College Students Leave Unexpected Surprise on Shasta Lake After Party Weekend

The annual college party weekend on Shasta Lake began as it usually does, with more than a thousand students, mostly from Oregon, descending on the waters of Northern California. When it ended, lake businesses and U.S. Forest Service representatives were shocked by what they found.

This year, approximately 1,600 students managed to leave the lake cleaner than they found it.

A group of Oregon State University students demonstrated exceptional environmental stewardship during their annual Mother’s Day weekend celebration at Lake Shasta by staying afterwards to clean the lake. About 40 students voluntarily extended their stay to ensure their party areas, especially around Slaughterhouse Island, were thoroughly cleaned. They stayed back an extra day beyond the main departure of most students to clean up the campgrounds meticulously.

Traditionally, the student festivities at Lake Shasta have ended with significant cleanup challenges for local authorities. In 2016, college kids thrashed Slaughterhouse Island, leaving behind trash, clothing, food, and about 90 tents, which cost $10,000 to clean up.

Image of Slaughterhouse Island after the 2016 trash debacle

This year, the students showed their maturity and care for the environment of California’s largest man-made lake.

Working alongside Shasta Lake recreation staff, the students collected garbage, clothing, and miscellaneous debris, even retrieving objects that had washed ashore. Their efforts left the area in better condition than upon their arrival, setting a new precedent for future visits.

The U.S. Forest Service acknowledged the positive impact of these students, commending them for setting a high standard of responsibility and respect for nature. We hope to see this kind of respect for years to come.

Active NorCal

Telling the Stories of Northern California


  1. I hope you are aware of the difference between Oregon State University and the University of Oregon who did the damage in 2016.

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