Volunteers remove bottles, yard signs, a bicycle and more during Anchorage’s lake cleanup day

Glass bottles, cans, and even an intact bicycle were just some of the items pulled out of Anchorage’s lakes and lagoons during a lake cleanup event Saturday afternoon.

The Flotilla event was organized by the Anchorage Waterways Council, Anchorage Park Foundation and the Municipality of Anchorage’s Parks and Recreation Department with a mission to create a day dedicated to cleaning lakes around the city. The event coincided with the waterways council’s 38th annual creek cleanup, running May 12-24, and Anchorage’s monthlong citywide cleanup.

The idea came from Larry Monsma, a resident and avid kayaker who does impromptu cleanups around Westchester Lagoon, said Cherie Northon, executive director of the Anchorage Waterways Council. Matson donated hand sanitizer, safety vests and tools for the day.

About 40 teams spread out around Anchorage to clean up Goose Lake, Sand Lake, DeLong Lake, Jewel Lake, Cheney Lake, Taku Lake and Westchester Lagoon.

“This is when I get to interact more with the cleanup teams,” Northon said. “They’re all just so jazzed about it.”

Emily Mesner

Emily Mesner is a multimedia journalist for the Anchorage Daily News. She previously worked for the National Park Service at Denali National Park and Preserve and the Western Arctic National Parklands in Kotzebue, at the Cordova Times and at the Jackson Citizen Patriot in Jackson, Michigan.