Keeping the lake clean

Camas residents may have noticed that Lacamas Lake is looking a little bit different recently.

During the past few weeks, the Georgia-Pacific paper mill has been slowing drawing down the lake’s water levels in its annual effort to conduct inspections, maintenance and repairs of its dams.

For those who are new to the area, the site of bare ground around the lake may be a bit shocking.

But fear not, the draw-down only lasts for a few weeks. And, each year local volunteers plan a cleanup event to coincide with it. As part of this effort led by Underwriters Laboratories, each and every year up to 200 people descend on Heritage Park and the surrounding areas in an effort to remove piles of garbage from the lake.

The effort is massive, several tons of debris is typically collected, and truly invaluable.

Just imagine, what if this annual all-volunteer effort did not take place? Lacamas Lake would be a far different place than it is now, and it would most definitely not be a popular spot for recreational activities like boating, paddle boarding, canoeing, swimming and fishing.

Members of the Lacamas Shores Neighborhood Association started the cleanup effort nearly two decades ago. It continues today thanks to the efforts of many, from businesses and non-profit organizations to individuals who simply care about their community.

Those who would like to see Lacamas Lake remain a clean, safe place to recreate are invited to join Saturday’s volunteer effort.