Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc.
Environmental Stewards Since 1972

Photo by Derek von Briesen

Key Successes

Through the financial support from generous people like you, Keep Sedona Beautiful has made great strides in the preservation of this amazing place we call home. 

Here are some of the highlights:

  • KSB 50th Anniversary logoLitter Lifters manages the famous corps of volunteers who clean litter from over 70 miles of roads in our area.
  • Dark Skies – named Sedona the World’s Eight International Dark-Sky Community Worldwide and 6th in the U.S. in 2014 as a result of a renewed collaboration between the City and KSB.
  • Annual Native Plant Workshop begun in 1979 has educated over 3,000 community members on the benefits of using native plants and low water use landscaping.
  • Annual Awards Program – recognizes excellence in commercial architectural design, xeriscaping, lighting, and signage or community service.
  • Preserving the Wonder Speakers Series brings experts monthly to our community to discuss their views on pertinent environmental and conservation issues.
  • Noise Abatement Community joined with the City of Sedona in a Citizens Engagement Group to address noise from the airport and specifically helicopter tours resulting in the County’s decision to take over the operation of the airport.
  • Water Sustainability – founding member of the Verde River Basin Partnership, which promotes the use of unbiased science and education in sustaining our surface water and groundwater within the Verde River Basin.
  • Land Preservation Task Force led the effort to secure several millions of dollars in funding to purchase over 500 hundred acres of unique and sensitive lands around Sedona that are now part of the Coconino National Forest.
  • Oak Creek Designated Unique Arizona Waterway – led the effort in having the State of Arizona acknowledge the importance of this significant natural resource.
  • Sign Ordinances in Yavapai County and City of Sedona – worked with local government and the business community to establish outdoor sign ordinances.
  • Enforcement of Water Quality Standards on Oak Creek – led the effort to sustain the water quality of Oak Creek getting federal and state agencies to enforce water quality standards.
  • Covered Load Ordinance – wrote and championed a covered load ordinance which was adopted by the Sedona City Council in 2006 making litter resulting from an unsecured load an enforceable offense.
  • Award of Merit – given to KSB in 2014 for Environmental Stewardship in Northern Arizona.

Key Accomplishments in 2021

Litter Lifters

Over 80 litter lifters removed litter and trash from over 70 miles of Sedona roadways. A Quality Control team provided weekly route monitoring to ensure a high degree of quality.

County Comprehensive Plan

We have worked to constructively influence the update to the Yavapai County Comprehensive Plan. KSB submitted a detailed Vision Statement that covers each of the required elements of the plan and we administered a series of surveys to better understand what the community would like the County to prioritize.

Sustainable Tourism

KSB continued to act as the Lead Partner responsible for implementing 4 of the Sustainable Tourism Plan’s key tactics: encourage less consumption of single-use plastics, advocate that development of private lands is in alignment with sustainability goals, encourage grandfathered businesses to implement dark-sky lighting, and discourage use of potentially harmful pesticides and herbicides.

Dark Skies

KSB has accumulated over $9,000 dedicated to the sustainable tourism initiative on dark sky lighting.

OHVs

KSB is actively engaged with citizen groups, the Forest Service, Yavapai County, the City of Sedona, several legislators and others to identify and implement a solution to the environmental damage and threats to public health and safety being caused by OHV overuse and misuse of Forest Service roads and trails.

Noise Abatement

The landmark voluntary agreement that establishes “No-Fly Zones” and minimum altitudes remain in effect, resulting in less noise pollution for both residents and visitors. Residents can register complaints about private aircraft noise at the Airport Authority website: https://sedonaairport.org/survey/

Awards of Excellence

Awards were presented to Sedona Community Food Bank for Excellence in Sustainability, McKenzie Jones and the City of Sedona for Environmental Stewardship, Marty Glinsky for Community Service, Enchantment Resort for Building Design and Signage, Canyon Mesa Townhouse Association for Dark Sky Lighting, and Friends of the Forest Cultural Resources Site Documentation Team for Cultural Heritage.  While there was no formal ceremony this year due to the pandemic, awards were presented to each recipient in person, and their achievements and photograph were highlighted in our quarterly newsletter.

Speaker Series

The KSB Preserving the Wonder Speaker Series hosted speakers on a variety of subjects of interest to our members. Due to COVID, we temporarily moved the Speaker Series online so that we could continue to inform residents of important issues.

Native Plant Workshop

Even with COVID preventing large in-person events, we held a series of virtual presentations and small-group events.


Key Accomplishments in 2020

Helicopter Noise

After 5 years of diligent work, an agreement was reached to reduce helicopter noise in Sedona. KSB was instrumental in reaching this landmark voluntary agreement that establishes “No-Fly Zones” and minimum altitudes. Both of these restrictions will result in less noise pollution for both residents and visitors.

Opposition to Spring Creek Ranch and AutoCamp

KSB played a major role in the outpouring of community opposition to these development proposals. After being voted down by Yavapai County Planning and Zoning, the developer of Spring Creek Ranch withdrew their initial proposal then resubmitted a revised proposal. KSB continues to strongly and actively oppose this proposal. We also strongly opposed AutoCamp’s desire to build a 100-unit commercial lodging establishment, made up almost exclusively of silver Airstream units on 18 acres of land completely surrounded by National Forest, two sides of which border the Red Rock / Secret Mountain Wilderness Area.

Litter Lifters

Over 90 KSB volunteers were responsible for removing litter and trash from 70 miles of Sedona area roads. The program continues to host groups interested in combining community service with vacations.

Sustainable Tourism

KSB continued to act as the Lead Partner responsible for implementing 4 of the Sustainable Tourism Plan’s key tactics: encourage less consumption of single-use plastics, advocate that development of private lands is in alignment with sustainability goals, encourage grandfathered businesses to implement dark-sky lighting, and discourage use of potentially harmful pesticides and herbicides.

Dark Skies

Along with the Dark-Sky Committee of the Big Park Regional Coordinating Committee, we participated in numerous educational events and continued to take sky quality measurements to ensure that Sedona and Big Park/Village of Oak Creek protect their dark nighttime skies and reduce light pollution. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of many events, we look forward to resuming them as soon as possible.

Awards of Excellence

We presented awards to Sedona Beer Company for Sustainability, Local Juicery for Environmental Stewardship, Mike Raney for Community Service, Snap Fitness, Village of Oak Creek for Dark Sky Lighting, and the Sedona Chamber of Commerce for Sustainability. Awards were presented at KSB’s Pushmataha Center, attended by award winners and families, City representatives, and KSB members.

Membership and Endowment

KSB added over 41 new individual members and 5 new business members, and $5,000 was added to our Endowment Fund.

Sedona Trail Keepers Program 

KSB donated $1000 to the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Sedona Trail Keepers program to maintain and expand our trails and preserve our natural landscape for generations to come.

Speaker Series

The KSB Preserving the Wonder Speaker Series hosted speakers on a variety of subjects of interest to our members. Due to COVID-19, we’ve temporarily moved the Speaker Series online so that we can continue to inform residents of important issues.

Sustainability Alliance (SA) KSB is a founding member of the Sustainability Alliance. The SA developed a Zero Waste Events program and a certification for Zero Waste Ready Venues, but the pandemic has put this initiative on the back burner. Since the pandemic started, the SA has focused on connecting the dots between the pandemic and other sustainability issues, providing content around solutions, and offering virtual Community Conversations so residents can hear how the community is adapting. Similarly, the Alliance has connected the Black Lives Matters campaign to sustainability and is currently working to expand the representation of marginalized groups.


Key Accomplishments in 2019

El Rojo Grande

KSB played a contributing role in the outpouring of community opposition to this planned development, resulting in the withdrawal of the proposal by the developer.

Litter Lifters

Over 125 KSB volunteers were responsible for removing litter and trash from 70 miles of Sedona area roads.  The program continues to host groups interested in combining community service with vacations.  In May, Lisa Propeck with Sol Searchers brought a team of women from across the country to Sedona, and they spent a day litter lifting Beaverhead Flats Road.

Communications

We stepped up our efforts to inform the community about emerging issues related to our area’s environment and undertook a pilot initiative to distribute a condensed physical copy of our Quarterly Newsletter to reach non-members in the community.

40th Annual Native Plant Workshop

Held at the Verde Valley School, this workshop was a Zero Waste Event!  With over 130 participants, the day provided a keynote speaker and a choice of nine different sessions for the three workshop slots covering landscape topics that encourage native and drought-resistant plants that welcome the birds, bees, and butterflies, as well as gardening and composting tips.

Sustainable Tourism

KSB contributed to the development of Sedona’s Sustainable Tourism Plan and is the Lead Partner responsible for implementing 3 of the Plan’s key tactics: encourage less consumption of single-use plastics, advocate that the development of private lands is in alignment with sustainability goals, and encourage grandfathered businesses to implement dark-sky lighting.

Speaker Series

The KSB Preserving the Wonder Speaker Series hosted speakers on a variety of subjects including geology, climate change, the Verde River, area flora and fauna, and dark sky projects.  Over 350 members of the community attended our 8 Wednesday night events, and an Earth Day Celebration.

Sustainability Alliance

KSB is a founding member of this Alliance of not-for-profits.  The Alliance standardized its Zero Waste Events certification program and launched a new social enterprise to support it.   The Alliance offered their 4th annual Sustainability in Schools Symposium and their first week-long summer camp.  It also collaborated with the Sedona Chamber of Commerce to promote the Sustainable Business Certification and to provide sustainability tips to member businesses.

Dark Skies

Along with the Dark-Sky Committee of the Big Park Regional Coordinating Committee, we participated in numerous educational events and continued to take sky quality measurements to ensure that Sedona and Big Park/Village of Oak Creek protect their dark nighttime skies and reduce light pollution. In December, Cottonwood was named an International Dark Sky Community.

Awards of Excellence

We presented awards to Ken Zoll for Cultural Heritage, L’ Auberge de Sedona for Sustainability, Bill and Justine Kusner for Community Service, J D and Karen Maddy for Dark Skies, and Sedona Compost for Environmental Stewardship.  Georgia Munsell received the Norman McGee Award.  Awards were presented at KSB’s Pushmataha Center, attended by award winners and families, City representatives, and KSB members.

Membership and Endowment

KSB added over 32 new individual members and 5 new business members.  $16,250 was added to the Endowment Fund bringing the total to over $191,000.  An independent financial audit showed that KSB is financially sound and fiscally responsible.

Sedona Trail Keepers Program 

KSB donated $1000 to the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Sedona Trail Keepers program to maintain and expand our trails and preserve our natural landscape for generations to come.


Key Accomplishments in 2018

KSB continues to remain very active, with noteworthy achievements, through the efforts of its many dedicated volunteers.

Membership and Endowment

KSB added over 200 new individual members, 19 new business members.  An additional $48,000 was added to the KSB Endowment Fund bringing the total to over $173,000.

Dark Skies

Along with the Big Park/Village of Oak Creek Dark-Sky Committee, we participated in numerous educational events and took sky quality measurements to ensure that Sedona continues to protect its dark nighttime skies and reduces light pollution.  We also assisted Camp Verde in achieving dark sky designation.

Litter Lifters

Over 125 KSB volunteers were responsible for removing litter and trash from 70 miles of Sedona area roads.  We received a grant for over $5,000 from the Arizona Community Foundation for litter lifting equipment and supplies.  Several long-serving volunteers retired in 2018, creating opportunities for new residents to make this unique contribution to our community.

39th Annual Native Plant Workshop

The workshop offered education to more than 120 attendees on monarch waystations, xeriscape applications, landscaping to attract birds, environmentally friendly pest management, lichens, and using native plants in your landscape design.  We also showed the movie VIVA LA VERDE! about doing our part to save our precious wild and scenic rivers.

Speaker Series

The KSB Preserving the Wonder Speaker Series hosted speakers on a variety of subjects including sustainability, geology, local history, climate change, and the Verde River.  Over 400 members of the community attended our 8 Wednesday night events, an Earth Day Celebration, and a special presentation by Jennifer Wesselhoff, President/CEO of the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau speaking on Sedona’s sustainable tourism plan.

Sustainability Alliance

KSB is a founding member of this Alliance of not-for-profits.  This year the Alliance increased the number of certified sustainable businesses by 46%.  KSB also achieved the Silver level certification from the Alliance. The alliance launched a Zero Waste Events certification which KSB achieved for our Awards of Excellence event.

Noise Abatement – Helicopter Tours 

A collaborative effort brought helicopter tour operators together with the Mayor, City Manager, Chamber of Commerce, County Supervisor, congressional representative, and the airport authority to seek a voluntary Letter of Agreement covering the minimum altitude for helicopter flights.  All parties agreed to continue to work collaboratively on this approach to solving the problem.

Awards of Excellence

We presented awards to Bill Tonneson and the Courtyard Marriott for Landscaping, CVS Pharmacy Sedona for Dark Sky Lighting, Darcy Hitchcock and Dale Graham for Building Design/Sustainability, and Don and Jan Groves for Education/Community Service.

Sedona Trail Keepers Program 

KSB has again donated $1000 this year to the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Sedona Trail Keepers program that will maintain and expand our trails and to preserve our natural landscape for generations to come.

Remodel

KSB completed a renovation of our meeting and conference rooms.  We replaced our ancient single pane windows with energy-efficient double-paned windows, installed efficient new ceiling fans and lighting, re-carpeted and repainted, replaced the old garden chairs we had used for the meeting room and replaced the clunky room dividers with KSB color-themed panels.


Key Accomplishments in 2017

Endowment

An additional $22,000 was added to the KSB Endowment Fund bringing the total to over $125,000.

New Members and Trustees

KSB added over 100 new individual members, 30 new business members and three new trustees to our board of directors.

Traffic Community Engagement Work Group

KSB again participated in the City of Sedona’s Traffic Community Engagement Group.  This group was formed to advise the city on the best ways to inform the community about the current state of traffic, and to and engage the community in the City’s effort to arrive at potential solutions to traffic problems.

Noise Abatement – Helicopter Tours 

The committee continues to focus on ways to have the helicopter tours comply with the applicable FAA Advisory concerning minimum altitudes in noise-sensitive areas – such as the greater Sedona/VOC/Verde Valley area.  The committee plans to mobilize support for this initiative in the fall and act to approach the FAA to request special federal air regulations that would apply to this area.

Dark-Sky Accomplishments 

This year, KSB’s Dark-Sky Committee participated in five dark-sky educational events, assisted Cottonwood as they pursue the International Dark Sky Community Designation, and took Sky Quality Measurements to ensure that Sedona continues to protect its dark night skies and reduce light pollution.

Sedona Trail Keepers Program 

KSB donated $1000 in 2017 to the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Sedona Trail Keepers program that will maintain and expand our trails and to preserve our natural landscape for generations to come.

Litter Lifters

Once again, over 125 KSB volunteers were responsible for removing litter and trash from 70 miles of Sedona area roads.

KSB Web Site

KSB modernized our website, significantly enhancing its visual appeal of the site.  The look and feel of the new site more appropriately reflect the beauty of Sedona.

Annual Native Plant Workshop

KSB offered education to over 130 attendants at our annual 38th workshop on water-wise landscape techniques and the use of native plants, trees, wildflowers, and grasses.

Speaker Series

The KSB Preserving the Wonder Speaker Series hosted speakers on a variety of subjects including sustainability, global warming and climate change, dark skies, and local history for over 300 attendees.

Top Rated

For the second year in a row, KSB was named as a top-rated non-profit by Great Nonprofits.  KSB is also a Bronze Participant in the Guide Star Exchange.

Sustainability Alliance

KSB is a founding member of this Alliance of not-for-profits.  In 2017, the Alliance added 30 organizations in 18 different industry sectors to their Sustainable Business Certification program.

Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc., acting through the stewardship of its members and volunteers, is committed to protect and sustain the unique scenic beauty and natural environment of the Greater Sedona Area.


Key Accomplishments in 2016

KSB continues to remain very active with noteworthy achievements through the efforts of its many dedicated volunteers.  Perhaps the single greatest accomplishment this year, among so many other accomplishments, was this year’s first ever fundraiser.

2016 Annual Fundraiser

  • KSB’s Development Committee is pleased to report that the Annual Fundraiser has already generated $25,000 for the KSB Endowment Fund.  That fund now stands at $85,000.       

37th Annual Native Plant Workshop

  • KSB again offered education to more than 125 attendants at this annual workshop on water-wise landscape techniques and the use of native plants, trees, wildflowers and grasses.

Sustainability Alliance

  • KSB is a founding member of this Alliance of not-for-profits which has begun sustainability certifications of Sedona and Verde Valley area businesses.

Coconino National Forest – Forest Service Plan

  • KSB continued to monitor the status of revised comments and modifications to the Coconino Forest Plan.  The Forest Service Plan team accepted the most recent KSB comments and noted in particular their appreciation of the tone and substance of said comments. 

Noise Abatement – Helicopter Tours

  • KSB in partnership with the city has continued to meet with the new Sedona airport manager in order to determine how best to improve the noise situation in the greater Sedona/VOC area.  Airport management is supportive of efforts to require tour companies to comply with FAA Advisories.  The city and KSB have been promised the opportunity to review and comment on the airport noise abatement policy currently being drafted.

Wireless Telecommunications Master Plan

  • KSB met with city officials to discuss the current Master Plan relating to the enhancement of Sedona’s wireless communications infrastructure.  As a result of that meeting, KSB was provided with the inventory developed by the city’s consultants which identifies eight areas of the city that may require enhanced infrastructure.  KSB was given the opportunity to comment on these sites and to suggest locations and equipment that, in the opinion of KSB, provide the best environmental and scenic protection of the area. 

KSB’s 2016 Dark-Sky Accomplishments

  • This year, KSB’s Dark-Sky Committee participated in six dark-sky educational events.  In February 2016 the Village of Oak Creek was designated the fourteenth International Dark-Sky Community in the world, following two years of work by KSB’s Dark Sky Committee.  The Committee is now helping Camp Verde AZ and Cottonwood AZ to secure the International Dark-Sky Community designation.

Sedona Trail Keepers Program

  • KSB Trustees voted unanimously to donate $1000 per year for each of the next five years to the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau Sedona Trail Keepers program which will maintain and expand our trails and to preserve our natural landscape for generations to come.

KSB’s Annual Awards Ceremony

  • The KSB Annual Awards of Excellence honored eleven deserving awardees in 2016.  These Awards represent special achievement by local individuals and organizations by encouraging greater community excellence.

Traffic Community Engagement Work Group

  • KSB participated in the Traffic Community Engagement Group.  This group has been formed by the City of Sedona to advise on the best way to inform the community about the current state of traffic, and to and engage the community in the effort to arrive at potential solutions to traffic problems.

Litter Lifters

  • Once again, KSB volunteers were responsible for removing litter and trash from 65 miles of Sedona area roads.

During 2016, KSB received financial support from over 150 Sedona area businesses.


Key Accomplishments 2015 

The KSB Noise Abatement Committee joined with the City of Sedona in a Citizens Engagement Group to address noise from the airport and specifically helicopter tours.

  • Meetings were held with Yavapai County, helicopter tour operators, state officials, and the city council.
  • A Position Paper and support documentation were prepared and requests were made to the Airport Authority to enact restrictions on tour operators.
  • Partly as a result of this group’s work, the County recently announced that it will take over the operation of the airport.  We believe the work of this Group was an influence on the county to make this decision.

The Dark-Sky Committee is assisting the Big Park Regional Coordinating Council in pursuing the International Dark-Sky Community designation for Big Park/Village of Oak Creek from the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) as well as doing the same for the Red Rock State Park.   The committee also organized five dark-sky educational events.

The KSB Annual Awards of Excellence honored eight deserving awardees (see www.KeepSedonaBeautiful.org/our-programs/annual-awards).

The Native Plant Workshop offered a program of continuing education in water-wise landscape techniques, including use of native plants and rainwater collection.

The monthly ongoing and popular Preserving the Wonder™ Speaker Series brought environmental issues of local concern to the public’s attention.

KSB’s Litter Lifters keep over 68 miles of Sedona-area roads litter-free.

KSB, at the behest of the Sedona City Council, supported the Coalition for the Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock National Monument because those efforts are consistent with KSB’s mission to protect our unequaled natural beauty.

  • The Coalition produced a highly informative website, a very active Facebook page, numerous handouts, and an elegant educational Sedona Verde Valley Red Rock National Monument brochure.
  • The Coalition published online and in printed media 31 Preliminary Recommendations for the Monument Management Plan to gather municipal and public input.
  • The Coalition organized or participated in over 30 outreach events ranging from public forums to weekly public work sessions at KSB to one-on-one meetings with elected officials and many individuals.
  • 5000 Supporters signed the Coalition’s petition to proclaim the area a National Monument.

Key Accomplishments in 2014

  • The KSB Annual Awards of Excellence honored seven deserving awardees.
  • The Native Plant Workshop offered a program of continuing education in water-wise landscape techniques, including use of native plants and rainwater collection.
  • The monthly ongoing and popular Preserving the Wonder™ Speaker Series brought environmental issues of local concern to the public’s attention.
  • KSB provided 58 pages of comments on the new 10-year Coconino National Forest Service (CNFS) Draft Management Plan to strengthen the protection of the CNF lands, particularly in the greater Sedona area.
  • KSB prevented the construction of a new overhead power line that would have crossed miles of high-value scenic area; urged by KSB, the line will now be buried underground.
  • KSB’s Litter Lifters keep over 60 miles of Sedona-area roads litter-free.
  • KSB brought about the designation of the City of Sedona as the 8th International Dark-Sky Community worldwide and the 6th in the US.
  • KSB won an Award of Merit for Environmental Stewardship in Northern Arizona. 

Key Accomplishments in 2013

  • 10,000+ Volunteer Hours by Board and Committee Members, representing an in-kind donation in excess of $750,000
  • Participated in the Coconino National Forest Service future trail planning
  • Continued pursuit of Dark Sky designation for Sedona from the International Dark Sky Association
  • Conducted extensive research for a marketing and grassroots support plan to seek permanent protective legislation for Red Rock Country (National Scenic Area Designation – NSA)  
  • Continued to seek comments to help to shape the Coconino National Forest Management Plan by incorporating Amendment 12 land trade restrictions
  • Provided extensive comments to National Forest Service Environmental Assessments and grass roots advocacy that resulted in:
    • Stopping the proposed Chapel area water tank within one-quarter mile of the wilderness area
    • Halting proposed new bridges across Oak Creek
    • Blocking a roadway across the east side of the airport mesa 
  • Provided Forest Service (FS) with comments on proposed overhead electric lines on FS   lands between Sedona and Cottonwood
  • Provided education on regional water issues
  • Commented to the Yavapai County Management Plan to ensure that grasslands between Sedona and Cottonwood would not be designated for development
  • Commented to the AZ Public Service regarding the Windmill Ranch area
  • Commented on Yavapai County policy regarding cell phone tower placement and the need to have a coordinated County-wide plan
  • Continued our successful 41 year Litter Lifting program on 65 miles of local roadways
  • Organized and presented the 34th annual KSB Native Plant Workshop
  • Honored businesses and individuals at the 41st KSB Annual Awards program
  • Continued the broadly appealing KSB monthly Speaker Series
  • Prepared and approved a KSB Strategic Plan
  • Developed investment guidelines for the growing KSB Endowment Fund
  • Raised $13,000 for KSB’s Endowment Fund
  • Instituted new accounting procedures with checks and balances
  • Upgraded KSB’s rental space to increase rental revenue