Our Mississippi Lake became a battlefield for some 60 Carleton Place High School Students who declared war in Lanark County in July of 1973. Armed with an Opportunities for Youth grant they spent every weekday carrying out a massive biological study of Mississippi Lake. Laurie Mace’s group was concentrating primarily on the lake between Carleton Place and Inisville. Miss Mace said, “It’s really not really a lake, it’s an enlargement of the Mississippi River”.
Monday to Friday the group met at Carleton Place High School where they set up up headquarters and then proceeded to cruise the lake. Not only was their data collected by both Ottawa Universities, health units and cottage associations—they took it farther than that. The group was prepared to testify in court against anyone they found contributing to lake pollution.
The students had problems with fishing, and were chased away by the OPP, as they tried to catch mudpout at night The police claimed their boats had improper lighting. The students were also working for the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority’s SWEEP program. SWEEP- “Students Working on Enviromental Enhancement Programs” was once a provincially summer work program. The group, including 20 girls, cleaned up illegal dumps, and removing refuse from roadsides and streams. They also repaired embankments –attacking weeds, and made flower beds. In Carleton Place they even helped spruce up the town’s old railway station.
Supervisor Bill Barrie was pleased that they had built a new raft for swimming lessons in Carleton Place when the town’s original one was smashed. These students made $2.00 an hour. The pay was low, the spirit tremendous because the students believed the work was meaningful.
What’s happening today?
Top photo- Linda Seccaspina
Circa 1970’s CPHS graduates photo- files of The Carleton Place Canadian- Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum
No idea about the year but photo from Glenda Mahoney
CPHS 1987 Thanks to Grace Drummond