Volunteers help with annual village cleanup

LAKE PLACID – More than 200 people took to the streets here over the weekend to participate in the annual Village Clean-up Day.

The tradition dates back more than 50 years, getting its start with the local garden club. On Saturday, volunteers signed up at the Olympic Speedskating Oval before setting out to tackle sections of the village, picking up litter and generally sprucing things up.

“It’s a community day,” Heidi Roland, who helped organize the event, told the Enterprise. “We like to say we get the community ready for the visitors, but really, we do this for our community and the visitors get to benefit.”

In many cases, groups of people zeroed in on their own neighborhoods. Students from the National Sports Academy, for example, scoured the sidewalks and parks near the school on Mirror Lake Drive and Parkside Drive, while families in the Hillcrest Avenue area picked up trash in Teddy Bear Park.

Ellie Evans, 7, was among the many young volunteers who donned work gloves and filled a trash bag. She said she did it “because it’s fun.

“It’s good for the environment,” she added.

Local youth and service groups chipped in, including the Cub Scouts, Lake Placid Business Association and the National Honor Society. Students from local public schools, NSA, Northwood and Mountain Lake Academy also participated.

Roland thanked the various businesses and agencies that donated food and services, including the state Olympic Regional Development Authority, village of Lake Placid, town of North Elba, the Lake Placid Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Wild Center, WSLP radio, Mr. Mike’s Pizza, Subway, McDonald’s, Mirror Lake Inn, Whiteface Lodge, Mountain Lake Academy, Central Garage, Price Chopper and the Garden Club of Lake Placid.

Roland also encouraged people to be mindful of keeping the community clean year-round, and she noted that the North Elba Transfer Station recycles plastics, metal, paper, cardboard and electronics.

Temperatures were in the 40s Saturday, but the sun was shining and downtown Lake Placid was fairly busy for a spring weekend. Some of the foot traffic was generated by the New York State Snowmobile Association’s annual conference, which was held Friday to Sunday at the Conference Center and included the Vintage Snowmobile Show and groomer exhibits.

Outside of the Olympic Center box office, snowmobile enthusiasts checked out a variety of antique and classic snowmobile models. Several groomers were parked in the municipal parking lot, next to the Conference Center, too.

The morning’s activities culminated with a lunch and the sixth annual Plunge for a Cause at the Mirror Lake Beach. Dozens of people sprinted into the icy waters of Mirror Lake to raise money for the Tri-Lakes Humane Society and the Lake Placid and Wilmington Ecumenical Food Shelves. The plunge was sponsored by the Lake Placid Middle School Builder’s Club.