Projects and Special Events

Lakes Appreciation Month is here! The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) sponsors Lakes Appreciation Month !

LE/AD Lake Appreciation Events

There are over 550 lakes in Polk County and each one of them can use a little tender loving care. One way to start appreciating our lakes is to recognize July as Lakes Appreciation Month.


Citizens are encouraged to enjoy their lakes and reservoirs throughout the year but especially in July –  as July is Lakes Appreciation Month.  The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) sponsors Lakes Appreciation Month each July nationwide to draw attention to the value and importance of lakes and reservoirs. Americans love to spend July, especially the Fourth, on the water, at beaches and on lakeshores. Boating, fishing and swimming are favorite recreational uses of American lakes and reservoirs. Lakes and reservoirs also play other vital and often hidden roles. They provide drinking water and irrigation water for agricultural fields and are a source of electricity and power generation. They also serve the important function of absorbing rainfall and runoff from land, help to prevent floods, and provide homes for precious wildlife.  It is clear that as we enjoy and use lakes, we have to protect them. Because lake pollution is caused by so many different activities, no one regulation will suffice to prevent it. Education and outreach aimed at changing individual behavior are key components to any successful lake protection effort.

For us here in Polk County, that means an opportunity to kick of a yearlong quest to celebrate our beautiful lakes (over 500 lakes).  Lakes Education/Action Drive (LE/AD), along with the City of Haines City, City of Lakeland, Lakeland Clean & Beautiful, City of Winter Haven, Keep Winter Haven Clean & Beautiful, Polk County Board of County Commissioners and Keep Polk County Beautiful are helping to coordinate their efforts with one goal in mind – removing trash from our lakes and leaving Polk Count y’s lakes better than they were before!

 Here’s what you can do:

  1. Join a scheduled Lake Appreciation Event (select an event from the Calendar) or
  2. As an individual, family or organized group: Clean up your favorite lake any day/any time during the year. Those who pre-register and return their wrap up report surveys to LE/AD you will be offered a LE/AD membership discount and invited to our Volunteer recognition event  REGISTER HERE





Lakes Education/Action Drive, in cooperation with partnering organizations, places educational signs in local nature parks and near lakes to provide lakeside outreach in the community. These signs include factual information about wildlife and fish species found locally, the importance of aquatic vegetation, water quality, and more. To view the current location of LE/AD signs, click on the link below.

LE/AD has been instrumental in establishing lakeside displays around lakes in Polk County. Lakeside displays inform the public about lake preservation with information on water quality, lakeside habitat, flood protection and watersheds. LE/AD works collaboratively with the cities around the county as well as the county on content and layout of these signs.



LE/AD has aluminum drain plaques for sale to help explain to people that only stormwater is to go down the stormdrains. These plaques are available for $2.50 per sign plus shipping.


LE/AD also has aluminum alligator signs warning about the dangers of alligators. These signs are great for lakes and ponds. These signs are available for $15 per sign plus shipping.

Lakes Appreciation Month Celebration

The North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) designates the month of July as Lakes Appreciation Month around the nation. LE/AD participates each year in this celebration of our lakes. LE/AD works collaboratively with the City of Lakeland, Keep Polk County Beautiful, the City of Winter Haven, Lakeland Clean & Beautiful and Keep Winter Haven Clean & Beautiful to organize a countywide clean up along lakeshores during the month of July. Volunteers register to receive equipment and pick the time and day to clean up their favorite lake.

Please see all the information on LAM above (including link to registration) or on LE/AD’s home page. Click to go to

Lakeland Cardboard Boat Challenge & Lakeshore Festival

Lakeland’s Annual Cardboard Boat Challenge and Lakeshore Festival is a collaborative event with LE/AD, Lakeland Vision, and Lakeland Clean & Beautiful. This event is held on Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida. This event brings people in the community to the lake for a fun activity at the lake while having the opportunity to learn more about alternative water sources, water quality, stormwater runoff, water conservation, Florida-friendly yards, and littering. Approximately 400 participants and observers come each year to view this event. The event not only brings participants for the boat race; it also brings people in the community out to watch the race. While there, many people visit environmental exhibit booths and walk away with literature, posters, and a better understanding of water quality and how they can make a difference by their everyday activities within their watersheds. Because this event brings many people to the lake, the exhibits help increase the awareness of nutrient loadings and water quality in our area lakes.

Please see the RULES & REGISTRATION for the Cardboard Boat Challenge. The Waiver Release must accompany registration form.

Cardboard Boat Race Challenge and Lakes Festival in Lakeland, Florida

LE/AD participates and exhibits in various cooperative events around the county and helps to coordinate environmental exhibitors for events such as the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes Festival, the Polk County Nature Fest: Water Wings and Wild Things, Project EAGLE (Enhancing a Great Living Environment)- a lake clean up event in Winter Haven, and the Kid’s Nature Fest at Teneroc State Preserve. LE/AD also judges at the county regional science fair providing award money for lake related projects.

Annual Cardboard Boat Race Challenge!

This event is held on Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida.

Watch an interview about the CBRC!!

For more info on the annual cardboard boat race visit the website: Cardboard Boat Challenge and LIKE the Facebook page.

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