Are you tired of seeing garbage clutter up your favorite outdoor spots? We are too! Trash dims the beauty of our great outdoors, and it poses serious threats to wildlife. We can all pitch in to make a difference by picking up trash. We can help keep nature beautiful while protecting the animals!

Friends of the Verde River, along with Prescott Creeks and the Oak Creek Watershed Council, is excited to announce the Virtual Trash Pick-Up Challenge. This event will be held July 5-12, following the 4th of July weekend. The #PurdyVerde Virtual Trash Pick-Up Challenge encourages communities throughout the Verde Watershed – from Paulden and Prescott, through the Verde Valley, all the way to the greater Phoenix area – to pick up as much trash as possible from important habitats within the Verde Watershed (what’s a watershed? We’re glad you asked!).

You don’t even have to go to the Verde Valley to protect the Verde River! Because the river is connected to communities through Oak Creek, Granite Creek, Watson Lake, Beaver Creek, Clear Creek, East Verde River, and countless washes, any clean up in these areas will benefit the Verde River and be felt all over the watershed.

Want to participate? Please join in the fun and help us keep our beautiful natural areas clean and Purdy (#PurdyVerde)! Everyone can enjoy this opportunity to show some love to our beloved wild places. 

We ask all participants to please do the following:

  1. Pick your favorite spots to pick up trash. Need ideas for where to go? Check out this map.
  2. Safely pick up as much trash as possible!
  3. Share photos and/or video by email, or post them to social media using the hashtag #PurdyVerde
  4. Keep track of the approximate weight of your trash haul, and how many hours you volunteered. The average full trash bag weighs ~15 lbs.
  5. Be sure to have a plan for transporting the trash you collect.
  6. Bring supplies that will keep you safe and hydrated. 
  7. Wear gloves, supervise children, wash your hands often, and have fun!

What Should I Bring?

1. Gloves

2. Trash bags

3. Trash picker

4. Water (it’s hot out there!)

5. Tarp / straps (optional to secure trash in a truck bed)

6. Hand sanitizer

Where Should I Go?

We aim to have a watershed-wide clean up. Go anywhere within the Verde watershed, all the way from Paulden and Prescott, through the Verde Valley and down towards Phoenix. If you need ideas, check out this mapfor suggestions and directions!

Where Can I Rent A Boat?

We have teamed up with two great local outfitters – Verde River Adventure and Adventure Encounter – to bring you discounts on self guided tours. Please contact the outfitters through their website links below and ask them about the #PurdyVerde clean up special.

Verde Adventures: https://sedonaadventuretours.com

Adventure Encounter:  https://www.adventureencounter.org

What Do I Do With The Trash I Picked Up?

The best option is to take it with you and dispose of it in your own household trash, as public trash bins can get pretty full. For oversized items that you cannot take, it would be helpful to leave them by bins, photograph them, and share with Friends or the land managers at your location.

What Is The Reward For Participating?

You can enjoy the satisfaction of a good deed! But we will also select a participant at random to win a goodie bag full of stickers, magnets, and more! 

And there’s even more good news: Verde River Adventures will offer a discount on gear & shuttles to participants who pick up trash along the Verde River near Camp Verde. And Adventure Encounter will offer a discount for the TAPCO-Tuzigoot section of the Verde!

Special Thanks to Oak Creek Watershed Council, Prescott Creeks, National Forest Foundation, VVPOA, Verde River Adventures, and Adventure Encounter! And thank YOU for picking up trash and helping to maintain our beloved #PurdyVerde.

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