Instead of doing their last minute Christmas shopping or hanging out with their friends, this Friday afternoon in Reseda found a group of high school kids standing in the rain in what could be a giant parking lot.
Why, you may ask?
These young eco-warriors spent the day with hands plunged in soil, hoping to save once small part of the environment, by jamming tiny pollution-eating plants onto man-made islands, which could save Reseda Park Lake.
Locals remember it for its once picturesque beauty. A mid-valley oasis, chock full of fish.
"They had had trout here, before, and bass and perch,and they have been long gone," according to Laddie Flock of "Floating Islands West."
Over the years, the pond had turned into a polluted mess.
Duck and Goose droppings, fertilizer and other pollutants had created a toxic green sludge which killed most of the fish off.
"You could stick your hand into the water, and it would be covered in algae, almost like a paint," according to James Krause of "Floating Islands West."
So the city drained the lake and commissioned Laddie Flock's, "Floating Islands West" company to construct over 5,000 square feet of Floating Treatment Wetlands for Reseda Lake.
A BioHaven floating island is an advanced form of Floating Treatment Wetland which "bio-mimics" natural floating wetland systems invented by Nature. Vegetated with native plants (preferably perennials), it is a beautiful, natural and sustainable eco-system which provides many benefits, from habitat restoration to water cleansing.
Those plants float on the surface, which allows the roots below to suck up harmful nitrates, and destroying pollution in the process.
You might be wondering what the islands are made of? Well it turns out the materials is something many of us use every single day. Plastic water bottles.
In fact, each island is made of 350,000 of them.
When the lake is re-filled during the last week of December, the islands will float, and start doing their job.
Flock says within a couple of years, you won't even know they're there.
A completely natural process, assisted by something as decidedly un-natural as a plastic water bottle.