Tucson man cleans up and adopts Kennedy Lake

Tucson man cleans up and adopts Kennedy Lake
(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - There's a reason people flock to places like Kennedy Lake. It's peaceful and quiet enough to hear only the birds chirping.

Fishermen often freckle the sand surrounding the water, including Mike Porter; the south side park is his escape.

"He lives at this lake. He fishes out here every day," his sister, Terry Barrus explained.

Every day he's at the lake he has noticed that it needs a little help.

"I don't like fishing around a bunch of trash. I don't know any fisherman that does," Porter said.

With his rake in hand, he made his way around the banks on Sunday.

He searched through the surrounding dirt for trash and found no shortage of it. The trash is the easiest fix, though.

One of Mike's biggest concerns, aside from the trash, are all of the potholes that line the road around the lake. Between the boat launch, and the weeds taking over this water pump, there are some other problems at hand, too.

He said he's not waiting for the city's help and has taken matters into his own hands. Sunday morning is his first group clean up. He's working on adopting the lake on his own.

"There's nobody else going to do it," he said.

He was joined by his friends and family on his early morning clean up. What they found were several cigarette butts, beer bottles, and metal caps.

"It'd be nice to get it to the point where all you gotta do is pick up the little stuff," Porter said.

With a smile on his face, it was easy to see that the lake means a lot to Mike.

"It's hard to talk about."

Hard to talk about because it meant a lot to someone else, someone he can't forget -- his mom.

"She always said that she wanted her ashes done at the lake here with Michael," his sister, Barrus explained.

A cross in her memory rests upon a mountain top nearby. It's just visible enough to the naked eye for the lake's visitors.

She's the reason Mike calls Tucson home, "My mom got tired of the ice and snow in Denver." She's also one of the reasons why the Old Pueblo and Kennedy Lake have become his priority.

"Cause she loved it here too."

He'll be out at Kennedy Lake with his team, once a month, keeping Tucson beautiful. His group spanned about a dozen people on Sunday, but they're looking for more volunteers to help.

If you're interested in lending a hand, you can reach Porter at 520-578-1835.

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