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story.lead_photo.caption Dwayne Culmer catches a largemouth bass last year at Beaver Lake, which is a haven for fishing, boating and more. The lake will get an annual cleaning Saturday. - Photo by Flip Putthoff

There's a quest for hidden treasure on Saturday that's better known as the annual Beaver Lake Cleanup.

No telling what bounty awaits volunteers who fan out along all areas of the lake to pick up litter and look for hidden loot along the way. We smell a chance for a contest, which is why the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette sponsors the most unusual item contest each year at the cleanup.

It's easy to enter. During the cleanup, keep your eyes open for the craziest, zaniest, strangest, the most unusual piece of funk du jour to be plucked from the shoreline. Bring it to the free lunch and prize drawing party at 11:30 a.m. at the Grand Shelter at Prairie Creek park.

Park Ranger Alan Bland and yours truly will be there to get your item entered in the contest.

To volunteer for the cleanup on Saturday, go to Hickory Creek, Prairie Creek, Rocky Branch or Dam Site parks to get trash bags handed out by the Army Corps of Engineers. Willing workers also get a souvenir shirt and a lunch ticket.

Volunteers can get directions to parts of the lake that need attention. Areas where roads dead end at the lake or the backs of coves are good places to go. There's a need for people with boats to transport helpers around the lake. Call the corps office in Rogers, 479-636-1210, extension 1705 to help out with a boat.

The corps asks people not to bring in tires or large hunks of Styrofoam, or to dig up any litter. Make a note of tire or foam locations so a ranger can pick those up later.

The party starts at 11:30 a.m. at Prairie Creek park with lunch and prizes. The corps gives away so many prizes in the drawing that almost every volunteer goes home with something. Prizes include movie passes, free nights of lodging at resorts on the lake, free pontoon boat rental, life jackets, fishing gear, tools and more.

We'll have youth and adult categories in the most unusual item contest, with a swell prize awarded for each during lunch. A secret judge will determine the winners. Secret because we don't know yet who the judge will be.

All we ask is that an entry be small enough that one person can easily carry it, and only one entry per person. Contestants should take their item home with them or take it to the trash after the contest.

Check the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette website, nwadg.com, after the cleanup to see pictures of our winners with their finds.

The Beaver Lake Cleanup is fun with a little work thrown in. Come help out on Saturday to spruce up our lake after a busy visitor season.

Flip Putthoff can be reached at fputtoff@nwadg.com or on Twitter @NWAFlip

Sports on 09/26/2017

Print Headline: Cleanup gets Beaver Lake in shape after season

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