PEPPERELL -- Instead of starting their holiday weekend early, six students used their half day from school on Good Friday to do some good for the town of Pepperell.

North Middlesex Regional High School students Tyler Ferolito, Trevor Ferolito, Molly Hurley, Connor Kay, Kevin Lundstrom and Clarisse Neilan used their afternoon to remove 102 used tires from Pepperell Town Forest land.

The tires had been dumped on the conservation land off Elm Street over a period of many years, said Conservation Administrator Paula Terassi. When Tyler Ferolito came to her in January looking for a service project to do, she recommended removing the tires. Once the weather warmed up, Ferolito returned to do the job he had promised, bringing a small group of friends along with him.

"I always think it's a good idea to help out the town, and wanted to find something that Pepperell can benefit from," said Ferolito, a senior at North Middlesex. "The town's been good to me, so I thought it was important to do something for the town."

The tires were dumped in a half-acre area of the forest where they were not visible from the road. They were originally discovered by the Town Forest Commission.

Tyler Ferolito's younger brother Trevor, a freshman, said that it was important to him to help keep the town clean so that people can use and enjoy the town's natural spaces.

"The tires are just an eyesore, and a good breeding ground for mosquitos," Trevor Ferolito said.

Lundstrom, also a North Middlesex freshman, said he wanted to volunteer his help before problems get out of hand.

"I think it's important because if things like this don't get taken care of, they just continue to build up. It's obviously been an ongoing problem because there were so many of them, and if you don't do anything about it, it starts to become not a big deal to people," Lundstrom said.

The tires were removed from Elm Street by the Highway Department and are being disposed of at no cost by R.H. Willson Auto Parts in Pepperell.

Terassi said that without volunteers who are willing to offer their help, projects like the tire removal wouldn't be completed.

"It's nice to have volunteers who keep our town looking nice," Terassi said.

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