Pine Lake Family Fun event protests the lack of a lake


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

Simulating water with a blue tarpaulin, a group of Hudson youngsters held an awareness-raising protest about the plight of Hudson’s Pine Lake which has been reclaimed by foliage since the collapse of the dam in 2014.

The first Annual Pine Lake Family Fun Day was the idea of 10-year-old Talia Cardille who lives with her family on a property adjacent to the now swampy version of the former lake. The enterprising young woman was selling lemonade to raise funds to save trees in Ethiopia when one of her customers suggested saving Pine Lake might be a worthy project.

“I was thinking that a few friends could come over with their bathing suits and pretend to swim next to where the lake was,” she said. So, armed with an inflatable palm tree, a handmade sign and a blue tarpaulin, the event took shape under Cardille’s expert and enthusiastic direction on Saturday, September 8.

Originally, she planned to take the event into the wetland that surrounds the area and launch a canoe. “I tried walking out there yesterday but I got into stinging nettles and I stepped in dog poop,” she said, opting to keep the protest on the shoreline.

“We are hoping to have another one next year and, maybe, once the lake is restored, it could be a big thing,” she said. Cardille is hopeful that restoration will happen soon. “I heard that the lake was man made, so man can make it again,” she pointed out.

Reaction to the event

About a dozen of her friends showed up for the event and gave an energetic demonstration of a swim race on the blue tarpaulin. Once the sunbathing and swimming was over, the crowd adjourned to the local Cardille residence for refreshments. Several passersby stopped and offered their encouragement. Jennifer Butler, who lives across from Pine Lake on Cameron Road, said that Cardille’s initiative brought tears to her eyes.

“What they are doing is very cool,” said Butler who has actively campaigned for the restoration of the lake and dam.

Fundraising

Cardille was happy to receive any donations that came her way on Saturday.

“I have a jar at home to put them in,” she said with a laugh. Her problem, however, is finding out what organization to donate the funds to. “I did some research and found out that $750,000 is needed to build the dam,” she said adding, “I have to do more research.” She said she hadn’t spoken with any officials from the town.

History of the lake and dam

Pine Lake was drained when the dam that stemmed the flow of Black Creek and the Viviry River broke in 2014.

“We moved here in 2012, so we had almost two years with the lake,” said Talia’s father, Peter Cardille. Although his daughter hasn’t learned how to ice skate, she is anticipating the winter when she will be able to master that skill on the frozen lake. However, when Resident Trevor Smith raised the issue of rebuilding the Pine Lake dam at the recent Hudson Town Council meeting, Mayor Jamie Nicholls responded that although the project is a priority for the council, approvals for the project with higher levels of government are not being pursued at the moment. As for the date of the next annual Pine Lake Family Fun Day, Talia wasn’t sure about the specifics other than to speculate, “We might hold it earlier next year.”

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