Paving the way—Lake Guntersville State Park reduces pollution by using tires for new road

Ribbon Cutting For New Road.
Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new road. (Alabama State Parks Division / Facebook)

This past week, Lake Guntersville State Park repaved their roads with recycled tires. Keep reading to find out why they chose this material and the impact it has on the environment.

Preservation is the goal

Lake Guntersville State Park Resort
The resort sits on thousands of acres. (Alabama State Parks Division / Facebook)

Lake Guntersville is a state park located in northeast Alabama along the Tennessee River. The beautiful lake spreads across 75 miles throughout Alabama, while the park itself covers 6,000 acres of natural woodlands.

The park attracts millions of visitors each year, having record numbers in 2020 with 6.27 million people. While there are many people coming and exploring the park, the primary goal is to preserve the land.

The state park needed new roads, and rather than pave it with asphalt (which is one of the leading causes of air pollution) Lake Guntersville decided to go the environmentally friendly route—by paving with scrap tires.

Why tires?

Kayaking In Lake Guntersville
Keeping our parks safe is important. (Matthew Niblett / The Bama Buzz)

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) recognized the abundance of scrap tires polluting the land and wanted to keep them out of landfills, creeks and rivers. Partnering with Lake Guntersville State Park, a plan was put in place to recycle the tires by repaving the roads with them.

“It gives the tires a purpose. Many people see it [tires] as a superior paving product because it lasts longer, it’s quieter and the tires grip better. And, of course, we like the idea of using recycled materials.”

– Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks Division, Director

Not only are tires more sustainable, but they are also more durable than asphalt. The materials weather better with no heating or cracking of the pavement.

Other state parks around Alabama are following suit. Plans are being put into place to repave the DeSoto State Park’s driveway and parking lot over the next month or two. Lein believes other state parks will join over the next year.

Activities for all ages

Fishing In Lake Guntersville
Spend the day outdoors! (Matthew Niblett / The Bama Buzz)

Want to visit the beautiful park? Here’s a few of the activities you and your family can enjoy.

Lake Guntersville State Park is the perfect place for environmentally friendly outdoor fun.

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Sophie Higby
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