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Teens never tire of cleanup

August 14, 1997

By SAMANTHA KRULEWITZ

Staff Writer

Ten teenagers who were hired this summer to remove tires that had been dumped illegally at area state parks ended up doing that, and more.

In all, the teenagers removed about 686 tires from Greenbrier and Gathland state parks and from the Frederick County, Md., watershed areas of Gambrill and Cunningham Falls state parks.

The group found a refrigerator, an adding machine and a lot more junk in the Tuscarora Creek, said program Coordinator Lonna Seibert.

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In addition to the tires, 363 of which came from Greenbrier State Park, Seibert said the her crew found and recycled 1,200 pounds of glass bottles, 2,500 pounds of scrap metal and 13 pounds of plastic bottles.

At the end of the project, the crew had only a small amount of materials that could not be recycled.

"If we had put everything in the landfill it would have been an incredible amount, but because we sorted we only had six bags of garbage to put in the Dumpster. Even the Dumpster is better than some animal's habitat or a drinking water supply," Seibert said.

Seibert, 25, is an archaeologist working with the Department of Natural Resources and Maryland Conservation Corps to oversee the removal program.

She said the Maryland Conservation Corps project, which began June 30 and ends Friday, involved forming a crew for removing illegally dumped tires from state parks. In addition, the youths got an environmental education and went on field trips.

Program participants piled up the tires in the parks where they found them. Seibert said the parks will send in trucks to haul out the tires and then send the bill, which would be paid by the Maryland Department of Environment with funds from a state grant.

The young workers learned that bees, snakes spiders and swarms of mosquitoes lurked in some of the tire piles. Two boys from Hagerstown found out how painful finding bees could be.

Luke Mongrain, 14, was stung 12 times in two days while removing tires from Gambrill State Park. Jason Kendall, 14, was stung six times in one day at the same park.

Seibert said the stings did not daunt Mongrain and Kendall.

"What's great is that they kept working. I was provided with a first aid kit, fixed them up and they went back to work," she said.

Jon Miller, 16, said he doesn't understand why people dump trash.

"If you're going to drive to a state park and dump it, why not drive to a recycling plant and dump it," he asked.

Other teenagers who participated were Nick Hoffman, Beth Kendall and Lauren Ray of Hagerstown and Jason Haluska, Katie Wynne and Gerald and Eric White of Frederick.

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