Unit 22W – Doing Our Part to Keep Our Highway Clean

Bill Foraker, Unit 22W

Do you know that the residents of Quail Creek have volunteered to pick up trash along Old Nogales highway? We have adopted a stretch of Old Nogales highway from the intersection of it and Quail Crossing blvd. (our main entrance road), north to the road entering the concrete plant. There are signs on Old Nogales, but they are easy to miss among the scenery, or you may remember the announcements in What’s Happening requesting volunteers for this task.

Well, on Feb. 14, yes, Valentines’ Day, a group of eight of your neighbors volunteered to serve on the Adopt-a-Highway Team for the quarterly task (February, May, August, and November) of gathering roadside trash. Our team lead was Mark Mandel and included Cindy Mueller, Diane Rensberry, and four others. We were supported by John Garcia from the town of Sahuarita, who supplied pickers, gloves, hi-vis safety vests, and trash bags for our adventure. John also managed the pickup of our bags after our work, so big thanks to John and his Sahuarita department for their support and service to keep our roads clean.

Mark started by explaining our tasks to us and dividing us into teams of two. After gathering our bags, gloves, safety vests, and pickers from John’s truck, we headed out to the highway and began our work. With four teams, we started two teams on the north end and two on the south of our assigned stretch of road, and worked toward the middle. One team was on each side of the road and we began our picking.

Over the next nearly three hours, we collected 18 big trash bags full of a wide assortment of items, including lots of plastic bags and food containers, some shredded paper, more beer cans and bottles than we could count, some assorted used car parts, more cigarette butts than we expected, a few whiskey and vodka bottles, no tequila bottles, a receipt for landscaping supplies, and a large box from an artificial Christmas tree. We saw lots of critter holes, got approached by some curious cows, and tromped through more mud than I expected in Green Valley, but we all felt good about what we had accomplished, and we liked our cleaner highway! I think we’d all do it again to help our community put on a neater face.

So, the next time you see the request for the Adopt-a-Highway team in What’s Happening, you might know that we all felt good about a job well done and consider joining us. It was a worthy task and it will make you more observant about trash on the roads. I know now every time I drive that stretch of Old Nogales, I fuss about the new trash that I see. But I’ll get it next time!