LAKE COMO, NJ — As Lake Como’s landscape slowly turns into hues of browns, golds and oranges, a great blue heron was easily recognizable Saturday among the resident swans and ducks that call the lake home.

New Jersey’s largest wading bird is commonly seen along shorelines, river banks, and the edges of marshes, estuaries and ponds, according to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

However, the great blue heron is also classified as a “species of special concern” in New Jersey due to a decrease in its population with the continued destruction of wetlands critical to its breeding, the Trenton-based group reports.

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Meanwhile, the banks of Lake Como recently received a good scouring during the Clean Water Challenge clean-up, thanks to the efforts the Lake Como Environmental Commission, which organized a group of residents for a “weeding hour,”  and some 120 students from Academy Charter High School who picked up trash and other debris.

Lake Como is among nearly 560 municipalities in New Jersey that participate in spring and fall clean-ups sponsored by New Jersey Clean Communities (NJCC). The nonprofit group provides grants to communities with litter-abatement programs that track items collected during clean-up efforts.

This year, Lake Como earned a $4,490 NJCC grant, which then is “recycled,” so to speak, to support trash-related expenses in the borough.

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