While “Keep Sedona Beautiful” is, at the same time, the name and the mission of the volunteer community organization established in 1972, the reality of keeping Sedona beautiful can mean different things to different people.
This red rock country is not just quiet azure skies above red rock palisades. It is also litter-free roadways; gentle but effective signage; awesome starry night skies; plenty of protected open spaces; houses, commercial buildings and landscapes in harmony with the environment; pristine forests, trails and wildlife habitats; monitored and protected water resources; and so much more. Sedona is also a thriving and growing residential and business community as well as a first class tourist destination. And lest we think Sedona is contained just within the city limits, we should remind ourselves that “Sedona” extends well beyond the boundaries of the city to include the unincorporated areas in Oak Creek Canyon, the Village of Oak Creek and land and communities off of 89A heading towards Cottonwood.The risk the greater Sedona area faces is that the natural beauty draws more and more residents and visitors alike, and this growth, if unplanned or unchecked, can lead to irreversible damage to the area’s most precious landscapes and wildlife habitats. The question we continue to ask is whether or not we can accommodate new residents and visitors and, at the same time, protect the natural beauty that we prize. Keep Sedona Beautiful firmly believes that the answer is yes and, with a leadership mindset, a positive attitude and the commitment of residents, businesses and visitors, Sedona can grow wisely, thrive and preserve the wonder at the same time. This all requires an active and involved citizenry.
What You Can Do TODAY to keep Sedona beautiful!
Since the litter lifters are the best indication of the physical presence of Keep Sedona Beautiful, Inc. in the community as they remove trash from 60 miles of greater Sedona roadways, let’s start with some ways you can personally reduce litter from our roadsides and environment. Bill Pumphrey, past president of KSB and litter lifter chair, has three suggestions:
1. Acquire reusable bags for your groceries and other shopping. They are available at all of our large supermarkets in the area and some smaller shops too. According to Pumphrey, plastic bags are the scourge of our Sedona roadsides. They’re made from petroleum or natural gas with all the attendant environmental impacts of harvesting fossil fuels.
2. Cover and secure your vehicle loads. It’s the law in Sedona and the counties may soon follow. The majority of roadside litter comes from open loads, especially trash and debris haulers who fail to close-up and secure their truckloads. Flying debris is also a physical danger to people and vehicles in the area.
3. Avoid styrofoam packing peanuts. These peanuts often become roadside litter when not contained after use. If encountered, secure them in a bag and dispose in a regular trash container. Never leave them loose in an unsealed box.
Take the Keep Sedona Beautiful Pledge! Five easy steps to do your part to help keep Sedona beautiful!
1. Plant and grow native plants. Include trees, shrubs, cacti and grasses to reduce your water usage and to provide food for wildlife. Be sure to avoid exotic species not native to this region – these plants can become invasive and can be harmful to both people and wildlife. Attend KSB’s Native Plant Workshop in the spring.
2. Put Dark Skies Lighting into practice. Be sure that your outdoor lighting provides safety and security without lighting up the sky and masking its wonders. Call KSB to find out more about shielded lights.
3. Recycle your household waste. Include paper, bottles, cans, and more. Reduce the amount of refuse that ends up in our landfill. Buy recycled paper products too! To learn more, please visit www.sedonarecycles.org.
4. Help to eliminate noise pollution. When you host your guests, suggest they participate in reduced noise impact activities like taking a long hike in the glorious red rocks, enjoying a hot air balloon ride, or attending a presentation on the area’s geography, environment and rich culture.
5. Be the eyes and ears of KSB. Call KSB when you observe areas that need attention – from litter to lighting – at (928) 282-4938. Become a member of Keep Sedona Beautiful today so we may continue to work on your behalf – and on behalf of all of our members – to Preserve the Wonder™ of our area.