Fall shoreline cleanup project has its rewards

Working their way from Ha Ha Tonka State Park to Bridal Cave, six students from Camdenton’s Horizons Laker Educational Center helped remove nearly 40 cubic yards of non-encapsulated foam and other debris Oct. 21.

The students and their teacher, Randal Burd, partnered with the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce to be a part of AmerenUE’s Shoreline Beautification Cleanup, a program that helps extract large debris from the lake during both the spring and fall seasons.

Seniors Miranda Knott and Rebecca Swanigan, and junior Taylor Lain all said that despite how difficult and wet the work was, they all had a good time.

“I didn’t know that we were going to be out on a boat all day, and we thought it was going to be way worse than what it really was,” Knott said. “It was pretty fun though.”

Lain said he thought the hardest part of his job was pulling the foam out of the water and up onto the boat.

“We had to put this hook into it and pull it up,” he said. “The styrofoam would fall apart and stuff, but it was pretty cool.”

According to Ameren’s Web site, a waterlogged 4-foot-by-8-foot piece of 18-inch thick styrofoam can weigh as much as 500 to 600 pounds.

The kids were working with the help of their teacher and chamber members.

Swanigan and Knott said their most memorable moment was trying to saw a piece of styrofoam in half.

“The saw was pretty heavy,” Knott said, “and it would saw faster than our arms could hold it.”
Their community service doesn’t stop at this project, which is just a small part of a larger program implemented by the alternative school.

Principal Anne Wall said the school, home to about 100 students, hosts SUCCESS Day every Wednesday, which stands for Students Understanding Careers, Character, Education and Student-centered Service.

The program allows students to supplement their academic work with hands-on community service.

Shoreline Cleanup
• Fall cleanup runs Sept. 14 to Nov. 1. Another will be scheduled next spring.
• To volunteer call the Adopt-the-Shoreline office at 573-365-9252.
• AmerenUE provides administrative support, supplies trash bags and pays for disposal.

By the numbers
Spring 2009
68 groups adopted shorelines
3,030 cubic yards of debris
864 volunteers helped out
Fall 2008
21 groups adopted shorelines
937 cubic yards of debris
281 volunteers helped out

To contact this Lake Sun reporter, call (573) 346-2132 or e-mail trysta.eakin@lakemediaonline.com.