Marcus Battistel (l) and his brother Adam with some of the garbage they cleaned out of Loon Lake during their stay there this summer.

Marcus Battistel (l) and his brother Adam with some of the garbage they cleaned out of Loon Lake during their stay there this summer.

Cleaning up Loon Lake, one foot at a time

Two young Langley residents spent part of their summer holiday cleaning up a 1,000 foot stretch of Loon Lake's shoreline and water.

When people from the city travel to their summer cabins and retreats for the summer, the aim is usually to kick back, relax, and forget about the worries of the world.

This is particularly true of children who, released from school for two months, take advantage of their freedom. However, two boys from Langley who spend a month each summer at their family’s cabin at Loon Lake decided to spend some of their time there this year doing something a bit different.

“Decades ago, people from the other side of Loon Lake boated across the lake and dumped their garbage along the shore,” says Mike Battistel. “There were piles of old cans and bottles on the shoreline of our property.”

His sons Marcus (12) and Adam (13) noticed, while they were snorkelling, that the garbage extended beneath the water of the lake. So the boys got a wheelbarrow, got their snorkel gear on, and cleaned up the garbage they found beside and under the water.

And they did not confine themselves to the area in front of their property. With the help of friends Max Gelineau, Emi Gelineau, Luke Casey, and Ben Casey, they gathered up the garbage they found in and around 1,000 feet of shoreline.

Some of the debris Marcus and Adam found in and beside Loon Lake. Photo by Laurel Battistel.

Bottles and cans dominated, but there were other items. “We found a couple of toys, some shoes, and a small boat motor,” says Adam. The boys’ parents took all the items found to the dump to be disposed of properly.

Mike Battistel notes that the dumping of garbage along the shoreline has largely stopped now, and that most of the items found had clearly been there for some time. He adds that Adam and Marcus plan to clear another 1,000 feet of shoreline next year.

“I don’t mind doing it,” says Adam. “It helps clean the lake. And it’s interesting what you find at the bottom of the lake.”