Dozens of volunteers from Evanston and surrounding communities joined with thousands of others Saturday for the annual beach cleanup, sponsored by the Alliance for the Great Lakes.

The center for action in Evanston was the Lighthouse Beach, where volunteers from the Boy Scouts, Lighthouse Rotary, and the Justin Wynn Fund, joined with other community volunteers to pick up paper, plastic, cigarette butts, and other debris that had collected over the summer.

Ann Searles (L), a member of the Rotary Club of Evanston Lighthouse, checks in volunteers at the beach entrance.

Last year, thousands of people showed up in states that border lakes Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior (remember H-O-M-E-S) and filled plastic bags containing more than 15,000 pounds of garbage, according to the Great Lakes Echo, a project of the Knight Center of Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University.

Dryer than normal weather this past spring and summer has resulted in lower lake levels that lead to the exposure of a greater amount of the beaches, which is expected to yield more trash, according to the Alliance.

Volunteer Matthew Bernhardt, a seventh grader at Haven Middle School, was volunteering on behalf of Boy Scout Troop 929, which meets at Haven.

Perfect weather greeted trash collectors Saturday, with the expectation that the collection in Evanston could reach record levels this year.

Top: Justin Wynners Max Morton (L), a student at Dewey Elementary School, and Zachary Schwartz of Willard Elementary School, partner to collect trash at Lighthouse Beach.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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