Facing challenging summer conditions and significant government funding cuts, the Chautauqua Lake Association was able to harvest over 3,700 tons of nuisance weeds from Chautauqua Lake in 2011. The success of the lake shoreline clean-up was due in large measure to Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant (JEP) employees who volunteered 4-hour shifts to clean-up shoreline weed concentration for transport by CLA barges and trucks to area composting locations. More than 900 hours of employee volunteer time supplemented two CLA shoreline crews responsible for 44 miles of Chautauqua Lake shoreline.
A combination of company and neighborhood volunteer efforts, $15,000 in Cummins grant funding, ($7,500 from the Cummins Jamestown Engine Plant and $7,500 from the Cummins Foundation under their environmental sustainability program) supported CLA truck, barge, and harvester operations. CLA General Manager Paul Swanson praised the very generous support of Cummins. “We could never have been as successful as we were this past summer without the funding and volunteers from Cummins. The employees always had a very positive attitude and strong work ethic as they waded into the weed collection areas. We are so thankful for their help and support.”
Incoming CLA Board president Chris Yates acknowledged the outstanding support of Cummins employees. “In this past year, Cummins saved the day for us as we faced very difficult challenges brought on by funding cuts and dry hot weather,” he said. Cummins engineers and program managers conducted a thorough after action seminar for the CLA to suggest areas for increased productivity. “The CLA benefitted from Cummins JEP Community Involvement Team (CIT) and the focused Six Sigma review of our operations conducted at the end of our season. We look forward to improving our operational efficiency as a result,” Yates said.