Brothers' efforts at lake nearly complete Brandon Vaca, 14, and his brother, Ryan Vaca, 16, have nearly completed their Eagle Scout projects at Burbank Lake, located west of Elk Point on the border of Union and Clay counties.
They've worked at the lake on July 7, July 22 and July 29.
The two young men are both members of Boy Scout Troop 731 in Sioux Falls. Their mother, Carol, is a native of Vermillion. They are the grandsons of Ted and Doris Dolmey.
Brandon Vaca, with the help of both adults and youth, has helped supervise the removal of a great volume of trash from the lake in the last month, beginning July 7.
On the first day of the clean-up, Marty McInerney lent his assistance by providing a tractor. A tow truck operated by Jeff Mart of Mart Towing also aided in the beautification efforts. The workers filled a large construction dumpster provided by Independence Waste of Elk Point.
The second day of cleanup efforts included the planting by Brandon Vaca's crew of 12 arrowhead plants around the perimeter of the lake. The plants are a favorite food of wood ducks.
Heavy equipment was used once more on the third day of lake cleanup. A backhoe operated by Greg Sammelson helped clear a bank of the lake that is too steep for the scouts to climb by foot.
The trash collected that day filled another large construction dumpster provided by Loren Fischer. The waste will be disposed in the Vermillion landfill.
The cleanup project is now nearly complete, except for one last bank that is too steep to clear by foot.
Ryan Vaca's work centers more on helping restore wildlife at the lake now that his brother has removed its substantial amounts of trash.
He started his project by preparing lumber to construct wood duck houses. Major John Holter provided and supervised the use of his power tools in his workshop to cut the wood.
The second day of work devoted to Ryan Vaca's project included instruction and the building of 12 wood duck houses. The supplies were obtained through Herren-Schempp Building Supply and Holmes Welding in Vermillion.
The third day of the project involved the mounting of the wood duck houses on galvanized poles around the perimeter of the lake.