I have been somewhat remiss in writing this letter of thanks to an anonymous person. Allow me to give some background and explanation.
My family and I have been summer residents at Lake of the Woods for 60 years. During that time, we have been victims of numerous incidents of theft and vandalism (at least once a year and frequently more than that) but persist in believing this little “jewel of B.C.” is well worth any trouble.
I was taught as a child, and have passed on the tradition to my children and grandchildren, that we are caretakers here and must safeguard this natural treasure.
We have been cleaning up the trash and refuse left by the careless, unthinking “others” for this past 60 years – some years have been noticeably better than others. Aug. 6 of this year was one of the bad times.
As I rowed around the lake at the rock slide nearest the highway, I found that someone had collected a large amount of garbage into one heap, and very kindly dropped the whole thing into about 10 feet of water – too deep for me to retrieve until the water recedes a lot more. There were potato chip bags, bottles, cans, plastic bags, etc.- even a pair of women’s high-heeled shoes! I was very angry at such stupidity, but could do nothing.
The next day I returned to the lake and was told by my son that he had witnessed something rather wonderful. A lone swimmer had been out that day and obviously was as angered by the thoughtlessness of others as we are. My son watched as the man repeatedly dove down deep and brought up the trash. It was put on display on a log – this swimmer had no way of taking it away, but put it somewhere that it could be retrieved by others. According to my son, this man’s disgust was patently obvious. We got our trash bags, bagged it all up and took it to the public turn-off trash bins.
This letter is to say a huge thank you to the person who spent his time and energy cleaning up someone else’s mess. If not for my family, the lone swimmer and a sadly small number of responsible people, Lake of the Woods, probably the best swimming lake in our province, would be a morass of garbage.
Please people! You come to enjoy our pristine little lake – take your garbage out with you, so your children and grandchildren will be able to have the same privilege.