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Sarah Hall to swim across Muskrat Lake

By Celina Ip

Algonquin College environmental technician program coordinator Sarah Hall will be swimming across Muskrat Lake on June 17 to raise funds and awareness for the Muskrat Watershed Council (MWC). Pictured here is (from left) Algonquin College Office of Applied Research Intern Martyna Tomczynski, MWC director of science and water quality Julie Sylvestre, Hall and Algonquin College Office of Applied Research co-op student Paul Cipriani - the group is standing on the property of local farmer Tim Egan whom they college has partnered with to perform research on the Muskrat Watershed.

Algonquin College environmental technician program coordinator Sarah Hall will be swimming across Muskrat Lake on June 17 to raise funds and awareness for the Muskrat Watershed Council (MWC). Pictured here is (from left) Algonquin College Office of Applied Research Intern Martyna Tomczynski, MWC director of science and water quality Julie Sylvestre, Hall and Algonquin College Office of Applied Research co-op student Paul Cipriani - the group is standing on the property of local farmer Tim Egan whom they college has partnered with to perform research on the Muskrat Watershed.

Sarah Hall will be taking a worthy plunge when she swims across Muskrat Lake in support of the Muskrat Watershed Council (MWC) this June.

 

Back in 2014 and 2015, the Algonquin College professor engaged in a similar endurance feat when she swam the Northumberland Strait between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in 2014 and 2014

This year, Hall wanted to apply her energy and fundraising efforts towards a project closer to home.

On June 17, Hall will complete a 16 kilometre swim of Muskrat Lake to increase awareness of the challenges facing the lake and to raise funds for the MWC – a volunteer, not-for-profit organization whose goal is to improve the water quality of the Muskrat Lake Watershed.

“I work at the college and they’ve formed a partnership with the MWC that is doing some really positive work. They’ve recognized some of the challenges that Muskrat Lake is facing and this is just a great opportunity for me to be able to help the council by creating awareness and generating funds so that the council can do more work,” said Hall, coordinator of the environmental technician program at Algonquin College. “We want to get our lakes to a state where they are swimmable, fishable and drinkable.”

Julie Sylvestre, director of science and water quality for the MWC, commented on Hall’s admirable passion and dedicated involvement in support of the council’s efforts.

“Sarah has always been a really big supporter of the Muskrat Watershed Council. She's helped us a lot and since she's the program coordinator for the environmental technician program at Algonquin College, her students have been heavily involved in helping the council,” said Sylvestre. “Now with this swim, it’s a really nice way of showing her support and dedication to the cause because it's something super awesome for someone to be swimming that far. Also, the dedication and training that goes towards that is a really good example to young people and to anybody in the community of what you can do just physically and by setting goals. On top of that, she's doing it to raise awareness for Muskrat Lake, for the community and the issues faced by the Watershed and to raise funds for the council so we can work on initiatives in the community. It's a big show of support on her part and it's awesome.”

Beginning in the Muskrat River at the bottom of Meath Hill and finishing at the Cobden boat launch area, Hall aims to complete the swim within six hours.

“When I swam the Northumberland Straight it was about the same distance and it took me about five hours, but this time I'll be swimming against the current so it might take about six hours,” said Hall.

With months of relentless training under her belt, Hall said that she’ll be ready and eager to take the plunge once the day arrives.

“I’ve been training since September by swimming three or four times a week in an indoor pool. Probably in the next couple of weeks, I'll get a few open water swims in a lake somewhere out in Beachburg,” said Hall. “You can’t prepare for everything but I think the fact that I’ve done two long swims already, I have a sense of what can be coming. I also have two friends that will be joining me for portions of the swim to provide some support and Julie (Sylvestre) will be paddling alongside in a kayak the entire way with me.”

Once Hall reaches the finish line, celebrations will take place involving a waterfront barbecue and a silent auction by the Cobden boat launch and beach area.

Hall has already raised $1,600 and hopes to reach $2,500 or more by June 17.

To support Hall’s swim for the MWC, donations can be made at https://www.gofundme.com/swim-for-the-lake

cip@postmedia.com