Grayslake residents who wish to keep the village's namesake body of water clean are invited to donate some labor and have fun at the same time this weekend.
Volunteers are being solicited to clean two sections of shoreline at Gray's Lake from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. While the volunteers will work, they'll also receive lunch and have an opportunity to depart with prizes.
Jeff Nehila, executive director of the Grayslake Park District, said about 50 volunteers showed up to Jones Island Park for the inaugural cleanup last year. He hopes for the same turnout or a little greater Saturday.
"It's a good number," Nehila said. "Not too big or not too small."
Nehila said volunteers are encouraged to come with canoes and kayaks, because they can get to areas not accessible from the shoreline. The vessels may be launched into Gray's Lake from Jones Island, which really is a peninsula jutting into the water.
Last year, much debris was collected from Gray's Lake's south stretch of shoreline near Route 120. Nehila said soda cans, plastic bags with household garbage and fishing-related items were scooped up on the south end.
Along with those on shore and in canoes and kayaks, scuba divers from a local shop will scour the bottom of the lake. Nehila said they'll work quadrants of the 80-acre lake in groups of three and four.
At least 17 local businesses will cover the day's tab. Officials said those donations will cover T-shirts for all volunteers, lunch and prizes.
Some of the prizes will be hidden in treasure chests in areas designated for the cleanup. The chests will include "dollars" that may be spent with Grayslake Chamber of Commerce members, coins and gift certificates from a canoe and kayak store in Lake Bluff.
Gray's Lake is kettle shaped with above-average water quality compared to others in the area, according to a Lake County Health Department report. Main uses for the glacial lake are for boating without motors, fishing and swimming.