Petition appears to clean Laurel Lakes in Voorhees

  “I was hugely disappointed when I looked at just at what was happening around Voorhees and the rubbish around Voorhees.” Festa said. “I haven’t seen anything like that anywhere in England.”

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A mallard duck lands in a lake after a long, exhausting flight. As he skims the water, both his feet become entangled in someone’s old fishing line. A few yards away, another duck steps out of the lake by trodding over a discarded Pepsi can to reach dry land. At the water’s edge, a yearling buck sifts through a pile of plastic shopping bags to find greens.

  These are things that Susan Festa noticed while walking around Laurel Lakes, two small lakes behind the Voorhees public library. Appalled by state of things, she requested change.

  “It’s so bad that in the wooded areas, along the footpath, there’s plastic bags hanging off trees and off bushes,” Festa said, “and as you start picking up the trash, which I’ve been doing, you find that there’s layers and layers of trash.”

  Festa has only moved to Voorhees recently. She spent the last twenty years living in London, England.

  “I was hugely disappointed when I looked at just at what was happening around Voorhees and the rubbish around Voorhees.” Festa said. “I haven’t seen anything like that anywhere in England.”

  Festa was determined to make a change. First, she called the Voorhees Sun to publicize the issue. Then, she went to the Township Board to talk to Mayor Michael Mignogna. The lakes are privately owned-the management company Echelon Common Facilities Management is supposed to clean the area regularly. The ECFM, after receiving pressure from the board, cleaned up the lakes earlier this week.

  But Festa is willing to fight for more than just one clean up.

  She has started a petition on Change.org that recently garnered over one hundred and thirty signatures. The petition requests that the lakes and woods be cleaned regularly, and that trash and recycling bins be placed beside the footpath. The management would be responsible for the newly installed bins. The management would also be required to enter the lake and remove all the litter polluting it.

  Both lakes were cleaned after mounting pressure from the Board. However, they have already been contaminated once more. “The lakes need to be cleaned up more often.” Festa said. “[ECFM] needs to do it more regularly, ideally monthly, because could it have been cleaned two or three days ago and have trash in it?”

  Festa will be attending an upcoming Voorhees Township Board Meeting with plans to propose a “radical” idea. She encourages residents of the town, regardless of age who are interested in sustaining the environment to attend when the date is announced.

  Interested in signing the petition? Go to this link to add your name and change Voorhees for the better..