SIDNEY — After Anna High School student Lenna Rowland’s love of animals led to a first place win during an FCCLA star event in April of 2018, she recently decided to gift the winning project to a local business owner.
Rowland, 14, daughter of John and Tiffany Rowland, created dog beds out of recycled tires, which she acquired from Sidney Tire and Service owner Jeff Pollard. The project earned her a perfect score within the “Recycle and Redesign” category at the state competition last year.
“It was an individual project that required me to take something old and make something new,” Rowland said. “I thought of the idea because my friend and I used to hang out at Northwood (School) and play at the park; we would see all the old tires when we would come by (Sidney Tire) with our bikes, so I thought back to that and wanted to see what I could do.”
Pollard was more than happy to help and gladly gave Rowland 18 used tires for her project. Pollard was thrilled when Rowland returned later to gift him one of the beds.
“We have a dog named Vivian — she’s a miniature golden doodle — and we actually bring her to work,” Pollard said. “Vivian loves the bed and sits in it all the time.”
Rowland said she made each of the 18 tires into dog beds, a task which took her just over 30 hours to complete.
The process included cleaning the tires, cutting the inside of the ring out, and painting them. Rowland also made cushions for each bed using foam donated from iVex Protective Packaging in Sidney. She also hand-made fabric covers for the foam inserts.
“The foam is recyclable and comes from recycled plastic, from things like milk containers and plastic bags,” Rowland said. “The cushions are mold-proof, mildew-proof, and water-proof, and the covers can be removed and washed.”
Not only did Rowland receive donated project materials, she also recycled the inside of each tire ring, which she had cut out during the beginning of the construction process, and donated these to a local farmer in Anna.
Farmers often use tire material to cover animal feed to keep it dry, Rowland said.
Rowland, who is in her third year of FCCLA, will move from the junior division on to the senior division next year when she enters 10th grade.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4825.