Adopt a Highway: SR 286 “All the Way to the Border” removes 1.4 tons of trash

Adopt a Highway: SR 286 “All the Way to the Border” removes 1.4 tons of trash

By Mary Currie / ADOT Communications
February 7, 2023

If you are wondering where all the heroes are hiding out these days, I’ve got a tip for you. 

Melissa Owen of Rancho Sierra Vista in Sasabe coordinates a 45-mile long litter cleanup each year along State Route 286, between Three Points junction at State Route 86 and Sasabe at the Arizona-Mexico border each year. 

What inspired Owen and 120 volunteers to join forces and remove 2,700 of pounds of aluminum cans, cigarette butts and building materials from along a state highway?

Imagine, for a moment, what thousands of pounds of trash looks like strewn along the roadside, deposited by careless passersby. 

All the Way to the Border_012823

For more than 23 years, Owen has imagined that scenario and taken action by donating hours of planning for the annual event with neighbors, businesses and ADOT personnel to help reduce litter on this remote stretch of highway where it may otherwise go unchecked. 

ADOT thanks Owen, Rancho Sierra Vista de Sasabe, Altar Valley Middle School, Altar Valley Conservation Alliance, Trico Electric Cooperative, Arizona Game and Fish, Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, Caballo Loco Ranch, Park Smith Law and all the volunteers who devoted time and resources to help keep Arizona grand!

The slideshow in this post features caring people from Arizona, Texas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Minnesota, Washington and beyond, who greeted us along the route during our volunteer outreach. 

Contact us if you can imagine volunteering and want to be part of the anti-littering solution.


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