It’s summer in the land of 10,000 lakes and that means lots of time in the water. Everyone has different ideas of what a day at the lake is to them and with so many choices everyone has their own favorite lake as well. Personally I like to go out in the middle of the lake and swim until I’m so tired I have to take a nap. Other people are content to never enter the water and just read a book on a towel in the sun; I just hope that they remembered their sunscreen.

With lake living come certain downsides though too. I spent Independence Day on my favorite lake, the one I grew up on, White Bear Lake. Due to low water levels, a sand bar in the middle of the lake has become the place to be on a hot summer day. Here is where the problem comes in; the aftermath. After the party let up and everyone boarded their boats to go home, there was tons of trash left behind. I thought that picking up after yourself was something everyone’s mom taught them, but now I know that it is less than automatic.

I hate to preach, but this is my plea to my fellow Minnesotans, please keep our lakes clean! Most people get the willies when they swim through a bit of seaweed, but think of how much worse it is when it’s someone else’s trash that you’re floating through. Gross.