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Standup paddleboarder Aaron Nasipayko has finally completed his grueling summer goal.
The Vernon resident combed over a combined 315 kilometres of shoreline between Kalamalka and Okanagan Lake from April to November, hauling out discarded garbage.
“It’s shocking how many tires are out there,” explained Nasipayko.
“Along with mountains worth of plastic bags, water bottles, beer cans. I even found a GT snow racer.”
The father of two would average about 27 km worth of paddling on the big days, working out to nearly nine hours on the water cleaning the shoreline.
“One of the harder moments was when I came across the homeless camps near Penticton,” recalled Nasipayko.
“It was a scary scene with drug activity and I was actually looking to see if there was going to be a dead body somewhere.”
Nasipayko admits he’s glad to be done the daunting project, but there was plenty of positivity that came as a result of the immense volunteer participation.
Over the summer, more than 150 volunteers contributed their time towards the cleanup, with about half of those volunteers being under the age of 10.
While the financial advisor is glad to start spending weekends with friends again, he maintains that even a little bit of work here and there can still leave a lasting impact.
“The shoreline will never be perfectly clean, but it’s light years ahead of where it was thanks to all the extra effort.”
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