Letters to the Editor: Lake Park Cleanup
To the Editor:
On behalf of the organizations involved in the H.O.P.E. coalition (Hammontonians Organized for a Positive Environment), I want to thank all of the organizers and participants in this year’s annual Hammonton Lake Park Cleanup. This was our 14th year, and the first in which we branched out to other parts of town to make this a community-wide cleanup. After two years of pandemic restrictions that challenged us to adjust our approach to this event, in order to protect the health and safety of participants and the wider community, we were able to gather outdoors, and, after a brief orientation, venture out to several areas around Hammonton. Working side by side, we were able to reconnect with other Hammontonians, many of whom we haven’t easily been able to interact with in two years. To make our return to this signature event even sweeter, we had an all-time record-breaking participation, with over 175 people of all ages signing in!
This year, in addition to H.O.P.E. members (Environmental Commission, Green Committee and Lake Water Quality Committee), we had crucial support from the Hammonton Public School District through the enthusiastic leadership of Anthony and Tracy Angelozzi, who were essential in organizing assistance from other teachers and especially students from all levels of the system. We also had a very generous donation of morning refreshments by the Hammonton Education Association, which understands that coffee and doughnuts are vital to getting things going in the morning! Our beloved Canoe Club senior volunteers opened their doors to us once again, loaning us their tables and chairs for outdoor registration and orientation, as well as access to the Canoe Club accommodations throughout the morning.
The ever-enthusiastic Councilman Jonathan Oliva and the Hammonton Green Committee, led by the very able Amy Menzel, worked effectively to organize the day’s logistics, as well as conduct outreach to other sectors of town, to ensure not only a great turnout but a smoothly run event.
School clubs, parents with pre-school aged kids, seniors, and everyone in between turned out. I did a tour of the Park and the Smith Conservation Area immediately after the event, and I was impressed at how thoroughly the grounds had been cleaned. I know others also had the opportunity to view areas around town, and were equally impressed.
The Atlantic county utilities authority, an ever faithful partner of this event and the town in general, provided crucial logistical assistance, bringing all the supplies and equipment needed to make the day a success.
Hammonton is a town with a lot of “can-do” spirit, and we do it with positive energy, good humor, and determination. Once again, the residents of Hammonton have shown that, when presented with a challenge to take a good thing to the next level, we meet and beat those expectations, creating an even better community than the wonderful one we already have.
All Hammontonians can rightly be proud of the 175+ fellow residents who turned out to make our town a better, more sustainable community! Thank you, all!
Dan Bachalis, Chairperson
Hammonton Environmental Commission &
Hammonton Lake Water Quality Committee