BUCKEYE LAKE — A litter cleanup project at Buckeye Lake took place on Saturday, Nov. 14, thanks to a cycling group known as Bike Buckeye Lake. The point man for the Roadside Trash Cleanup day that had 30 volunteers and the cooperation of two Perry County offices was Jeff Ritter.
Jenny LaRue, health educator for the Perry County Health Department, took part in the litter pickup. Bags for trash and recyclable materials, grabbers, and gloves for the volunteers were provided by Matt Reed and Katrina Carpenter of Perry County Waste Reduction & Recycling.
“We’re in year one for a five-year Creating Healthy Communities grant from the Ohio Department of Health to improve the infrastructure in Thorn Township,” explained LaRue. Creating a bike path and family friendly walking trails are at the top of LaRue’s list for Thorn Township.
Ritter reported that Honey Creek Road, state Route 13, the North Bank boat launch area, Mill Dam Road, and Cristland Hill Road were focal points for the cleanup effort. He had high praise for the volunteers who participated despite the 30-degree temperatures and dense fog that shrouded the entire Buckeye Lake area.
“Thank you for all your support for our Roadside Trash Cleanup Day yesterday,” said Ritter of the 30 volunteers. “We filled a little more than 100 trash bags along with tires, store shelving, hubcaps, and more.”
Ritter said he, Mike Anderson, and Jeff Robb formed the Bike Buckeye Lake group. All three men were part of the Roadside Cleanup Day. Ritter described Bike Buckeye Lake as an advocacy group more than a club. The group formed in July 2015 in conjunction with the Buckeye Lake Tri-County Alliance 2036, now known as the Buckeye Lake Regional Corporation. Bike Buckeye Lake is a 501c3 organization.
In a brochure Bike Buckeye Lake has created, they provide a mission statement that revolves around developing everything from historical and environmental conservation to grant applications to enhancing and promoting a safe, family friendly system of walking and biking trails in the Buckeye lake area. The 4.1-mile stretch of trail across the restored dam on Buckeye Lake north and west shorelines is one example of a Bike Buckeye Lake initiative.
“The ODNR had no plans to utilize that 4.1-mile stretch on the new dam for walking or biking trails,” said Ritter. After bringing their ideas to the ODNR for such a great addition, plans were altered to create the trail that now stretches from the village of Buckeye Lake all the way to Lieb’s Island at Millersport.
For more information about Bike Buckeye Lake, look on the web at BikeBuckeyeLake.org, email them at info@BikeBuckeyeLake.org, or get on Facebook at Bike Buckeye Lake. Be sure to look for information about their Annual “Tour de Buckeye Lake” event that takes place in August. The first two years of the event saw 200 riders participate. In 2019, the event drew 500 riders.
Thanks to the individuals who showed up last Saturday at the Route 79 boat launch in Buckeye Lake, the area around the lake is much cleaner. All the rest of us have to do now is keep it that way.