2020 White Bear Lake Cleanup
Submitted by Jim Schuster
Thanks to overwhelming support from T89 and the local Scouting community, the 17th annual late-winter White Bear Lake ice cleanup was the biggest in event history! This year’s cleanup had 146 participants – the most ever!
This event was first held in 2004 as a T89 Eagle Scout project, and since then it has been hosted every year by the White Bear Lake Conservation District as a community-wide event. This year’s cleanup took place on Saturday, March 7 – a beautiful sunny day! Fortunately, spring held off long enough for volunteers to be able to do a true “lake cleanup”. (The ice was still 23” thick!)
As is the tradition for this event, volunteers gathered at Bellaire Beach at 10am and heard opening remarks from Bill Nissen (Liaison to Minnesota Geocaching Association), Scott Costello (Representative from the White Bear Lake Conservation District), T89 Assistant Scoutmaster Randy Tweden (with safety instructions) and overall welcome and thanks from Event Chair Jim Schuster.
A real “community” event, this year’s cleanup included members of the Minnesota Geocaching Association, members of the White Bear Lake Conservation District, at-large members of the community, and members of eight different Scout Units.
Turnout from Mahtomedi Units may have been inhibited a bit because Mahtomedi High School’s Zephyr hockey team was playing in the state tournament championship game on Saturday midday. (They won – Yay Zephs!)
Thank you to the following T89 Scouts who participated in this year’s cleanup event: Lincoln Anderson, Wyatt Lorinser, Noah House, Benjamin Hammond, Noah Hammond, Xavier Knauss, Tate Cermak, Forrest Olson, Isaiah Anderson, Ethan Anderson, Ean Viker, Cole Sather, Erik Kalthoff, and William MacChesney.
Volunteers returned to Bellaire Beach at about 11:30am to get their collections weighed and put in the park dumpster, then were treated to a free tasty pizza lunch. In years past, the Keep-Zimmer VFW Post in White Bear Lake had provided burgers to all volunteers, but this year preferred to simply fund the lunch. With their funding in hand, event coordinators were able to negotiate great arrangements with Mahtomedi Carbones Pizza and with QC Pizza who opened early that day to prepare our cleanup feast.
Thank you to these T89 adults who took part in the cleanup effort too: Rick MacChesney, Alan Kaltoff, Randy Comfort, Deena Anderson, Randy Tweden, Mark Schroeder, Diane Hammond, Kevin Murphy, Jason Knauss, Dennis Cermak, Mitch Anderson, Mark Viker, Todd Sather, and Jim Schuster.
Special thank you to event photographer Mark Viker, to Alan Kaltoff and Todd Sather for transporting pizza to volunteers at Bellaire Beach, to Randy Comfort and Dennis Cermak for serving pizza to volunteers, to Randy Tweden for serving as First Aid Chair and providing overall logistics support for the event, and to event chair Jim Schuster.
This year’s cleanup pulled approximately 247 pounds of trash off the ice. This haul is lower than usual, but hopefully is a sign that icefishermen are leaving less trash behind than they used to leave.