Shuswap Lake tire removal tally hits 152

Rolling along: George Zorn and Ken Stengler remove a truck tire from the marsh surrounding Shuswap Lake.  - Photo contributed
Rolling along: George Zorn and Ken Stengler remove a truck tire from the marsh surrounding Shuswap Lake.
— image credit: Photo contributed

The numbers keep rolling up as a team of dedicated volunteers removes unsightly tires from the Salmon Arm foreshore.

The crew has now removed 152 tires, items that spurred  newcomer Ken Stengler into action when he first saw them littering the marsh.

And while he was prepared to find and remove them, he had no idea there would be so many.

Nor did Stengler  know when he met George and Jeanetta Zorn in a California campground last March, that he would buy a home in Salmon Arm, initiate a tire cleanup on the marsh and foreshore, or that George would become a big part of that initiative.

Zorn was instrumental as the lead hand for the winter crew of the Shuswap Trail Alliance. Stengler credits the hard work of the six members of the crew with the success of the project; without them, only a fraction of the tires would have been removed.

Another key player in the project was Dan Unterschultz, who transported a tremendous number of tires located near the Raven trailhead of the SABNES foreshore trail.

Stengler points out that discarded tires provide breeding sites for mosquitoes.

“They almost always contain water, they are dark and heat up quickly, and one tire can host thousands of mosquitoes,” he says. “The threat of West Nile Virus is enhanced by discarded tires.”

Stengler is grateful for the support of  many groups and individuals, including Mayor Nancy Cooper, city crews who picked up the tires, Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Philip  Shuswap Trail Alliance co-ordinator McIntyre-Paul, Kal Tire, Fountain Tire, Shuswap Naturalists, Sarah Weaver and others.

Stengler is asking Salmon Arm residents to dispose of unwanted tires in a responsible manner.

Dirty tires must be cleaned or taken to the landfill.

Clean tires that are free of mud and rims can be taken to any tire shop, where they become part of the BC Tire Stewardship program, which is funded by taxes levied at time of purchase.

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