A Davenport man is asking the community to help clean up a mess at a local lake.
William Schultz is hoping to find a long-term solution to the garbage build up at Crow Creek Lake in Davenport.
Schultz says for over a year he’s been trying to have a dumpster installed in the small, gravel parking lot off Scott Park Road. He says when he reached out to Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) last year, they said they couldn’t fund a dumpster for the area. Schultz says after that, he and a few fishermen started cleaning up the garbage themselves.
“For someone to make a difference all it takes is one person so that’s why I’m here today.”
But now they say that’s not enough, and they’re hoping to bring attention to the issue.
Schultz says the quiet lake that’s tucked away has become a small sanctuary for him and his family.
“It’s definitely an escape for me, and being a veteran and the fact of the matter is it does say no alcohol permitted and I’ve got three and a half years sobriety so this is a very safe haven for me to come to,” said Schultz.
But he says it’s frustrating when broken bottles and beer cans are scattered all over the area. And he says that’s just part of what’s become a serious problem.
“The fact is that they’re leaving it and destroying this area for us,” said Schultz.
Schultz says he’s contacted Davenport City officials, Iowa senators, multiple officers in Iowa DNR, and has even reached out to third-party organizations for help. He’s contacted Team Marlboro, Stand for the Land program, and other conservation groups. But so far, he hasn’t had much luck.
So instead, he cleans it up himself.
“I usually will cast my poles out and then I start collecting the garbage and then I’ll bring it up [to the parking lot] and put it in my vehicle and take it home,” said Schultz.
But Schultz says he can’t do it alone, and the signs posted around the property aren’t enough.
“We’re just asking for help to at least get some kind of receptacles to give incentive to people to clean up after themselves,” said Schultz.
And he isn’t the only one who is tired of the trash.
Amanda Ellis says she and her daughter have been coming to the lake for years. But she says each year, the trash seems to get worse.
“Every year it’s sad to see that there is more garbage around here,” said Ellis.
And she’s not sure how much longer she and her daughter can enjoy the area before it’s no longer safe. She says she’s seen people dropping trash into the water more than once.
“If people would just take an extra five minutes to pick up the garbage before they left it would make all the difference in the world,” said Ellis. “It’s not that hard.”
Hope Foreman was hoping to beat the heat Thursday afternoon, but says she and her friends say the garbage is out of control.
“I think it’s terrible,” said Foreman. “I think people should clean up after themselves, at least be more considerate of the animals.”
And now visitors are hoping people will clean up their act, before it’s closed off to the public for good.
Local 4 News has reached out to Iowa DNR and we are waiting on that response.