Submitted by KM Hills.
There is no doubt that American Lake is a real jewel when it comes to recreation in Lakewood. In past submissions I have shared that I grew up working as a life guard at North American Lake Park and that I still like to both open water swim and paddle on the lake today.
Few places in Lakewood can you feel like you are in nature, like I do in places on American Lake. Given the land owned by the VA & Joint Base there remains significant shoreline that has no developement. You can watch Bald Eagles swoop down for fish and watch Great Blue Heron wade in the water while enjoying peace and quiet.
The only reminder that you are not far from civilization is when you see trash floating in/on the lake. Yesterday, when paddling with my nephew, we pulled two giant chunks of styrofoam out of the lake, which looked like a dock somewhere was missing them. We also pulled out a plastic garbage can lid. The other junk we saw were several mostly submerged “No Wake” buoys which looked more like hazards at this time. There was even one, at the south end of the VA property which had totally washed ashore. While I know the buoys are for safety and some are location markers for EMS personnel to use when trying to locate people during an emergency, they dont seem too effective when unreadable or out of place.
If you also use the lake please do your share to pull out trash and protect this jewel. If anyone reads this that knows how to right the buoys or who’s job that is, help is needed there too.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.