On Wednesday, January 27, Jill Bernstein, Executive Director of Keep Arizona Beautiful and J.B. Shaw, Recycling Coordinator for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality held a three and a half hour planning workshop in Kayenta to develop a Keep Kayenta Beautiful organization. With an initial goal of cleaning up and preventing illegal dumping, a diverse array of community members gathered to begin the process of developing and implementing a sustainable plan to address the problem.
Representatives from the local township, school district, transfer station, farm board, and senior center, as well as the Navajo EPA identified the hotspots for illegal dumping in the area and some of the factors contributing to the problem. They began planning for additional outreach to bring in participation from local law enforcement, youth, and outlying areas.
The group will continue to meet monthly to begin taking the steps needed to identify and secure needed resources, educate children and families, change behaviors, bring additional community members into the coalition, and being planning local clean ups.
Keep Arizona Beautiful will continue to consult with the burgeoning group to provide information, capacity building and overall support to enable them to address this problem and extend awareness and participation across the Navajo Nation. Check back in the months ahead to follow their progress. Welcome, Keep Kayenta Beautiful!