Land Steward Jean Wiedenheft is tired of pulling old tires out of Indian Creek! Here we go again.

Back in June of 2009, Project AWARE volunteers removed 103 tires from the waterways in this area, as part of a 33 mile river cleanup project that netted 42 tons of rubbish. In 2008, Project AWARE had tackled 80 miles upstream of here just after the floods of 2008, and removed 816 tires as part of their 47 ton trash haul.

Tire in creek cmpNow that the flood waters of 2013 have subsided, Indian Creek is running clear, the weather is cool and the wildflowers are in full bloom, and this beautiful late summer scene was marred by a tire in Indian Creek. Whoever dumped it may not have dumped it in the creek-I’ve plucked plenty of tires out of road ditches and gullies—but everything ultimately ends up downhill, downstream, and in the creek. While they sit abandoned in the environment, before they reach the water, they provide perfect habitat for mosquito larvae.

Intern Teal retrieves the tire.
Intern Teal retrieves the tire.

Teal and I went out to fetch it, and we will take it to the Linn County Landfill and Composting Facility. Located at the corner of County Home Road and Highway 13, the facility charges a single dollar to drop a tire off there, and they can recycle the material. Meanwhile, Project AWARE sponsors and volunteers are preparing to clean up the Iowa River, downstream from us, this September.

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