Once the jewel of Long Island, after years of neglect and dumping, Lake Ronkonkoma had become an eyesore. To address the problem, in 2016, the Lake Ronkonkoma Improvement Group (LRIG) was founded by Evelyn Vollgraff, Matt Balkam and Danielle Campbell.
At the first cleanup, August 27, 2016, 100+ volunteers turned up with heavy equipment, rakes, and garbage pails. 10,300+ pounds of trash and 8.54 tons of brush and other debris were removed. The clean-ups are ongoing.
The group was instrumental in having the remains of the Bavarian Inn and parking lot removed. Leaky oil tanks and cesspools were removed. The land was remediated and replanted and it is now a part of the Suffolk County Parks System. The burned out “Used Paperback Bookstore” was removed and working with the County, the site was remediated and regraded. It is now known as Larry’s Landing.