It was time to take out the trash on the shores of Lake Mille Lacs this weekend.

Photo provided by Grand Casino Mille Lacs.Volunteers cleared 2,160 pounds of garbage and debris from the lake shore on Saturday.

The annual cleanup was sponsored by by the Grand Casino Mille Lacs and the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe and other area business and civic groups. Organizers provided trash bags and work gloves as volunteers fanned out to collect the trash that washed ashore following the ice out.

“Lake Mille Lacs is a community treasure and a critical asset for the region’s tourism economy, and it’s great to see a spirit of cooperation between area businesses working together to protect it,” Mike Engel, interim general manager of Grand Casino Mille Lacs, said in a statement.

In a tourism economy, like the one that thrives around Mille Lacs, "we have a responsibility to protect those resources that draw people to our region – and the lake is obviously a huge part of that draw,” Tina Chapman, executive director of the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council, said in a statement.

For more information about the cleanup, visit

Photo provided by Grand Casino Mille Lacs.

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