Lake Como Cleanups - June 17, 2023 - 9am-Noon
The Como Community Council, in partnership with the Capital Region Watershed District, plans multiple Lake Como cleanup events each year. Volunteers gather with others in the community to clean trash from the lake surface or shoreline. We’ll meet near the dock on the lower level lake side of the Pavilion to pick up tools, supplies, and have a refreshment.
District 10 provides trash-grabbers, rakes, buckets, nets, trash bags, and nitrile gloves for those who need them. Or, feel free to provide your own gear. Registration is not required, but it helps us plan and communicate if changes come up.
2023 Lake Cleanup Dates
- Saturday, June 17 – 9am-Noon
- Tuesday, July 25 – 5-8pm
- Saturday, September 23 – 9am-Noon
Sign up for the D10 Weekly Newsletter to get the latest info on 2023 Cleanups, or join our Environment committee meetings to help lead the events!
Past Cleanup Results
2023 Lake Cleanups
May 23, 2023 (5-8pm)
- Participants: 32
- Hours: 70
- Est. Trash removed: 50lbs
- Trash picked up per hour: 0.71
- Trash picked up per person: 1.56
- Lead Organizers: Teri Alberico and Mike Ireland
2022 Como Curb Cleanup
- Total responding participants: 47
- Total feet cleaned: 24,979ft
- Number of miles cleaned: 4.7
- Equivalent number of times around Lake Como cleaned: 2.8
- Total phosphorus prevented from reaching Lake Como: 7.81lbs
- Total curly leaf pond weed this phosphorus amount could produce: 1.95 tons!
2022 Lake Cleanups
October 8, 2022 (9am-Noon)
- Participants: 40
- Hours: 89
- Est. Trash removed: 186.2lbs
- Trash picked up per hour: 2.09
- Trash picked up per person: 4.66
- Lead Organizers: Ben Kowalsky-Grahek and Mike Ireland
July 26, 2022 (6-9pm)
- Participants: 21
- Hours: 52.2
- Est. Trash removed: 70 lbs
- Trash picked up per hour: 1.33 lbs
- Trash picked up per person: 3.33 lbs
- Lead Organizers: Dan Edgerton and Mike Ireland
June 28, 2022 (6-9pm)
- Participants: 19
- Hours: 42
- Est. Trash removed: 30.5 lbs
- Trash picked up per hour: 0.73 lbs
- Trash picked up per person: 1.61 lbs
- Lead Organizers: Jennifer Victor-Larsen and Mike Ireland
May 21, 2022 (9am-Noon)
- Participants: 32
- Hours Estimated: 70
- Trash removed: 50 lbs
- Trash picked up per hour: 0.71 lbs
- Trash picked up per person: 1.56 lbs
- Lead Organizers: Gordy Wrobel and Mike Ireland
2021 Lake Cleanups
3 in-person events; one DIY event
(2 Saturday mornings and 1 weeknights for in-person)
- Total Participants: 61
- Hours: 123
- Est. Trash removed: 344 lbs
- Trash picked up per hour: 2.8 lbs
- Trash picked up per person: 5.55 lbs
- Lead Organizers: Gordon Wrobel and Mike Ireland
2020 Lake Cleanups
3 DIY events
- Total Participants: 22
- Hours: 41.75
- Est. Trash removed: 275.50 lbs
- Trash picked up per hour: 6.6 lbs
- Trash picked up per person: 12.52 lbs
2019 Lake Cleanups
3 events on Saturdays with good weather
- Total Participants: 63
- Hours: 176
- Est. Trash removed: 250 lbs
- Trash picked up per hour: 1.42 lbs
- Trash picked up per person: 3.97 lbs
2021 Como Curb Cleanup
- Total responding participants: 61
- Total feet cleaned: 31,302ft
- Number of miles cleaned: 5.9
- Equivalent number of times around Lake Como cleaned: 3.5
- Total phosphorus prevented from reaching Lake Como: 9.78lbs
- Total curly leaf pond weed this phosphorus amount could produce: 2.45 tons!
2020 Como Curb Cleanup
Moved toward a neighborhood-based approach with a less formalized event and no tracking of results.
2019 Como Curb Cleanup
Prior to 2021 this was coordinated by Janna Caywood and the Como Active Citizen’s Network
- Total responding participants: 64
- Total feet cleaned: 38,000ft
- Total phosphorus prevented from reaching Lake Como: 12.5lbs
- Total curly leaf pond weed this phosphorus amount could produce: 3 tons!
2018 Como Curb Cleanup
- Total responding participants: 71
- Total feet cleaned: 32,532ft
- Total phosphorus prevented from reaching Lake Como: 10.17lbs
- Total curly leaf pond weed this phosphorus amount could produce: 2.54 tons!
2017 Como Curb Cleanup
- Total responding participants: 97
- Total feet cleaned: 22,236ft
- Total phosphorus prevented from reaching Lake Como: 6.95lbs
- Total curly leaf pond weed this phosphorus amount could produce: 1.74 tons!
2016 Como Curb Cleanup
- Total responding participants: 108
- Total feet cleaned: 42,800ft
- Total phosphorus prevented from reaching Lake Como: 13.38lbs
- Total curly leaf pond weed this phosphorus amount could produce: 3.34 tons!
Como Curb Cleanup (October-November)
Como Community Council is teamed up with the Como Active Citizen Network and Capitol Region Watershed District for the Como Curb Cleanup. When it rains, leaves on streets release nutrients into the water that flows into storm drains and the lake. There it becomes food for invasive algae. Join 100+ neighbors in sweeping your curb once a week this fall to help keep Como Lake clean.
Signing up below to be an official participant helps us track results and helps (a lot) to support future efforts!
Collective Curb Cleaning Practice
Simple in design, but mighty in its impact, Curb Cleaning is an individual, household practice led by Como neighbors on their own properties. When we all do this, it becomes a collective practice, removing water pollution sources that, in the aggregate, significantly impact our beloved local waters – Como Lake and the Mississippi River.
2023 Curb Cleaning season is Oct. 1 through November 30.
During autumn, our focus is leaves! All those fall leaves that accumulate in our street gutters otherwise known as our “curbs.” Each household focuses just on the stretch of curb that borders their own private property (alleys too, if you have one).
Streets + leaves + stormwater runoff = nutrient pollution in local waters!
When rainwater washes over leaf litter accumulated along street curbs, phosphorus and nitrogen leach out of those leaves (think of a tea bag). This creates nutrient infused runoff that then flows to the nearest storm drain and into underground storm sewer pipes. In Como, our pipes empty into Como Lake and the Mississippi River.
Como Lake is already impaired due to excessive nutrients that feed noxious algae. This annual pollution influx coming from our neighborhood streets further degrades lake and river water quality and damages the aquatic ecosystem.
How to practice Curb Cleaning!
It’s simple, really.
- October 1st, begin monitoring the curbs that border your private property.
- Once a week (or as needed) if you notice leaf litter has accumulated along the curb, sweep it up.
- You can simply push it up onto your boulevard. This at least gets it out of the street where stormwater runoff will flow. You can then deal with the leaves when you’re ready to manage your yard leaves.
- Or you can gather them up and move them immediately to a pile in your backyard, to breakdown into compost over the winter.
- Or you can bundle them up and take them to the nearest county yard waste site.
- Or you can bag them in a compostable bag and ask your waste hauler to pick them up (for a fee).
- November 30th, if you’d like your pollution source removal to be counted in our community-wide, aggregated measurement of Pounds of Phosphorous Prevented, you can report a.) how many feet of curbage you took care of and b.) how often you cleaned your curbage. We have a form below and will also email reporting info to you if you’ve registered to participate.
Regional Parks Cleanup Day - April
D10 Como Park usually co-hosts the Como Park portion of the city’s Regional Parks Cleanup Day.
When: Saturday, April 22, 2023 from 9-11:30am
What: Individuals and groups of all ages come together to pick up litter that has recently become exposed due to the melting snow.
How: Participating is easy! Simply drop by the Como pavilion around 9am on April 22, 2023 to check in and pick up bags and gloves. Borrowed equipment should be returned by 11:30am.
Where (Como Park): Look for our table near the Como Lake Pavilion to sign-in, pick-up some supplies, and debate which part of Como Park is your favorite with one of our helpful volunteer board members.