As our class began our walk outside, it was hard not to think about what this place looked like a mere 10 years ago. Going even further, my mind raced to the thought of what this campus looked 50 years ago. And there I stood, thinking I knew exactly what my campus looks like today, except I had never before wandered over to the stream near the bridge that funnels into the lake. I have been at UofR for almost three semesters and I have lived in dorms that border the lake, yet I have never seen the small waterfall the rests under the bridge near the far end of the lake. It was also extremely interesting to learn and see firsthand where the water that flows into the lake comes from, as the majority of the water comes from the runoff from neighborhoods upstream on the hills above the lake. I watched as the water raced under the bridge and down the concrete waterfall, and continued to walk along the bank of the stream, where I noticed the pace of the water was slowing down tremendously. The water that ran under the bridge looked to be fairly clear, and was for the most part a result of all the rain that we have been getting over the past week. But as I moved closer to the lake, the water became murkier and more sludge-like, and I could even see a few items of trash, and a small blue sand castle pale sitting in the water. Getting closer to the lake, I begin to see our friendly clans of geese and ducks floating amongst themselves in the water. This lake is a home to countless organisms, yet the majority of people see the lake as simply an attractive element and aspect of our beautiful campus. I have seen firsthand people pollute the lake, whether it be trash, or even the university’s green bikes. We take for granted the ecosystem that we have right in front of us. It pains me to know that after each year, the university drains the lake. This is essentially destroying many of the organisms that call this lake their home. It is also hard to believe the amount of garbage, green bikes, and even golf carts, that are collected from the lake after it is drained. It is hard to believe how much we pollute areas such as lakes and other watersheds, because water is such a vital part of our lives. Lakes and rivers were once where locals received a great majority of their water it order to sustain their lives, yet we mistreat and abuse our lake, forgetting about all those that call it home.

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