About 220 tires pulled from Cedar River
Published 11:17 am Thursday, November 14, 2013
AUSTIN — An effort by the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa resulted in about 220 tires removed from the Cedar River in late October, and since 2011, people have now removed nearly 700 tires from the waterway.
The Cedar River Watershed District has covered the cost of the tires’ proper disposal. Prior to the Conservation Corps project, almost all of the tires were removed by volunteers enrolled in the watershed district’s Adopt-A-River program.
“The Cedar River is a beautiful waterway in our area, and the hard work recently made by the Conservation Corps members to remove such a large number of tires will help increase the enjoyment of the river for everyone who uses it,” said Justin Hanson, resource specialist with the Cedar River Watershed District.
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Austin resident Mike Hull’s group of volunteers adopted a stretch of the Cedar River from the Solafide Observatory south of Austin to the Mower County Road 4 bridge and had identified at least 100 tires along their section of the river during two cleanups. At the advice of the watershed district, the group focused its cleanups on removing trash and debris — which filled their canoes — and leaving the tires for a larger watershed district project.
The Cedar River Watershed District then brought the Conservation Corps for a large tire-removal project this fall south of Austin for the Hull group’s adopted stretch of the Cedar River and continuing downstream to the Mower County Road 6 bridge, Hanson said. Fifteen Conservation Corps members worked on the project, totaling about 400 individual hours of work on behalf of the watershed district, he said.
Additionally through its work for the district, Conservation Corps members removed about 14,000 pounds of trash from a dump site north of the village of Lansing along the Cedar River. A four-person crew also worked to open a stretch of the Cedar River between the Ramsey Dam and Wildwood Park for canoeists and kayakers. Some areas had been blocked by fallen trees and debris.
“That stretch of the Cedar River is now fully floatable without any areas requiring you to portage your canoe or kayak,” Hanson said. “That was always an issue before this project.”
Within Mower County, the Cedar River is designated as a State Water Trail under a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ program. In 2011, the district successfully proposed and secured the legislative approval needed for designating the Cedar River as an official state water trail.