Prospect Park Lake’s new aquatic weed harvester. Image via Prospect Park Alliance.

Ruddy ducks, Canadian geese, and largemouth bass aren’t the only things you should keep an eye out for as you stroll along Prospect Park Lake. Have you ever wondered how Prospect Park cleans its lake?

This summer be on the lookout for a bright orange boat, punningly named the Lake “Mess” Monster, swimming with the fishes. Last week, the Prospect Park Alliance held a launch ceremony for its brand-new aquatic weed harvester, a floating vehicle that operates essentially like a floating lawn mower. As the boat travels along the lake, it shears the underwater weeds in its path and moves them into a holding tank. The weeds are then taken out of the lake and disposed of as mulch. According to the Alliance, use of the harvester will keep the lake from being overrun with aquatic pests such as floating water primrose and duckweed.

Image via Prospect Park Alliance.

The Lake “Mess” Monster was hailed by Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donahue as an “exciting new piece of machinery that will provide an environmentally sound method for the Alliance to control weeds and improve the water quality of the Prospect Park Lake.” The Alliance has reason to be confident in the newest member of its Natural Resources Crew. This new aquatic weed harvester is replacing an older model that was decommissioned in 2014 after trawling the lake for 20 years. Prospect Park was able to acquire this newer model after receiving funding from the Participatory Budgeting Process, which allows the public to vote on which projects they’d like to fund in their community.

Pesky weeds in Prospect Park Lake. Image via Prospect Park Alliance.

Image via Prospect Park Alliance.

Image via Prospect Park Alliance.

But the public participation process isn’t over. From now until June 30, Prospect Park Alliance is taking suggestions on what the new weed eater should be named. After a public vote, the winning name will be affixed to the side of the harvester.

Submit your best suggestions at www.prospectpark.org/namingcontest, though it may be tough to find a name that will top the one given to the previous aquatic weed harvester: the ‘Lake “Mess” Monster’.

Next, check out the Top 12 Secrets of Prospect Park

 Cities 101, Prospect Park

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