Vernon paddle boarder recognized for 'Herculean' lake cleanup effort - InfoNews

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Vernon paddle boarder recognized for 'Herculean' lake cleanup effort

Aaron Nasipayko sits on his new paddle board, Thursday, May 30, 209, shortly after it was gifted in recognition for his efforts in cleaning up Kalamalka and Okanagan Lakes.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Aaron Nasipayko
May 30, 2019 - 3:57 PM

VERNON - Paddle boarder Aaron Nasipayko has been rewarded for his cleanup effort on Kalamalka and Okanagan Lakes in the North Okanagan and gifted a brand new board.

Nasipayko began his inspiring environmental crusade to collect garbage from the shoreline of Kalamalka Lake from his standup paddle board two months ago.

Today, May 30, he was given a brand new board in an informal ceremony that caught him off guard.

"I guess I was surprised by a bunch of local supporters and businesses that had been following this program," Nasipayko told iNFOnews.ca. "It's very humbling."

Nasipayko said he received a phone call from Kalavida Surf Shop owner Kevin O'Brien asked him to come down to the Coldstream store for a quick photo. Nasipayko said he only had 20 minutes free in his busy day and when he was returning from the beach after the photo shoot, a crowd of supporters had gathered to present him with a brand new board.

"It's overwhelming to know the community is behind me and they are supporting me," he said.

Telus senior sustainability manager Colleen Dix organized the new board, courtesy of Telus, having followed Nasipayko's story over the last two months.

Dix describes Nasipayko's solo mission as "Herculean."

"For him to raise awareness about the mess people are leaving behind is just incredible," Dix said. "We wanted to support him and replace the board of his own that he destroyed trying to clean up our environment."

Once Nasipayko had paddled and cleaned up the shoreline of Kalamalka Lake, he started on Okanagan Lake May 5. He says so far he and a variety of volunteers joining him have cleaned up 25 per cent of the shoreline of Okanagan Lake.

"It's equally as terrible until your feet are on the ground on the shoreline you don't know, you don't notice it, it's bad," he said.

-— This story was updated at 5:02 p.m. Thursday, May 30, 2019. An earlier version of the story said Nasipayko had completed the cleanup solo, he was in fact often joined by various volunteers.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2019
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