Rain dampens plans for spring activities

Showers Saturday put a damper on spring activities.

The 19th Annual Clinton Lake Cleanup drew about 50 to 75 people, well below previous years.

A steady rain doesn't keep members of the Murphy family of Lawrence from participating in the 19th annual Clinton Lake Cleanup. Hannah Murphy, 6, and her mother, Mary Murphy, searched for litter Saturday around a Clinton Lake picnic area.

The Airport Open House was postponed until May 11.

And Day on the Hill, Kansas University’s annual music bash, was postponed. Student organizers for the Day on the Hill concert are confirming bands for Saturday.

The rain started about 2:30 a.m. Saturday and by midafternoon had deposited 0.93 inches in Lawrence, said Jeff House, a meteorologist with WeatherData Inc. in Wichita.

The Clinton Lake Cleanup usually draws between 250 and 800 people who pick up about 3,500 pounds of trash, said Kipp Walters, a park ranger with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

On Saturday morning, between 50 and 75 people braved driving rain to collect about 10 to 15 bags of trash, Walters said.

“We were impressed that as many showed up as they did,” he said.

A planned free outdoor barbecue for the volunteers was canceled, and park staff boiled a few hot dogs for Brian Hayes and his daughters, Katrina, 9, and Misty, 7, the only die-hards to stick around until 11:30 a.m.

Hayes said they had tried to stay dry by alternating picking up trash and sitting in the car. The family spotted turkeys, geese, killdeer and a copperhead snake while collecting bags of trash.

Hayes was surprised at all the litter they found, including a clay pigeon, fireworks, a sock and a ball cap.

“I thought it would be a great opportunity to model appropriate behavior as far as the environment goes,” said Hayes, a project engineer for Lawrence Public Works. “It really made the kids think, and they’re kind of blown away by the fact that these individuals are so irresponsible. There are people that just don’t care.”

Walters said some groups had rescheduled a time to clean a section of the park.

“We always let people pick up trash if they want to,” he said.

The Open House at the Lawrence Municipal Airport was postponed because of rain and will be held May 11. Lloyd Hetrick, president of Hetrick Aircraft Inc., said the event will be the same, and will include concessions sold by Boy Scouts, helicopter rides, and a display from Cessna, including two new aircraft. Companies that work at the airport, such as GUT Works LLC, Lifestar air ambulance and Hetrick Aircraft, also will have displays.

The event is a showcase for recent improvements such as a 33,000-square yard parking apron and new terminal lobby furniture.

The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce also is sponsoring a drawing for free flights around the city, Hetrick said.

“We just want to get people familiar with the airport because we had some of the major improvements done last summer,” he said.