Henry LaBounta is on a mission to clean up the Lake of the Isles area, whatever it takes. Henry is a kayaking and dog-walking enthusiast who moved to Minneapolis in 2020 and fell in love with Lake of the Isles. However, he noticed massive amounts of trash in the lake, which he discovered was washing in from storm drains in the city. He took a five-gallon bucket, a grabber, and some gloves and headed out to clean up the lake—and he’s done the same thing nearly every day since.
In 2022, Henry’s wife Barbara encouraged him to start keeping a spreadsheet of the trash he picked up. Since then, he’s picked up 5,572 gallons of trash—and that’s not to mention the trash he’s inspired others to pick up through the Friends of Lake of the Isles Facebook page, the Safety Walk and Lake Cleanup neighborhood teams, and the Adopt-a-Drain program.
In the future, Henry would like to develop an interactive tool to help Minnesotans find trash pick-up events near them. He believes that the “price of admission” to our beautiful natural lakes is helping to take care of them, and he hopes that other Minnesotans will feel the same way. Henry is always willing to chat over email email@example.com and help people get started on their journey to care for our lakes.
Congratulations Henry on being one of the 10 winners from across the state for your ongoing dedication to caring for Minnesota’s natural places.