Clinton Lake park officials are looking for help getting the lake ready for summer.
Clinton Lake park officials think they have the perfect outlet for spring fever energy: a spring cleaning at Clinton Lake.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks have sponsored their annual cleanup for the last 15 years as a precursor to Earth Day.
This year's cleanup will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 17.
It has drawn well in the past, bringing in 300 to 400 volunteers each year and once attracting a swarm of 750 people, said Jim Franz, park ranger with the corps.
"Everybody is anxious to get out in the spring," Franz said.
Volunteers tend to come with their organizations: Scouts, churches, social clubs. But families and individuals pitch in too.
With trash bags supplied by the organizers, they scour the city, state and federal parkland near the lake, bringing back anything not a rock, stick or plant.
"They'll come back with tires and old car parts ... old random things you'd never think would be out there," Franz said. "Last year, somebody came in with an old Army footlocker."
The parks, more than 2,500 acres in all, are divided into sections with different people assigned to each, Franz said.
Over the last two years, there even has been a group of scuba divers who worked the bottom of the lake.
A trash truck and recycling bins will be stationed at Overlook Park at the north end of Clinton Dam.
The parks have maintenance people assigned to them, but the added help each spring gets the park ready for a summer of swimming, boating and picnicking, Franz said.
"We kind of target it early in the season," Franz said. "We want to have them out there before the park is open."
For some, this is the first picnic of the year. Volunteers are served a hot dog lunch at the end of the cleanup, something that provides some incentive, Franz said.
Anyone interested in helping or wanting more information is asked to call Franz at 843-7665.
-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.