YARDLEY BOROUGH >> The public is invited to celebrate Earth Week by helping to spruce up Yardley’s picturesque Lake Afton.

A spring cleanup will take place on Saturday, April 24 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the banks of the lake in and around the Old Library by Lake Afton.

Volunteers are encouraged to dress for yard work and to bring light gardening or landscaping tools including rakes, brooms, pruning shears, etc. Adults, children and groups are all welcome to help. COVID-19 protocols will apply.

Unable to volunteer for the Spring Cleanup Day on April 24, but would still like to help Lake Afton continue to look beautiful?

The Friends of Lake Afton, an all volunteer nonprofit dedicated to maintaining and protecting Yardley’s “town jewel,” needs financial donations to continue with its successful algae control project.

“If we pause, even briefly, the ugly algae infestations and unhealthy water will reappear,” said FOLA leaders.

In 2015 FOLA hired Clean-Flo International, a company based in West Chester that helps bring bodies of water plagued by algae back to a healthy state again by using biological products that are not harmful to the animals and wildlife.

Since 2015, FOLA has been paying the company to treat Lake Afton’s algae with natural, biological treatments. The treatments are expensive, but have made Lake Afton beautiful again, according to FOLA.

Donations can be made via the donate button on the FOLA website at www.lakeafton.org. Donations may also be made via FOLA’s Facebook page, PayPal (Friends of Lake Afton), Venmo (FOLA Yardley) or by sending a check to FOLA, P.O. Box 529, Yardley 19067.

In addition to financial support, volunteers are needed on an ongoing basis to help with social media, landscape and property, fundraising and community relations and events like Boat Rides and Clean-up Days.

For more than two centuries, Lake Afton has been a treasured backdrop for many events and priceless photographs and paintings. More recently, Lake Afton has been a quiet source of comfort for many during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The manmade lake was created to power a water wheel at a gristmill that John Brock built in 1705. Lake Afton was originally referred to as “the millpond,” not as Lake Afton.

William Yardley purchased John Brock’s gristmill in 1732, demolishing it and replacing it in 1769 with today’s Yardley Grist Mill, which was also powered by the millpond. It’s been said that Lake Afton was named after the poem “Afton Water,” which was written by Robert Burns in 1791.

Although Lake Afton was created to power a Grist Mill, it has always been privately-owned, and yet has always been generously shared with the public.

Lake Afton is a favorite spot for many throughout the year. Individuals, families or friends can ice skate in the winter, fish in the summer, feed the ducks and geese, watch and photograph wildlife, read, meet up with friends, enjoy a snack or beverage, paint a picture, sit on a park bench, and more. Lake Afton has also been one of the most photographed places in Bucks County.

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