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Pick It Up!

Updated: Feb 4

Written by Christina Handley, Board Member with the Glade Run Lake Conservancy

Glade Run Lake is a natural gem in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Whether you are kayaking or boating on the serene 52-acre lake, hiking the wooded one-mile loop trail that gently meanders along the lake's tranquil shore, or simply enjoying the scenic beauty of the park, many would agree this preserved natural area is a valuable asset to our local community and region.

Since the lake was restored in 2017, attendance has steadily increased as more people learn about the many recreational opportunities the lake provides. And though it's great to see new people enjoying Glade Run Lake, more visitors can mean more litter, resulting in added concern for the health and beauty of the lake as well as its plant and animal inhabitants.

Litter is an issue in many places, not just in local parks. All over our planet, litter is a significant problem. The United States alone produces 292.4 million tons of waste per year, or 4.9 pounds per person per day according to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2018. A continuous study by Keep America Beautiful found that 50 billion pieces of that waste result in litter, polluting our roadways and waterbodies. Researchers estimate that litter contributes to 60% of water pollution, resulting in negative impacts to important places (like Glade Run Lake).

Not only does litter detract from the beauty of a natural area, it's also dangerous and often lethal to wildlife. Additionally, litter contaminates soil, limits plant growth, and decreases oxygen levels in water when it decays, causing stress to aquatic life. When oxygen levels become too low, fish and other aquatic organisms cannot survive.