Volunteer cleanup in Superior beautifies Queen Creek riverbed

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  Volunteers with Local First Arizona’s Keep Arizona Beautiful campaign gathered in Superior recently to participate in the 2024 Great American Cleanup.

  The day included litter and debris removal in the Queen Creek watershed area, clearing 1,000 pounds of trash and 100 pounds of scrap metal from the area, as well as an electronic waste collection hosted by Arizona Students Recycling Used Technology (AZStRUT).

  “We’ve achieved great momentum in Superior through multiple partnerships like this one with Local First Arizona and AZStRUT,” said Superior Mayor Mila Besich. “We appreciate all the Keep Arizona Beautiful volunteers who give their time to beautifying rural communities and spaces for everyone’s benefit.”

  Superior Town Manager Todd Pyror also praised the effort.

  “We have a plan for Queen Creek, and this volunteer effort was a helpful step to implement it,” Pryor said. “The project was all the better for making Superior the first rural Arizona site to participate in the Great American Cleanup.”

  Local First Arizona acquired the Keep Arizona Beautiful program in 2022. It engages community members to keep rural Arizona clean and beautiful with projects including litter collection, recycling programs, illegal dumping prevention and community beautification.

  The Suncity Anthem Hiking Club brought a big group to help.

  “The volunteers deserve a lot of credit,” said one of the group’s leaders, Bill Scott. “Local First Arizona’s organization, cleaning supplies, and leadership made sure that the volunteers were super efficient.”

  Anyone interested in participating in the next cleanup May 18 in Payson, or other events, can sign up at localfirstaz.com/kazb-interest.

Refreshed ‘Keep Arizona Beautiful’ license plate supports future cleanups

  Local First also launched a redesigned specialty license plate to fund future cleanups, with $17 of the $25 annual plate fee going to support beautification events throughout the state.

  The plate is available for purchase through the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division at azdot.gov/keep-arizona-beautiful.

  Since the plate’s inception in 2013, more than 6,300 have been sold, generating more than $427,000 in total funding, according to ADOT MVD. This is the plate’s first redesign.

  “Show your pride in Arizona’s unmatched beauty by purchasing a Keep Arizona Beautiful license plate,” Local First Arizona Director of Development Quin Works said. “Your specialty plate fee directly supports programs to keep Arizona’s roadways, rivers, deserts, mountains and rural communities pristine to ensure everyone can enjoy the clean and beautiful outdoors.”

  Drivers can order the new Keep Arizona Beautiful specialty license plate during their next vehicle registration or renewal at AZ MVD NOW, any MVD office or any authorized third party provider. It is the first time this particular plate will be offered for motorcycles.

  The Keep Arizona Beautiful program is a part of Keep America Beautiful, whose 700 community-based affiliates and millions of volunteers clean, green, and safeguard our nation’s waterways, roadways and open spaces.

Other ways Local First Arizona helps businesses and communities protect the environment

  In addition to Keep Arizona Beautiful, Local First Arizona leads multiple programs to protect the environment, promote water and energy efficiency, and reduce climate change. These efforts include:

  • The Arizona Green Business Certification, which enables local business owners to strengthen their sustainability practices and promote their efforts through a self-guided certification checklist
  • The Green Business Boot Camp, which offers hands-on consultation to local business owners to cut their water, energy waste and transportation usage by 20% or more and save money each year
  • Green Micro-Loans, which provide as much as $25,000 in financing at interest rates as low as 0% to eligible Arizona businesses to implement environmental upgrades
  • The Arizona Economic Resource Center, which has secured millions of dollars in grants for local tribes, rural communities, nonprofits and businesses to install solar, energy efficiency and other sustainability upgrades
  • The Arizona Drinking Water Program, which is deploying hundreds of hydropanels at no cost to rural and tribal Arizona homes that do not have ready access to clean drinking water
  • The Arizona Partnership for Climate-Smart Food Crops, a federally-funded campaign with the University of Arizona to help farmers transition to more water-efficient crops and restaurants, chefs and grocery stores to incorporate more native ingredients into their dishes and products

  Interested in participating in a Keep Arizona Beautiful cleanup event? Sign up at localfirstaz.com/kazb-interest.


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