LSPPOA Earth Day cleanup pushes back against littering

·3 min read

The Lake St. Peter Property Owners’ Association began the 30th year of their annual road cleanup on April 22, Earth Day, 2023. They intend to persevere with this litter cleanup until the community and seasonal residents start coming up to the area, with a targeted completion date of the start of summer on the May 24 weekend. Bonny McCleery Scanlan, the LSPPOA and Hastings Highlands Interlake - Environment Coordinator, comments on this annual litter cleanup initiative. McCleery Scanlan tells Bancroft This Week that the April 22 litter cleanup was a good kick off to this initiative, but the real work begins as the community and seasonal residents start coming up to the area. They’re targeting a completion date of this cleanup project at the start of summer, or the May 24 weekend. According to their website at, the association is a non-profit, community-based, volunteer driven organization dedicated to the support of and advocacy for the conservation of Lake St. Peter and Boulter Lake, their waterways and surrounding lands for present and future generations through responsible environmental stewardship.

McCleery Scanlan says that John Severinac of Delmar Cottages managed this annual litter cleanup program and rallied the community together for several years, but now John and Liz Doherty of the LSPPOA have taken the lead to keep Lake St. Peter beautiful.

“On Earth Day, John and Liz Doherty took advantage of not having any blackflies yet, to place the stakes along Hwy 127 marking one-kilometre sections from Lake St. Peter to Maynooth. Then, contacting all previous volunteers and recruiting new ones to ensure full coverage of the highway and side roads,” she says.

McCleery Scanlan says that since this endeavor has been happening for 30 years, some of the more senior folks says it’s time for the younger people to take this on now as their mobility isn’t what it once was.

She says they didn’t get as many new volunteers as they’d hoped for, which means that some volunteers are doubling up on sections of the roads. She says their volunteer base is still 60-year-olds and older.

“However, we did get an Earth Day crew of Junior Lake Stewards, sisters aged 8 years and 6 year old twins, cleaning up our popular community beach, Dog’s Point! A bag full of litter off the beach and out of the bushes thanks to the girls. Investing in our planet by teaching the little one’s ways to help care for it!” she says.

However, McCleery Scanlan says that the need continues year after year. According to data provided by McCleery Scanlan, in 2022, they collected 65 bags of trash, not all of which were accounted for, as three people didn’t have email, so their bag count wasn’t reported. In previous years, they collected 77 bags in 2021, zero bags in 2020 (due to COVID-19), 62 bags in 2019, 55 bags in 2018, 61 bags in 2017 and 75 bags back in 2016.

“We would like to thank Hastings Highlands council for the grant we received to show our volunteers a little appreciation for their effort. Thank you to a Lake St. Peter business, the Scooped Moose, who prints off gift coupons for a free ice cream cone [for our volunteers],” she says. “Won’t that be tasty on a hot day?!”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times