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Archive for Sunday, November 13, 2011

Volunteers resuscitate Potter Lake

Volunteers bag hundreds of pounds of surface scum pulled from Potters Lake Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. Using a boat and a rope to circle around areas of vegetation, the scum was pulled to shore by a truck in an attempt at preventive maintenance of the campus lake.

Volunteers bag hundreds of pounds of surface scum pulled from Potters Lake Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. Using a boat and a rope to circle around areas of vegetation, the scum was pulled to shore by a truck in an attempt at preventive maintenance of the campus lake.

November 13, 2011

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Kansas University students removed more than a ton of vegetation out of Potter Lake Sunday, part of an ongoing effort to restore the campus landmark.

Volunteer Sam Coonrod, Manhattan, freshman, left, and Stan Loeb, an environmental specialist at KU, use a boat and a rope to circle an area of surface scum on Potters Lake Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. The rope was pulled to shore by a truck, removing unwanted aquatic vegetation from the pond in an attempt at preventive maintenance of the campus lake. Loeb estimated that volunteer crews would remove a few tons of the vegetation Sunday.

Volunteer Sam Coonrod, Manhattan, freshman, left, and Stan Loeb, an environmental specialist at KU, use a boat and a rope to circle an area of surface scum on Potters Lake Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011. The rope was pulled to shore by a truck, removing unwanted aquatic vegetation from the pond in an attempt at preventive maintenance of the campus lake. Loeb estimated that volunteer crews would remove a few tons of the vegetation Sunday.

More than 40 students helped clear the lake, which required two boats and the occasional assistance of a pickup truck.

Stan Loeb, KU’s environmental specialist in charge of monitoring the pond, said removing vegetation is the best way to keep the pond healthy. He’s wanted to do a cleanup for two months.

“I had the energy but didn’t have the bodies,” Loeb said. “The students should be recognized for their efforts.”

Celeste McCoy, a senior at KU and head coordinator of the Potter Lake Project, helped Loeb recruit volunteers. McCoy said she expected about six volunteers and was surprised by the large turnout.

As the cold weather kills aquatic plants, they accumulate on the bottom and decompose, releasing nutrients that feed the green scum that used to layer the pond’s surface. The growth isn’t just an eyesore; it deprives the water of oxygen and kills fish.

“It used to be one big, green mess,” McCoy said. However, she said the pond is much healthier after KU dredged it in 2010.

Volunteers threw weighted ropes into the water, creating a horseshoe pattern to drag out vegetation. It was a tug-of-war — eight people and one truck versus the bottom of the lake. Just an hour into the day, dozens of white trash bags filled with plant matter lined the shore. McCoy said she expected to fill more than 100 bags.

Katie Fankhauser, a junior at KU, volunteered and said Potter Lake was a vital part of KU’s campus. McCoy agreed, adding that it’s the students’ responsibility to maintain the pond.

“It’s impressive to see the students get together in the common goal of improving Potter Lake,” she said.

Comments

tolawdjk 3 years, 1 month ago

My gut tells me it is going to take at least 5 more years of that to get the lake back up to healthy. Even with the dredging that muck at the bottom has to be loaded with nutrients that fuel blooms like this. Only by getting that out of the lake by doing exactly this will the system get back into balance. I bet the COD and BOD numbers were off the charts.

Delmo 3 years, 1 month ago

Wouldn't a few large grass carp keep the hydra and moss thinned out? Seems to work at the small lakes scattered around some of the business parks in the O.P./Lenexa area.

pace 3 years, 1 month ago

I love that little pond, spent my first semester reading books by it. Nice the students took the time and made the effort. Good for them.

Fatty_McButterpants 3 years, 1 month ago

It's a pond, not a lake; a lake is a much larger body of water.

pace 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes, you are right, it is a pond. It is called Potters Lake. All guys with the last name Kind, aren't.

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