Friends Volunteers Work Tirelessly to Keep the Nature Center Pristine


Friends volunteers are making headway on a true labor of love at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.
Bert Slade and Jaime Dickerson stand in front of a trailer full of old tires at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
Bert Slade (L) and Jaime Dickerson (R) have devoted many hours to making the Nature Center a more beautiful place to visit by cleaning up discarded tires along the Canyon Ridge Trail. Photo by Jaime Dickerson.

Jaime Dickerson and Bert Slade take World Cleanup Day seriously. In case you missed it, World Cleanup Day happened on September 18, so Jaime and Bert decided that was a perfect excuse to make some headway on their ongoing cleanup project at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. They spent half a day clearing tires that have accumulated over the decades near the Canyon Ridge Trail.

“We enjoy that trail so much, and it feels really good to be making progress in clearing the tires that have been dumped there over the years,” says Bert. “We’ve been out there three different times, and, in all, we’ve cleared about 500 tires out of the brush.”

A stack of old tires at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
Old tires stacked and ready to be loaded onto the trailer. Photo by Jaime Dickerson.

During this most recent cleanup, Jaime, Bert, and another friend removed about 126 automobile tires and about 25 tractor tires. Jaime is a scientist by profession, and his analytical mind inevitably turns to math.

“If you figure an average weight for an auto tire is about 25 pounds, and a tractor trailer tire weighs in at about 100 pounds, that means we’ve probably cleared about 11 tons of rubber off the hillside,” he observes.

Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge truck and trailer with stacked tires
Tires are loaded and ready to be hauled away by Nature Center staff. Photo by Jaime Dickerson.

Though they’ve made a dent, there’s still a long way to go, so they are planning a major cleanup early next year. Jaime estimates there’s another 1,500 tires that need to be removed. They’re hoping to attract some volunteers to help them for a final cleanup day. We’ll keep you posted on when that is scheduled so you can lend a hand.

“It feels good to give back to the Nature Center by becoming a member of the Friends group and by volunteering in any way we can,” says Jaime. “We can see the results, and it is a testament to the fact that a few people can make an impact. We hope others will join us to help finish the job.”

Read more about the project here.

By Lydia Saldaña, Board Member, Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge

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