Greeks Go Green grooms Lake LaVerne

Jared Raney

A new campus group has decided to take keeping up Lake LaVerne into its own hands.

Brian Skalak and Taylor Gaffney, members of the greek community, have started an ISU chapter of the national initiative Greeks Go Green. And their first order of business has been to clean the lake.

Since the lake was built in 1915, it has served as a gathering place and monument for generations of students, weaving itself into the traditions of ISU culture.

In recent days, the grounds of Lake LaVerne have not been treated as a historical monument. On any given day as students walk down the winding paths surrounding the lake, they will find many things: shade on the long walk to class, peace and quiet to eat lunch or study, or perhaps even Lancelot and Elaine, the famous swans that are almost as important as the lake.

Students may also find broken plastic cups or crushed cans from the previous weekend, as well as countless cigarette butts among the grass and pine needles. The trash problem is not limited only to the grassy areas surrounding the lake, but has also made its way to the depths of Lake LaVerne. If students get close enough, they can see, through the cloud of muck and algae, a glass bottle with an unidentifiable label or a plastic wrapper among many other bits of trash.

This Greeks Go Green group adopted Lake LaVerne as part of the Adopt Campus Program organized by the university. Their main duty as fosters of the iconic landmark is a regular cleanup of the area surrounding the lake.

“The Adopt Campus Program is awesome,” said Skalak, senior in advertising and treasurer and membership chairman for Greeks Go Green. “It’s a great way for any kind of group to give back to the university.”

The group received a large turnout for their first cleanup on Sunday, Sept. 23. Though the group has an official university listing of six members, 41 people signed in to the event, though the members running the event guessed a higher number because they ran out of both waivers and gloves, which were supplied by the university.

Skalak is very excited about the future of the group and is already beginning to plan events for later in the year, including a clothing drive.

“The events that we’re going to put on are going to be open to the entire university and the community. … We’re trying to get some really good involvement,” Skalak said of the group’s involvement. “We’re really excited because Lake LaVerne is such a staple of the university.”

The greek group isn’t the only program that is excited about the attention this event received. Les Lawson, Campus Services manager, is very pleased with the Adopt Campus Program’s success.

“Our ultimate goal is that we want to get the word out that this is your campus; please help take care of it,” Lawson said.

The Adopt Campus Program is an extension of the Keep Iowa State Beautiful, which is a big part of Campus Services.

“The hope is that our campus becomes more beautiful; you don’t see the trash like we used to, so it is helping. We’re trying to get the students involved, to really feel they are a part of campus,” Lawson said. “It’s a really great program; people seem to enjoy it, so I’m happy, I’m really happy.”