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Hot Tire Haulin’

The fore­cast called for 97 degrees by 11 a.m. — ugh. The hottest day of the year, and what was on my agenda? Haul­ing tires out of a river with vol­un­teers. Well, quite a bit of plan­ning had gone into it, so what else was there to do but pack a lot of water and get out there?

Yes, it was the hottest day of the sum­mer, the day we could have had a black­out caused by heat. But Fri­day, July 22, turned out to be a great day because I was lucky enough to spend the morn­ing with a fun and ded­i­cated group of peo­ple and work with them to clean up a sec­tion of Howard County. There were about 100 teens and adult lead­ers from the local Youth Group from the Church of Jesus Christ of Lat­ter Day Saints.

This youth group had a choice of other vol­un­teer projects, but they were excited about clean­ing up the envi­ron­ment. And clean they did. They pulled 83 tires and an addi­tional trailer of trash, mostly auto­mo­tive, out of the water and banks of a sec­tion of the Dorsey Run River run­ning through Jes­sup. They did a great job. Extra thanks go out to Janet Yarn who brought the project to the youth group and did a fan­tas­tic job orga­niz­ing such a large group. Sorry about those spi­der webs, Janet! Our won­der­ful staff at Recre­ation and Parks pro­vided the trucks and hauled away the tires for recycling.

This was our sec­ond attempt to get the mess out of the river. Our first was ear­lier this year, in April, dur­ing a region-wide project called Project Clean Stream. It was a dif­fer­ent group of vol­un­teers, and we ran out of time, energy and truck space to get the whole mess cleaned up.

There was a very unusual amount of tires and auto trash at this site, and it begs the ques­tion of where it is all com­ing from. Cur­rently, the Mary­land Depart­ment of the Envi­ron­ment is inves­ti­gat­ing it, and I hope that there will be some action taken. It is just not right to dump this stuff and even worse to get away with it. Who knows how much it would have cost to pay some­one to do the work these vol­un­teers did.

The next stream cleanup we have planned is com­ing up on Sat­ur­day, Sep­tem­ber 17, 2011. We’re going to a dif­fer­ent site, still being cho­sen, but it will be in Howard County. The effort is part of the Inter­na­tional Coastal Cleanup. Howard County isn’t exactly “coastal,” but trash in our streams will end up there, so it all helps. I don’t expect any­thing as hard as the tires. There may be a few, but it will prob­a­bly be more of your reg­u­lar trash, bot­tles and cans, etc. Please email me at ereineck@howardcountymd.gov or call 410−313−1175 if you are inter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing for that event. I’m going out on a limb here and guar­an­tee­ing that the weather will be cooler.

If you haven’t tried this type of thing yet, you might not believe me, but it’s actu­ally fun. Not to men­tion reward­ing in that warm fuzzy feel­ing kind of way.

Thanks again LDS Youth Group! You were amaz­ing and you really made a dif­fer­ence out there this summer.

Elissa Rei­neck

OES staff
August 2011

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