake hall. Children and college students could submit ideas, and county residents could vote for their favorite. She sees opportunities for stores that sell paint to donate supplies and get publicity.

Hett isn’t sure the county would buy into a mural. “We just spent $15,000 to get it painted,” he said.

But Sampson thinks a mural would show pride and further beautify the area.

“I just think it’d be cool,” she said.

Last modified Aug. 24, 2022

 

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