Belmont Beach all set for the summer fun after successful clean-up day



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Three-year old Alex Richardson pitches in to help rake up Belmont Beach during a clean up day on Saturday. Donna Rhodes. (click for larger version)
June 10, 2009
BELMONT — They came "by land and by sea" on Saturday to Belmont Beach for a clean-up day, spearheaded by Belmont Call Fire Fighter Jason McCarthy, who is also a member of Dive Master Dive Services. Through the Belmont Fire Dept. and DiveMasters Dive Services, he merged forces to really give the beach the once-over before town beachgoers arrive.

"I thought it was a good community project for both of us," McCarthy said. "I love the fire department and I love diving. Between the two I thought we could really clean up the beach."

McCarthy also contacted Parks and Recreation Director Janet Breton who helped get the word out around town about the clean up.

Miracle Dillon and her mother Mary Callahan were two of the residents to volunteer for the morning.

"I don't have a lot of free time," Callahan said, "but the weekend is a good time for me and Miracle goes to the rec programs. So, I thought it would be a good thing for us to come down and assist."

She and her 10-year-old daughter were kept busy removing bits of wood and filling trash bags as they strolled the water's edge. Another young man from the town to pitch in was 10-year-old Jordan Buckley, who came down with his grandfather Chris White. Buckley grabbed a plastic bag and got busy right away.

"I asked him if he wanted to help out and he thought it was a good idea," said White, who then laughed as he added, "Free hot dogs helped get him here, too."

Sears joined in the community project by providing food for the workers. Jody Conner of the State Department of Environmental Services was also on hand, watching the cleanup and offering information on clean water and signs of algae and other water-related issues plaguing the lakes. He brought complimentary sand buckets for the kids filled with all kinds of goodies as well.

Belmont Fire Dept. members Casey Tourigney and Eric Perron brought an ambulance down for the day and handed out information on boater safety, fire prevention and other fun things for the boys and girls.

DiveMaster pulled their pontoon boat up to the beach and divers set out to clean up the lake bottom further off the shoreline. While diving, McCarthy and fellow certified diver Mark Winners came upon milfoil fragments, something they did not expect to find in their clean up. Connor speculated it had most likely washed in from the nearby Winnipesaukee River. Besides the noxious weeds, the divers pulled glass, old fishing equipment and lures, bottles, cans and other such foot hazards from the lake. Mark Chase of BFD collected several cans of broken glass while strolling in the shallower waters. Much of it he thought came from ice fishermen over the winter months who might toss or drop something down the holes they drill to fish from. Eventually it all gets pushed in closer to shore and causes a hazard at beaches along the lake.

The successful clean up was the first of its kind at the beach and McCarthy said he hopes they can continue these efforts in coming years. As a result of the volunteers, fire department and the dive team, Belmont Beach will now be ready for a few months of safe fun on Lake Winnisquam just as soon as the weather warms up.

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