A Successful April Stools' Day

By: Lisa Liotta, Niquette Bay State Park Ranger

On Saturday April 5, volunteers gathered Grand Isle, Sandbar and Niquette Bay State Parks to celebrate April Stools’ Day.  Wait!  What was that you said? …April STOOLS…does that mean……?! Yes, exactly, the brown stuff: stools, not fools.

This past weekend the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and the Lake Champlain Committee partnered to organize an “April Stools Day” park clean-up the first Saturday in April.  Vermont State Parks encourages people to venture outside all year round, and this winter our parks have been well loved and used for outdoor recreation in many ways. 

Sand Bar State Park. Photo by Bonnie Pease
While most people clean up litter and waste from their dogs, there are some that don’t.  What’s left behind usually accumulates until park staff return in late spring to prepare for the summer.  Hound mounds freeze over the winter, often becoming buried under layers of snow and ice.  When the temperatures rise, water from melting ice and snow runs over the surface of the frozen ground sweeping the waste away into our streams, rivers and lakes. 

Ruth Blauwiekel of Colchester came out to scoop the poop at Niquette Bay State Park.  Ruth commented, “Who knew that scooping poop could be so much fun!  Really, I enjoyed the morning and it was a good opportunity to make some new friends while doing some “spring cleaning” at the park.” 

Niquette Bay State Park. Photo by Bob Henneberger
Thanks to a team of hardy volunteers, more than 650 piles of dog waste and several bags of trash were picked up and removed from the three parks.  Among the turnout were members of the Lake Champlain Committee, the Colchester and Milton Conservation Commissions and the Colchester Democrats.  Volunteer gifts of appreciation were generously provided by Cabot Cheese, Darn Tough Socks, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Mutt Mitts and Wally’s Bagels in Grand Isle. 

Pam Keyser of Colchester who frequently visits Niquette Bay State Park with her two standard poodles shares her belief in Karma Poop with us.  Here’s how it works:  when your dog is off-leash, chances are pretty good that when they are out of sight, they will occasionally leave a hound mound behind. Practicing the art of Karma Poop, Pam always picks up a few extra mounds every time she comes to the park, and hopes that others will do the same.

So do we.

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