Kokomo Reservoir benefit from volunteers-J. Martin

Kokomo Reservoir benefits from volunteers By: John Martino I have always believed a community isn’t made by towering sky scrapers, massive roadways or cathedrals that reach for the sky. Vibrant communities are made by the people that live in them. It is no secret Kokomo is filled with people wanting to make a difference, especially through personal, volunteer work and some sweat equity. Over the past several weeks our Kokomo Reservoir was the recipient of several efforts benefiting those who use our local waterway. At age 14, Austin Hamblin is already filled with community spirit. Since an early age the Kokomo resident has always enjoyed fishing. Much of his time is spent plying the waters of the Kokomo reservoir, primarily the spillway area. Earlier this spring while walking the banks with fishing rod in hand he became dismayed at the litter strewn along the creek banks. Unlike most, which would pass it by, he decided to take matters into his own hands and do something about it. It didn’t take long before Hamblin was found spending hours picking up discarded fishing line, cups of all shapes and sizes, aluminum cans and other types of refuse. He wasn’t paid or prodded to undertake such a project. Instead he did it entirely on his own. “I just wanted to help our environment and the reservoir,” said the soft spoken Hamblin. “I just hope it helps keep other people from littering.” “I was proud of him for taking that on,” said his mother Tiffany Hamblin. “It made me proud that he would do that which benefits other people and our environment.” Jesse Burton was another who appreciated Hamblin’s efforts. Burton spends many days throughout the year fishing the spillway area. “The trash that some people leave makes me sick,” he stated. “Normally I will pick a few things up when I leave but one day I saw this young boy walking the banks with a trash bag picking up every piece of litter lying along the banks,” he continued. “I was glad to see a young boy that genuinely cared about our environment and I think his commitment is contagious to others who saw him.” A longtime member of 4-H Hamblin decided to do a project on the destructive nature of littering, which received many positive reviews. He will also display his work at this year’s Indiana State Fair. Then several weeks later a small group of anglers took it upon themselves to make repairs at the public boat launch. Spearheaded by local teacher and avid bass angler Mat Temme, two new docks were installed. He solicited a few donations to purchase the piers where a group of local anglers helped with their installation. But it didn’t stop there. Over the past several years and with an increase in use the asphalt apron leading to the concrete ramp began to deteriorate. It became problematic for boaters when trying to launch or load their watercraft. That’s when Temme decided to try and help. He was not alone. The Miller family, comprised of brothers Ethan and Erick, along with their sometimes obstinate father Rick, selflessly decided to join the cause. On one of the hottest days of the year the group spent hours under the blazing sun completing the work. The group unhooked and readjusted the floating pier that sits in the middle of the boat ramp. They then hauled in several tons of asphalt where it was placed underwater making the transition from asphalt to concrete noticeably smoother. But the group still wasn’t done. When others would have been seeking shelter from the sweltering sun they then began repairing the deep holes that riddled the parking areas. Erick Miller, owner of County Line Excavating and Trucking graciously brought in a skid loader where he graded the edge of the parking areas where dirt was replaced with stone. When that was complete they then decided to repair the damaged drainage culvert which had been crushed flat. Without a doubt volunteers have pride in their community and surroundings. They are a tiny piece of a huge puzzle. With their motivation, caring hearts and generous souls, they make our community a better place. These types of people don’t do it for fame or recognition. They do it because of what’s in their hearts. And there is no doubt all residents who use our local reservoir will reap the rewards. Kokomo Reservoir Tourney Ethan Miller and Adam Blankenberger won last Monday evening’s Kokomo Reservoir open team bass tourney, sponsored by Cardwell Built Construction and Roby’s Bullseye Outdoors. They led the rest of the field with five largemouth bass totaling 9.41 pounds. Carl Beutler and Cody Nagy snagged second place and the weekly big fish honor with four fish totaling 8.78 pounds, with their largest tipping the scales at 3.42 pounds. Gary and Dave Hinkle rounded out third with four fish weighing 7.57 pounds. City of Firsts club tourney A strong contingent made up of members of the City of Firsts Bass Club held a two day tourney on Michigan’s renowned Lake St. Clair. Tyler Peters and Darron Read claimed first place and big bass honors with a two day limit of 10 large and smallmouth bass totaling 31.7 pounds. Their biggest tipped the scales at 4.12 pounds. Nathan Hubbell and Jamie Petrowski reeled in second with 10 fish totaling 31.6 pounds. Third place went to Calvin Fitch and Dave Parkhurst with 10 fish dropping the scales at 24.9 pounds. Delphi-Delco Bob Rose and Wayne Nolder won last Tuesday’s Delphi-Delco team bass tourney, staged on Mississinewa Reservoir, with two fish weighing four pounds, one ounce. Second place and the tourney’s biggest fish award went to Keith Milburn and Ed Lyke with one largemouth tipping the scales at three pounds, 13 ounces. Third place needed in a tie between the team of Kyle Hobbs and Mike Nolder Jr and Larrell Norris fishing solo. Both teams had two fish dropping the scales at three pounds.