Saturday, January 22, 2022

By Melissa Owen

Javier, the Highway Clean-up Javelina knows — It’s never too early to start talking trash.

2022 will be the 7th anniversary of ALL THE WAY TO THE BORDER,  the annual celebration of sun, fun and litter when we clean the entire 45 miles of Arizona Highway 286 from Three Points to Sasabe — All the Way to the Border.  Last year wasn’t pretty what with Covid concerns but we still managed to clean 36 miles of roadway and I think we can all be pretty darn proud of that.  But this year marks our 7th anniversary and we’re going to celebrate by being cheerfully careful (or carefully cheerful whichever outlook you prefer) and getting together again.

It’ll be just like old times.  We’ll meet at the Robles Ranch Civic Center in Three Points (15160 West Ajo Highway) at 9:30 am on Saturday 29 January 2022 practicing social distancing of course.  There’ll be hot beverages and snacks to keep you going.  You can giggle and pass notes while you pretend to listen to my opening remarks.  We’ll get our blue bags and don our safety vests and head out on the highway to spend a morning together doing what we all have been missing since last January:  picking up trash along one of the most beautiful roads in the Great Southwest.  And we’ll all be competing for the regionally-famous and much-coveted Trashiest Piece of Trash Contest.

Roadside litter isn’t just unsightly.  Highway 286 passes through Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and plastics and glass shards pose a real danger to deer, pronghorn and other wildlife.  You can pack a lunch and plan to picnic on the refuge while watching for wintertime raptors and other grassland birds and mammals.  Or drive a few miles east and dine in Arivaca where there’s always something going on.

This year to jazz up our 7-Year Itch we’ll have some special events at the Civic Center.  Don’t hold your breath for Lil’ Nas X but there’ll be lots and lots of surprises which I’ll tell you all about as soon as I come up with them.  And did I mention FREE PENCILS?

Close your eyes, click your heels together and mark your calendars for SATURDAY 29 JANUARY 2022 when we’ll go ALL THE WAY TO THE BORDER together again!

Thanks to all our friends and sponsors: Altar Valley Conservation Alliance, Trico Electric Cooperative, Arizona Department of Transportation and Rancho Sierra Vista de Sasabe. And thanks to our very trashy volunteers without whom there would be no clean-up. Thank you!

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