Lake Ronkonkoma group celebrates year of cleanup

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Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone and members of the Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group dedicated the former site of a lakeside building Saturday, which had been burnt out and vacant for years.  

It was also a celebration of the positive steps toward cleaning up the lake over the past year. 

"We never dreamed 10 months ago that we were going to get this far," says Evelyn Vollgraff, of the Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group. 

Vollgraff and an army of volunteers says they got tired of waiting for someone else to clean up Lake Ronkonkoma after years of neglect. They started doing it themselves and pushed to get the towns, the county and the state involved. 

Bellone announced eight months ago the Lake Ronkonkoma Revitalization Project, which aims to install a wastewater treatment system to reduce the amount of nitrogen getting into the lake. 

On Saturday, the historic lakeside property was named "Larry's Landing" in honor of late bookstore owner Larry Holzapfel. 

Volunteers say while the celebration is the end of one cleanup project, there is a lot more work to be done here. Their goal is to get the lake back to what it once was so that people can enjoy it.

The group says next on the list is cleaning up the site of the former Bavarian Inn. 

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