NewsPolk County


Endangered species rescued at Lake Parker sparks clean-up efforts

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Posted at 2:43 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 17:28:15-05

LAKELAND, Fla. — Efforts to clean up a Polk County lake is underway after an endangered species had to be rescued.

Lake Parker in Lakeland is a nature lovers paradise, and home to a vast array of native animals, but the lake has become a dumping ground for discarded tires, plastic bottles and trash.

“People just don't want to get it to the garbage can or the right place, so they think a city park they can hide it. Unfortunately, they hide it, that’s the animal's environment that’s their home,” said Kris Porter, Director of Owl's Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife.

The trash has gotten so bad, that wildlife is suffering. An endangered bird had to be rescued after being trapped in a fishing line.

“Hanging from fishing line in a tree and the fisherman actually were responsible and did the right thing. They saw it, they called, it was quite an endeavor and we were surprised to see an endangered species for the state of Florida, in such a predicament,” Porter said.

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This led Kris Porter and her team at Owl's Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife to partner with the City of Lakeland to adopt Lake Parker.

The Adopt-a-Lake program involves the community in efforts to clean-up and protect these precious resources.

“We’ll be out there four times this year. We’re going to get Lake Parker back to where it should be,” said Porter.

On Sunday, Owl's Nest Sanctuary for Wildlife will begin the clean-up process and they need volunteers to help them restore the lake, which so many wildlife call home.

“We want to make an impact so that we don’t have to worry about the endangered species out there, and they’re not coming in such situations. Like I said that bird got lucky I got the hook out, and she was back out in no time, but they’re not always that lucky,” Porter said.

The community clean-up is happening on Jan. 24 at 10:30 a.m. at Lake Parker, 910 Granada St, Lakeland FL 33805.