Lake deserves better


I am an East Palestine-born resident who has lived and worked in Africa and the Caribbean for 38 years. My employment was that of ecologist in national parks, forest reserves and private nature reserves. I worked developing habitat for mammals and birds and conserving trees, lakes and waterways. When I returned to East Palestine I worked for the city planting trees in three areas: the City Lake, the City Park and the then-developing Leslie Run estates.

My grandfather took me to the City Lake fishing from the age of 6 years old and I continued to the age of 18 when I went away to college, the army and eventually other parts of the world. That lake was the first place where I became aware of and started to observe fish, birds and animal behavior. My first blue gill, bass, crappie and even grass pike were caught in that lake.

Currently, the City Lake is used by numerous people for teaching children how to fish, for bird watching and a place to commune with nature. There is walking/bike trail along one side of the lake. The management of the lake has been neglected for years. It needs to be drained, cleaned/scraped and all trash fish such as carp removed; fish hiding structures, logs and stumps, put in place for small fish to hide and grow in; then it should be restocked with appropriate fish. The septic systems that drain into the feeder stream need to be monitored to ensure that the cleanest possible water flows into the lake because people do eat fish they catch out of the lake.

Attempts should be made to curtail the number of geese that use the lake, as their fecal waste adds to the algae and bacteria count. This would be a simple matter since effective methods have been used in the City Park pond and could also be employed at the City Lake as well.

It is acknowledged that money is always an issue in village government. However, grant money for cleaning up waterways and natural water habitats is available and should be actively sought so that a management plan for this natural asset to our community can be maintained for future generations.

John Herbert

East Palestine