My house is in a village that is on a lake. The lake is about six blocks from my house. This area was at one time covered by glaciers which, when they retreated, left a number of long, relatively narrow lakes. Some of these lakes are named after the nations in the Iroquois Confederacy.
Once Europeans settled the area they found there were huge deposits of salt, so early industries mined salt. Other early settlers of this village made baskets to hold the salt. Eventually other sources for salt were found and the industry moved on.
On the opposite shore of the lake large deposits of limestone and soda ash led to the production of other household products that were useful at the time. Over time these processes resulted in toxic wastes which were pumped into the lake or stored along the shores gradually leaching into the lake. Our little lake became one of the most polluted lakes in the United States. It still looked pretty but you didn’t want to fall in or eat any fish from the lake. People said that if you did you would glow in the dark.
The industries that polluted the lake moved on, probably to China or India. For several decades the lake was the subject of study after study and then for several decades the findings of the studies were used to help clean the lake.
My village lake is still not suited for drinking or swimming. There are fish in the lake now and, although you can fish, you still are encouraged not to eat the fish. Water fowl, especially Canada Geese have begun to make the lake shore their home again. The other day on a walk I saw a Great Blue Heron standing in the lake.
Along the shores of the lake are trails for walkers and walkers with dogs and walkers with strollers and runners and roller skaters and bikers.
It is beautiful to walk along the trails by this still recovering lake. It’s good exercise, it soothes your spirit and it offers lovely water views all along the trails. There is a marina and there are often sailboats out on the lake. Lots of community events are held here including charity runs and walks, zumba sessions, tai chi, yoga. There is a playground for children and a park where dogs can run free (if they behave themselves.) There is even a small outdoor sports stadium. This lake is one of the reasons I wanted to buy this little house in this particular village.
Hopefully there are a few photos of my lake somewhere on this page. These are not as close up as I would like but I hate having to carry my camera along while I am walking for exercise. It gets heavy and is in the way. If I ever take a leisurely walk, I’ll try to remember to take my camera because this park is much more beautiful than these pictures.