Volunteer in a new monthly effort to remove trash, tires from the shoreline of Lake Waco

The US Army Corps of Engineers organized a voluntary lake clean-up effort Saturday at Airport Beach, collecting 126 tires and approximately 2,025 pounds of trash.

The event, along with Group W Bench Litter Patrol, Keep Waco Beautiful, Fish On Texas Inc. and several other groups, attracted around 55 volunteers and almost double the total of 76 tires at the previous site.

“If we do this with just our office, there are only five of us rangers here in Waco, so it will take weeks,” said Corps volunteer coordinator Matthew Hackler.

Watching now: The US Army Corps of Engineers organized a voluntary lake clean-up effort Saturday at Airport Beach in Lake Waco, collecting 126 tires and a total of about 2,025 pounds of trash.

Hackler said the cleanup was part of a series of monthly events at Lake Waco ahead of summer. January’s cleanup raised over £1,000 from the Flatrock Access area.

Lake Waco’s level is more than 11 feet below normal, exposing years of waste and debris on the normally underwater shoreline. The maid during the cleanup had found shoes, credit cards, swimming gear and other hidden items that had been submerged.

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“We’re just trying to keep this train going, just wanting to make our park as nice as we can because it doesn’t take long to see a lot of trash washing up on our shores, especially at low tide,” said Hackler. .

Lake Waco Cleanup

Group W Bench Litter Patrol Executive Director David Achterhof raises old nets found during Airport Beach cleanups, part of a series of monthly Lake Waco cleanup efforts supported by Group W, Keep Waco Beautiful, Fish On Texas Inc., US Army Corps Engineers and several groups other.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribune-Herald

Group W Bench Litter Patrol Executive Director David Achterhof said there is a growing synergy among clean-up and conservation groups in Waco, and he looks forward to coordinating more efforts collectively in the future.

On Saturday, the volunteers gather at 9 a.m. first in the group pavilion to share coffee, donuts and safety rules before splitting into two teams: tires and trash.

Baylor University Clasped Hands in Service female students bring in a few extra hands for trash collection. President Julianna Forbess said the service sorority aims to do a service project weekly and has been involved with Keep Waco Beautiful before.

Lake Waco Cleanup

Julianna Forbess, president of the Clasped Hands in Service sorority at Baylor University, carries a bag of debris she and other group members collected during Saturday’s voluntary cleanup effort at Airport Beach.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribune-Herald

Antonio Neal, a truck driver, student and father of five, collected tires around a sand-covered beach as an opportunity to get extra credit for an environmental science class that would boost his end-of-term scores and GPA. As a parent who works full time and goes to school on Mondays, Neal says it’s hard to find time to work extra hours during the week, so he takes opportunities like Saturdays when he can.

North America’s Uzin Utz, an international flooring company that recently built a facility on Mars Drive, is bringing in a crew of helpers as part of its company’s five-year strategy, Passion 2025, said marketing director Josh Neuberger. Neuberger says the strategy focuses on four pillars: products and services, profit, people and planet.

“The planetary initiatives we have can be, you know, green initiatives, like solar power for buildings, but also social sustainability items like giving back to society,” he said.

Lake Waco Cleanup

Volunteer coordinator Matthew Hackler and volunteer Antonio Neal loaded some of the 126 tires collected Saturday.

Rod Aydelotte, Tribune-Herald

Neuberger says he is the first Uzin Utz employee to move to Waco after working for the company for 10 years in Dallas, and it’s great to get to know the new community while working alongside colleagues, some new and some he has known for years. .

“Lake Waco is a visible landmark in the city, lots of people use it,” says Neuberger. “We want to protect it and it will not only help our corporate strategy, but also help society at large, which is what we want to do.”

The next cleanup will take place at Airport Park, Hackler said. For more information on upcoming events, he says, volunteers should follow Fish On, Group W Bench Litter Patrol, Keep Waco Beautiful, and The Old Lake Waco and Dam Facebook page, or call the Lake Waco Projects Office at 254-756-5359 for volunteer opportunities.

WATCH NOW: The City of Waco is preparing to introduce tougher drought measures in April now that Lake Waco is more than 11 feet below normal after 15 months of drought.

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