Neighborhood activists are taking Scottsdale's conservation ethic beyond the city's nature preserve.
Signs for the new Scottsdale Clean and Scenic program are going up along many city thoroughfares, signaling rejuvenation and expansion of a volunteer roadside cleanup effort.
Almost 100 resident groups, businesses, churches, homeowner associations and community organizations have signed on as caretakers for about 150 miles of city roadsides under direction of the Scottsdale Pride Committee.
The idea behind the program is that a sense of environmental stewardship shouldn't stop at the boundaries of the city's McDowell Sonoran Preserve, said Sonnie Stevens, coordinator for the road adoption project.
The potential for the desert open-space system in and around the McDowell Mountains to enhance Scottsdale's green image and boost its tourism economy will be stunted if litter spoils the scenery along city streets, Stevens said.
With backing from the Friends of the Scenic Drive and the Scenic Pima Road organization, the Pride Committee got the city's Neighborhood Resources department to help revamp a roadside cleanup program that started a decade ago but fizzled for lack of promotion. This time public outreach has been the first priority.
“It's made soliciting volunteers much easier. We've gotten everything from the usual groups interested in preservation to book clubs and card clubs,’’ Stevens said.
Participants must enlist for at least two years and do a minimum of three cleanups a year, said Tim Montgomery, a leader of the Scenic Pima Road group.
“They know they have to make a commitment . . . It's not going to be just a little advertising thing for companies or groups who want to get their names out there on a sign,” Montgomery said.
There are still some “orphaned roads’’ looking for volunteers to adopt them into cleanup effort, said city spokeswoman Shannon Wallace.
For more information about the program, call (480) 990-0477.