California group uses scrap tires to build parks south of border

SAN DIEGO (Border Report) – The Tijuana River Valley is teeming with trails, wildlife, flora and fauna, and unfortunately the entire valley is also littered with old tires.

Over the years, thousands of tires have made their way through the canyons and the Tijuana River, flowing north of the border into US territory.

Many end up in the ocean, but many of them get stuck along the way and sit there for years.

“We have a terrible problem with tires,” said Fay Crevoshay, director of communications and policy for Wildcoast, an environmental group based in Imperial Beach, Calif.

For decades, Wildcoast has attempted to clean up the Tijuana River Valley, which is also home to tons of trash, plastics, chemical waste, raw sewage and other debris flowing north of the border from Tijuana. , in Mexico.

But tires are considered extremely problematic because they also help spread disease.

“They’re so big and they hold all kinds of water inside when it rains and are really good vectors for creating mosquitoes and disease, and all kinds of snakes and rats can be there, it’s a terrible problem,” Crevoshay said.

In order to combat this problem, Wildcoast has collected and recycled some of the tires.

Now he uses them to create parks in canyons south of the border.

Part of Tijuana’s tire fleet is this small football surface. (Courtesy of Wildcoast)

“We wanted to prove to Tijuana that, hey, you can use this property, so we built a whole park out of scrap tires,” Crevoshay said. “We also ended up building a small football pitch, fencing, so the ball wouldn’t go into the river which carries sewage, basically sewage, raw sewage and the kids could get sick.”

According to Crevoshay, the tires are also used to buttress retaining walls and exterior stairways used by residents to enter and exit the canyons where their homes are located.

Crevoshay says the park and use of old tires has been so successful that the city of Tijuana is now asking if more can be built.

“Everyone loves parks, we can build a lot more, Tijuana is one of the cities with the fewest parks.”

Crevoshay says Wildcoast would like to build additional parks if it can get funding, which it is actively pursuing. The park cost $63,000 to build.