The 5th annual Adopt-a-Shoreline (AAS) clean-up effort took place on Thursday, June 1 around the shores of Lake Mille Lacs. With a combined effort of more than 40 volunteers, more than 1,200 lbs. of trash was collected from various shorelines and disposed of properly. The trash “treasures” included a car bumper, a milk carton, a snowmobile belt, two dinner plates, two mud flaps, two feet of snow fencing, four tires, plastic bags and wooden blocks.
The event ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. As soon as volunteers filled their bags, they brought them to one of the designated drop-off sites: Malmo Park, Garrison Public Access, Shaw- Bosh-KungBayandEddy’sResort.Gloves,trashbagsandtrash disposal were provided by Grand Casino. Supplies were made available at each of the sponsor locations throughout the day.
Even though more than 1,200 lbs. was collected this year, many groups reported seeing less garbage compared to past years, but an increase of larger items. “The amount of actual garbage along the shoreline was less than half of what I have picked up in recent years,” said Kim Big Bear, a 5th year volunteer. “I don’t remember seeing as many tires or larger items in past years as I did this year, however.”
Organizers of the event created a website, adoptmillelacslake.com, to help spread the word about the effort. Their hope is to continue to get more volunteers involved in keeping the shorelines of Mille Lacs Lake clean and inspire others to consider the impact of trash washed ashore after the winter ice out. Interested area residents can also check out the website next spring for more information about next year’s Adopt-a-Shoreline event.
A special thank you to this year’s Adopt-a-Shoreline sponsors: Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, the Mille Lacs Tour- ism Council, The Wharf Resort, Twin Pines Resort, Sandelands Realty and Eddy’s Resort.
The Adopt-a-Shoreline program was started by Grand Casino Mille Lacs in 2013. The need for a clean-up effort was evident in the form of trash and debris following ice out each spring. The program has grown into a community-wide event as Grand Casino has been joined by new partners around the lake including community members, individuals, organizations and area businesses that help make this program a success. The goal of the program is not only to increase the number of volunteers each year to help keep the shoreline clean, but to also educate and inspire others to think about the impact of the trash in or around Lake Mille Lacs.