It’s true in every hometown. The folks who live there don’t always have time to explore the unique places that surround them.
Here in Clear Lake, with an abundance of natural resources that natives can easily take for granted, that may be more true than ever.
And so, what a better time than the start of a new spring to explore the territory “where we live?”
To that end, the organizers of Clear Lake’s annual Earth Day celebration have put together an eco-friendly map of the community in order to encourage more folks to get out and appreciate this place called home.
“We want people to learn more about this wonderful planet Earth that was created for us by our good Lord,” says Earth Day committee member Ron Andrews.
With that in mind, the local eco-map identifies more than 20 points of interest around the community. While many of the places are best explored when warmer conditions arrive, it’s never too early to start.
Inside, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources offers an aquarium display from mid to late April through mid-October at the old hatchery at 1203 North Shore Drive. Since the date of opening hinges on the ice-out date, it’s a good idea to call first. But trust that the aquarium collection is worth a visit for those who have never seen it.
Clausen Cove (Farmers Beach), the Clear Creek Outdoor Classroom and Central Gardens are a few of the easy places on the list, but how many folks have visited some of the area wildlife areas?
The Lon Whitney Wildlife Sanctuary at the junction of Lee and Bayside is a wooded area that serves an urban wildlife space. Lekwa Marsh, at the intersection of South Shore Drive and 235th Street, is a favorite gathering spot for a variety of waterfowl. Hoffman Prairie, at the intersection of Balsam Avenue and Highway 18 is a 37-acre tract of native grasses that will bloom with wildflowers as the season warms this year.
Earth Day committee members also encourage area residents to learn more about filter boxes, rain gardens and shoreline stabilization projects, all identified on the eco map.
For a full listing of the sites and descriptions, please visit the Clear Lake Earth Day website at www.earthdaynorthiowa.org.