Vernon paddleboarder cleaning up Kalamalka Lake

Aaron Nasipayko, so far, has removed a pallet and two crates worth of debris while out on the lake

Vernon financial advisor Aaron Nasipayko has attached two crates and fish netting to his paddleboard as he makes it his summer challenge to clean Kal Lake’s waters and shorelines from debris. (Submitted)

Aaron Nasipayko is helping clean up Kalamalka Lake one standup paddle at a time.

The Vernon financial advisor has made it his summer challenge to collect garbage lying just below the water’s surface and along the shoreline.

So far, in two separate weekend paddles, Nasipayko has attached a wood pallet that he found below the surface at Juniper Bay to his 12-foot-six Tahoe Zephyr paddleboard, paddled four kilometres to shore and, with help from a friend, got the pallet out of the lake and into his vehicle for disposal. Friends of his hauled out two tires last year and have cleaned up the aftermath of shoreline parties.

This past weekend, during a 10-km paddle, he collected garbage from nearly four kilometres of shoreline along the Okanagan Rail Trail.

“Originally, I thought I would be able to weigh what I collect but clearly it’s not going to happen as it’s too much work,” said Nasipayko. “So, instead, I’m going to take pictures to document this journey and the impact along the way.”

Nasipayko, a native of Saskatchewan, has a deep appreciation for lakes, be it for recreation or simply to enjoy the serene beauty of their colours and waters. Last summer, he paddled from one end of Okanagan Lake, in Penticton, to the other, at Head of the Lake off Westside Road, to raise funds for the North Okanagan Hospice Society.

READ ALSO: Paddleboarder completes Okanagan Lake crossing fundraiser

This year, he wanted to do something different. Having paddled hundreds of kilometres on Kal Lake, he wanted to do his part by collecting garbage.

“I think this is something collectively that everyone is doing but this year my intention is to look for it and do something about it,” he said. “Really, how many times can I paddle over garbage that may sit below the water’s surface and not do anything about it? Our lakes are some of the finest in the world and we need to keep them like that for future generations. This includes stopping invasive mussel. Not only that, they are our water source.

“I feel that most people pick up garbage if they are boating and or paddling but it’s not always easy to get or it just falls of your board again.”

He has equipped his paddleboard with crates on the front and back ends, along with cargo netting, so he can easily collect garbage without worrying that it’s just going to fall back in when the next wave hits.

“I know of a few isolated locations on the lake with a lot of garbage that I am going to target this summer and few people have already stepped up to help,” said Nasipayko. “It will be fun, and we will likely need some extra boards to tow some of it out.”

Nasipayko said this summer’s challenge is about him wanting to be able to give back to the community.

“Sometimes it’s hard for me to find things that I am truly passionate about and align with whom I am,” he said. “For me right now, this is it, and now that I have started, it will continue and hopefully it will influence others to do the same. It also gives me the opportunity to enjoy nature, get exercise and make an impact all in one activity.

“I think this applies in other ways as well. Maybe the next time you go for a hike, you make it your intent that you come back with more than you left with.”

Nasipayko gave a shout-out to local organization SPrKL, the Society for the Protection of Kalamalka Lake, a non-profit group whose mission statement reads, “To preserve and protect the quality and health of Kalamalka Lake Watershed for all future generations so that the lake may be enjoyed by all user groups in an environmentally sustainable manner.”

“They have organized days cleaning our waterways and continually strive for ways to spread awareness to keep Kal Lake blue,” said Nasipayko. “This aligns with what they stand for.”



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

Some of the debris Nasipayko collected during a weekend paddle from the shoreline of Kalamalka Lake near the Okanagan Rail Trail. (Submitted)

Just Posted

New attainable homes for Enderby seniors and veterans

Habitat for Humanity and Enderby Legion team up to provide attainable housing, office space

Vernon theatre group scores with murder mystery

Powerhouse Theatre production of the Game’s Afoot takes you on many plot turns and twists

Pedestrian struck in downtown Vernon

Firefighters, ambulance and RCMP responding to incident

Vernon’s Together for Christmas group gathering donations for annual dinner

Together for Christmas has brought people together on Christmas Day for 11 years

SilverStar to host last 2019 pride event in North America

Rebellious Unicorns and SilverStar team up for Peak Pride in Vernon

B.C. politicians view supermodel’s transition journey on Transgender Day

Liberal MLA Jane Thornthwaite and New Democrat MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert appear in the documentary

B.C. mayor urges premier to tweak road speeds in an ‘epidemic of road crash fatalities’

Haynes cites ICBC and provincial documents in letter to John Horgan

Hergott: Day of remembrance for road traffic victims

Lawyer Paul Hergott’s latest column

Revelstoke man who sexually assaulted drunk woman sentenced to 18 months house arrest

For the first nine months he cannot leave his home between 2 p.m. and 11 a.m. except for work

Kamloops RCMP seek driver who hit teenager, then drove away

The 13-year-old boy was in a crosswalk, crossing Seymour Street at Eighth Avenue

City of Kelowna implements two new electric vehicle charging stations

EV drivers will now have four charging options across the city

B.C. won’t appeal decision protecting ICBC court experts

Change to evidence rules next to save money, David Eby says

Convicted child rapist loses sentence appeal in Kelowna

The man was sentenced to seven years in prison in December 2016

Representing himself, Okanagan inmate delays trial

Afshin Maleki Ighani trial adjourned until Nov. 21

Most Read