On Saturday, August 20, 2022, Diventures, along with the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium and Keep Omaha Beautiful sponsored a lake cleanup at Standing Bear Lake. With over 45 people in attendance, this was the biggest cleanup the partnership has seen this season!
The group included Caitlin, the Omaha Zoo’s Conservation Education Coordinator, and David, a Zoo Docent, along with a group from the Diventures Store Support team and community members. In total, 4,935 pieces of trash were collected over a four-hour period. This included 784 cigarette butts, 278 bottle caps, 222 beverage cans, 587 food wrappers and 1,427 pieces of plastic. Unique objects included a kite stuck in a tree, pizza boxes, cans of corn and an unused oil filter!
At the end of the cleanup, whoever collected the most trash won a prize. The winners were Maddy and Elaine who won a gift bag full of goodies and swag from the Omaha Zoo and Keep Omaha Beautiful. Maddy and Elaine live in a nearby neighborhood and “enjoy kayaking and paddleboarding on the lake.”
Both girls grew up learning the importance of recycling. When asked why it is important to participate in lake cleanups Maddy said, “Having a clean lake makes people want to spend more time there. It’s a good way to give back to the community, and it makes you feel good about yourself.” The girls also receive school volunteer hours from lake cleanups. Besides the ways lake cleanups can benefit them, Maddy and Elaine know that picking up trash on land prevents it from getting to the water. Once debris hits our waterways, it can damage ecosystems and marine life.
Lake cleanups are one of the many activities Diventures is a part of that supports our value of being positive advocates for the health of our oceans and waterways. Diventures is a leader in conservation efforts and education that helps preserve our oceans and waterways. We believe the world is our waterpark, so we must take the necessary steps to ensure that it is protected for years to come.
Ron and Charissa Wells also agree that we must take care of our world because “if you don’t take care of it, who will?” The family is very conscious about what they can do to help. They use reusable water bottles and take their own grocery bags to the store to avoid plastic bags. They also frequently take their six grandchildren on walks and teach them the importance to picking up trash along the way. “It’s a good opportunity for them to learn at a young age that this earth, this park, your neighborhood, belongs to you.”
What advice do Ron and Charissa have for anyone nervous to attend a lake cleanup? “You can come when you’re ready to come and go when you’re ready to go. They also have all the equipment you need.”
Our lake cleanups provide all the equipment necessary to collect debris efficiently and safely. They provide gloves and grabbers to handle the trash and use buckets instead of bags to reduce the amount of plastic sent to the landfills. Once someone fills a bucket they come back and dump it all out on a tarp so they can reuse the bucket. The only issue was running out of buckets because there were so many people in attendance, so in that case, plastic bags needed to be used.
Check out our recap video at the lake!
At the end of the season, Caitlin will tally all the trash that has been found from all five lake cleanups. Stay tuned for the update coming in late September!
The last lake cleanup will be on September 17 at Levi Carter Lake. Click here to RSVP. We can’t wait to see you there!