Volunteers are needed to help clean up fireworks debris and other trash at the sixth annual Oak Lake Park Cleanup from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 5. The event is sponsored by the Watershed Management Division of the Public Works and Utilities Department, the Parks and Recreation Department, EcoStores Nebraska and Ayars & Ayars. The Uncle Sam Jam Independence Day celebration is Sunday, July 3 at Oak Lake Park. (The rain date is July 4.)
Volunteers are asked to meet at the open park shelter on the east side of Oak Lake Park. Lunch and free water bottles will be provided while supplies last. Volunteers also will be entered into a drawing for a rain barrel. For more information on the cleanup and to register, visit lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: watershed). Select "Oak Lake Cleanup" in the lower right-hand column. For more information, contact Erin Kubicek (402-441-4959, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Craig Steward (402-477-3606, email@example.com).
As part of the Oak Lake Park cleanup, the Bureau of Fire Prevention will collect unwanted fireworks and ammunition at the east parking lot for proper disposal. Chief Fire Inspector Bill Moody said the bureau receives many requests to pick up unused and unwanted fireworks. He said storing fireworks and ammunition in the home can be hazardous because both can degrade. The collection is open to the public, not just to those participating in the Oak Lake Cleanup.
Fireworks shells, packaging and other debris contain harmful chemicals, and the common firework ingredient perchlorate is a source of water pollution. Once perchlorate enters a waterway through a storm drain, it can remain there for up to 80 days. Cleaning up debris before it reaches the storm drains prevents water pollution and protects animals and their habitats.
EcoStores Nebraska adopted the Oak Lake cleanup effort in 2011. The nonprofit organization sells salvaged building materials and supplies in order to keep usable materials out of the landfill. For more information, visit ecostoresne.org.
More information on the Uncle Sam Jam is available at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: Uncle Sam Jam). City ordinance allows the sale and use of permissible fireworks in the City only from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. July 3 and from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. July 4 of each year.