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Reservoir cleanup memorable for organizer

Staff writer

Saturday’s annual cleanup at Marion Reservoir was very special for organizer Lloyd Davies this year.

Davies’ father, who volunteered every year, died last week. The cleanup was an important way to honor his father and work through his loss, Davies said.

“I told them I wanted to be out here,” he said. “It’s been a hard few days, but it’s nice to be here.”

Davies moved to Marion from Missouri 17 years ago, and started a stream team in to keep Marion Reservoir’s environment clean.

“Part of it is cosmetic,” Davies said. “It’s stuff that’s not supposed to be there, but one of the things you see over and over is animals getting injured with leftover fishing line.”

The effort attracts 50 to 60 volunteers, who collect between one and two tons of trash each year, he said.

Most locals take steps to keep the lake clean even when they aren’t volunteering, Davies said.

“It’s kind of like a sense of ownership,” he said. “You have kids and adults getting out to clean up. They’re like, ‘hey, don’t mess with my lake.’ They’ll get ticked with someone throwing out a pop can.”

Local firms and shops should also take pride in keeping the reservoir clean, said Oscar Moyano, president of Tabor College’s business club.

“When businesses focus on environmental issues, they create change,” he said. “That’s a mindset that has to change. Instead of businesses damaging the environment, they should be helping. That’s a trend we’ve been seeing recently.”

The business club brought eight members to the cleanup, which was an opportunity for them to network, Moyano said.

“There are a lot of sponsors,” he said. “Just getting to know them, it’s an open door.”

Doing cleanup in the spring makes the most sense because the shoreline is easier to navigate following winter weather, Davies said.

“If you do it in the fall, there’s a lot of brush that hasn’t been beaten down by the winter,” he said. “Mid-April to early May is a good time to be out there because it’s warm enough and the plants haven’t grown up yet.”

Davies said he doesn’t know how much time he invests beforehand, but that he starts preparing two months in advance.

“It’s just going out there on the weekends, talking to people ad getting maps and supplies,” he said.

Last modified May 2, 2019

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