Thursday, 09 February 2023

Sena: Dedicated volunteers are making a difference in Clearlake

Citizens Caring for Clearlake volunteers cleaning up trash at Borax Lake in Clearlake, California, on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. Photo courtesy of Dave Sena.

On Nov. 3, I had the pleasure of spending the day with a group of unsung heroes cleaning up the shoreline of Borax Lake.

This day was in the planning for over a year by a small group of residents that realized the drought and low lake level presented the opportunity of a lifetime to clean up the littered Borax Lake shoreline.

Barbara Christwitz of Citizens Caring for Clearlake contacted me one day and said that Calpine had reached out to her and wanted to send some volunteers to help.

I rounded up my good friends Ann and Dave to help. Ann had inspired me a couple of years ago to start doing something about the endless littering and dumping that occurs on Sulphur Bank Drive along Borax Lake.

I have been coming to Clear Lake since the early 1990s and my wife Christy grew up in Nice and went to Upper Lake High School.

I remember the first time I visited Clear Lake. We drove over Mt. Saint Helena and as we drove into Lower Lake, I remember thinking this looks like a place from another time. I had not seen a Fosters Freeze since I was a kid. I was drawn to the natural beauty of the lake, local wildlife, excellent fishing and relaxed pace of life.

As we drove onto Sulphur Bank Drive, I witnessed what looked like a sprawling landfill. There was litter, tires, appliances and abandoned vehicles everywhere.

For years I drove by this travesty lamenting the seeming lack of concern about the problem. Several years ago, I noticed things were starting to look much better in the area. Ann informed me that there was a group of concerned citizens cleaning up the area. I decided to join the cause.

Borax Lake in Clearlake, California. Photo courtesy of Dave Sena.

A group of about a dozen volunteers spent the day picking up over two tons of litter, tires, appliances, used hypodermic needles and trash along the shoreline of Borax Lake.

We managed to clean up the entire shoreline in a day, leaving only a handful of piles of larger items which we hauled away in the next few days.

My plea to those that continue to litter and dump their unwanted belongings in this area is this. The Borax Lake area is a special place with an important history and all of us that live here bear responsibility to future generations to keep it pristine.

These are challenging times and going to the landfill can be costly. Littering and dumping is not the answer.

The items we hauled away included tires, TVs, appliances, scrap metal, cans and bottles, all of which are recyclable items that can be taken to the local landfill for free.

Citizens Caring for Clearlake will provide landfill vouchers for those that cannot afford to pay the landfill fees for other items.

I invite you to join the group of volunteers who work tirelessly to keep this area looking beautiful.

You can contact Barbara of Citizens Caring for Clearlake at 707-995-0940 to volunteer and to obtain landfill vouchers.

I assure you that it will be a fulfilling and rewarding endeavor.

Dave Sena lives in Clearlake, California.


Citizens Caring for Clearlake volunteers at Borax Lake in Clearlake, California, on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2022. Photo courtesy of Dave Sena.

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