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Q: What are those canoes in the two small lakes at Green Valley Park?

A: "They're looking for Sacajawea," deadpanned Parks Director Bill Schwind.

Seriously, they only look like canoes, or, some people think, crocodiles. They're actually 24 floating bags of barley straw that are being used to conduct an experimental program to control algae in the two smaller lakes. Barley straw is a natural and inexpensive treatment used to control algae in many lakes around the world, according to Karen Probert, town water quality specialist. As the barley straw starts to decompose, it releases compounds that are toxic to algae but otherwise harmless. Unless you buy the crocodile theory.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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