Parks and Recreation has moved its free canoeing event Wednesday July 25 to Oak Lake, 1st and Charleston streets. The event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. was moved from Holmes Lake due to the presence of harmful algae. Canoeing will take place in the lake located northeast of the parking lot.
The event is a part of the department's Play in the Parks free programming and is held on the last Wednesday of the month from May through August. Staff provide canoes, paddles and lifejackets. Attendees must check in with staff when they arrive and at least one adult aged 18 years and older must be in each canoe.
Holmes Lake was placed on "Health Alert" by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ) late last week and will remain on alert at least one more week (see attached release). Signs are posted recommending people avoid full body exposure to the water.
The NDEQ, in conjunction with numerous collaborators, monitors public beaches and samples water for microcystin, a toxin produced as a result of a harmful algal bloom. A lake that exceeds 20 ppb (parts per billion) of microcystin remains under Health Alert status until such time that it has tested below 20 ppb for two continuous weeks. More information on the NDEQ is available at deq.ne.gov.
More information on the Parks and Recreation Department is available at parks.lincoln.ne.gov.