We did it!

Last weekend ACRES held our final tire cleanup at the Walter H. and E. Marie Myers Nature Preserve on Flowers Creek. In total, with five years with volunteer, staff and intern effort, our teams have heaved 1,751 tires from this Miami County preserve.

Caption, left: In 2020, warmer temperatures made for a muddy workday.

The Backstory
When ACRES acquired Flowers Creek in 2013, we spotted several piles of tires in the woods. As the team looked closer, dug deeper, more and more tires appeared until it was evident this forest was once a major dumping site. Following an intense period of tackling non-native invasive plants here, ACRES took action for the tires in 2015, hauling them by the truckload, beginning of our five-year cleanup effort.

Tire Cleanup Highlights
In 2015, our summer interns, pictured left, helped the preserve caretaker haul out 771 tires. In 2016, volunteers began stepping forward to make breakfast for volunteer workday crews and the Recycling (Solid Waste) District pitched in.

In 2019, McMahon’s Best One Tire & Auto Care sent a crew of employees to help haul tires—plus trailers to transport them, AND they covered ACRES’ cost to recycle tires! When they saw our challenge, they returned the following weekend to do even more on their own. Many thanks, McMahon’s! Your service went beyond our expectations made the commendable efforts of our volunteer crew possible.

One of the best outcomes has been reuniting annually: Many of the same folks— gluttons for hard work—return each year to play a part. We share a meal and we work hard, together.

Over time, more than 20 volunteers, 20 interns and staff have heaved, hoisted and lugged 1,751 tires.

In 2020, muddy conditions made for a messy, sloppy workday – with double the labor. The ground was too soft to pull the semi trailer back to the work site, so crews lifted the remaining tires twice: once to load the pick up truck; and again to load the semi. And, we got real muddy doing it.

For their troubles, we held a drawing and one lucky volunteer won a $500 gift card to McMahon’s Best One Tire & Auto Care.

Many thanks to all the folks who have lent a hand to take care of this land.

*The ACRES team will handle one last round of tire removal here, to cut tires off trees that have grown through them and to use heavy equipment to pull out those that are too deeply buried to remove by hand.