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Why this Tallahassee woman is so passionate about keeping Lake Ella clean

Park already managed by city parks department
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Posted at 7:08 PM, Aug 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-11 19:08:03-04
  • Kate Morrison works to be part of a positive change in her community.
  • Lake Ella is a storm runoff lake.
  • The City of Tallahassee told us there are park maintenance crews that care for the park at least six days a week to ensure it is clean and safe.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

A Tallahassee woman, is working to keeping a city landmark free of litter.

Kate Morrison spends her free time enjoying the park around Lake Ella. Recently, she said she has noticed the trash as an issue.

"My family would go out on hikes and walk,” Morrison said. “You would look around and see what was left behind by others, so that's where it really started was taking my kids to the park and realizing there are Capri-Suns under the slides."

Since then, Morrison has traded a steady income and opted to lead by example for her children. She now works to be part of a positive change in her community.

"It held more importance as a nature photographer, as somebody who's fueled by mother nature's creation. It was a higher priority for me and it was better example for my child, than for somebody else," Morrison added.

Lake Ella is a storm runoff lake. Trash and other litter often makes its way into the water. Morrison said she is also concerned for the wildlife's safety. Animals can’t digest hazardous materials.

"I tend to spend 30 minutes a day at each park,” Morrison said. “I've spent at least 30 minutes, and as much as three hours a day. Three bins full of garbage have been filled up."

Nearby, Leon Brunson owns Leon's at Lake Ella. It’s he plans to do a soft opening for in two weeks. Now, he says he is concerned that his business may contribute to the trash on the property.

"I want to open this restaurant and bring hundreds of people here, but if we are already dealing with this amount of trash at Lake Ella, just imagine when people have to-go boxes or bags," Brunson said.

Brunson applauded Morrison for her work, but he said manual labor by one person is not enough.

We reached out to the City of Tallahassee about the issue. Friday afternoon, they told us there are park maintenance crews that care for the park at least six days a week to ensure it is clean and safe.

Meanwhile, Morrison said she’ll be working to keep the park, “healthy and happy and somewhere you can sit as intended on the side of the water and these benches dedicated to lives that want you to enjoy the view. That’s what this place is for.”

The city said if park visitors see issues with trash, they can report them using the city's free mobile app DigiTally.