You won’t find it listed as a holiday on any calendar, but Monday was “April Stools Day” near Lake Champlain in Vermont—with volunteers spending the day cleaning up what was left behind by pets.
Employees of the Magic Hat Brewing Company joined the non-profit Lake Champlain Committee in picking up pet waste from other people’s animals in Red Rocks Park in South Burlington and other area parks.
Lori Fisher of the Lake Champlain Committee said bacteria from dog waste can flow into Lake Champlain during rain storms and foul the water, even contributing to beach closures in warmer months.
The group said they hoped their April Stools Day work would encourage dog owners to take care of their pets’ messes on their own, even during the winter when snow or fallen leaves may make the feces less visible.
“This is a drinking water source—a recreational source,” Fisher said of Lake Champlain. “It’s really vital to our economy—to our quality of life. It’s our job to help take care of it.”
“One of the most important ingredients in beer is water,” said Harry Kahn of Magic Hat. “And our water in Magic Hat beer comes from Lake Champlain, so we’ve got to protect the lake.”
The beer makers have a program called VTO, for volunteer time off, where employees are encouraged to support community non-profits—with a goal of 100-percent employee participation over the course of the year.