Young and old join forces to reservoir cleanup

Staff writer

Dozens of volunteers came from all over Marion County; some young, some old. But age didn’t matter. They united under one purpose: to clean the Marion Reservoir.

Bob Hoopes, a reservoir resident, was one of the first ones at the 11th annual Marion Reservoir Cleanup Day. Without much encouragement, he grabbed a large trash bag and went to work. He said he often walks along the shoreline, picking up trash — so, today, wasn’t that different, but vital just the same.

“This is a starting point,” he said. “If we all get out here once a year and clean things up a bit, there’s a hope that, after that, people will realize that they need to pick up after themselves. It doesn’t mean that we won’t still come out and pick up, but with everybody’s help we’ll be ahead in the longrun.”

He said he enjoys this event every year, especially seeing the young faces it brings.

Emma Schroeder, 8, said this is her second year helping with the cleanup effort. She said she wanted to come back because the experience is like a treasure hunt.

“Last year, we pulled an old car out of the lake,” she said, explaining that she had the opportunity to help other volunteers get a car out of the water’s depths by carrying piece by piece to the shoreline.

This year, however, she said she was a tad disappointed when she just found a lot of old aluminum cans, plastic bottles, etc. along the east side of the dam.

Hoopes said he found a bunch of similar items, which didn’t surprise him greatly.

“I’d say about a third of what we pick we’re probably left by fisherman,” he said. “These spots are popular with fishermen. They just don’t think and leave a bottle here and a bottle there. Sometimes, they leave little things, this little piece of plastic. I don’t even know what it is, but it’s junk. Most of the time when I pick up water bottles they’re still full. It’s a waste.”

Volunteer Clint Cross, who picks up trash for a living, said he was surprised by the amount of items they couldn’t pick up.

“There’s a lot of shattered glass,” he said. “You can pick up all the whole items you want, but there’s nothing you can do with shattered glass. So, it just sits there.”

Logan Waner, 13, said he came to the event because his friends told him he should, but said he was glad he came.

“It was a great service project,” he said. “Lots of people came to help, which is good too.”

Organizers said they were pleased with the turnout.

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