7,040 Pounds of Trash Removed from Cinder Hills OHV Area

Our Dedicated Restorations Team removed 7,040 pounds of trash, including thousands of nails from illegal pallet fires burned on roads and trails, from the Cinder Hills OHV Are in #Flagstaff this summer. We're extremely proud of the work our team has accomplished since launching in February. Our Team has removed more than 59 tons of trash through projects funded by a grant from the OHV-Fund managed by Arizona State Park Board. 

Including volunteer events, we have removed more than 114 tons of trash in 2017, that's more than 228,000 pounds of trash no longer littering outdoor recreation & wilderness areas across our state! Thank you so much to every who volunteers with us & supports our mission! 

We have a lot of great volunteer opportunities coming up, check out our Events Calendar

9/10/17 Trash Cleanup Along the Arizona Trail Behind Mary's Caf in Flagstaff - 9AM to Noon

9/23/17 Cinder Hills OHV Area Trash Cleanu in Flagstaff - 9AM to 1PM

10/21/17 Lower Sycamore Cleanu - 8AM to Noon

11/24/17 Green Friday Salt River Cleanu - 8AM to Noon

Letters of Support ~ We Need Your Help!

This month, we are applying for another grant from the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Fund managed by Arizona State Parks Board to continue removing trash & graffiti from OHV areas across the state in 2018, including new project sites.

We are gathering letters of support to show a need for our projects and we need your help. If you agree there is a need for our trash & graffiti removal projects in OHV areas, we would greatly appreciate it if you would write a brief letter of support we can include in our application.

We want the letter to be in your own words; the text blow is an example of what you could write about:

I am writing this letter in support of the Natural Restorations and their trash and graffiti removal projects in OHV areas across Arizona.

I am a member of the OHV community, recreate and utilize OHV areas, and see a huge need for cleanups in OHV areas.

I have volunteered with Natural Restorations and will continue to volunteer with them in the future.

If you are unable to sign the letter, please include a phone number and/or email address with your name & it will serve as your signature. You can address letters to AZ State Parks OHV Grant Committee. If you’re a member of an OHV group or outdoor recreation group, your Board of Directors can submit a letter of support. If your organization has volunteered with us, we’d love to hear from you too.

Letters can be emailed to contact@naturalrestorations.org by Tuesday, August 29th, 2017 to be included in our proposal.

Thank you so much for your support, we look forward to increasing our impact in 2018!

Thank You Sprouts Farmer's Market in Flagstaff

Our Dedicated Restoration Team enjoying lunches and snacks provided by Sprouts in Flagstaff

Our Dedicated Restoration Team enjoying lunches and snacks provided by Sprouts in Flagstaff

We would like to give a Grand Canyon size THANK YOU to Ernie and his team at the Sprouts Farmer's Market in Flagstaff, Arizona for sponsoring our Dedicated Restoration Team lunches and snacks June 19th through June 23rd while our team was hard at work removing trash from the Cinder Hills OHV Area in Flagstaff. 

Ernie and his awesome team have been involved with our restorations since our first cleanup event in June 2015. They always make sure our volunteers and team have access to quality food and water to keep us going while we restore outdoor recreation and wilderness areas in Flagstaff.

The next time you are in the Flagstaff store, thank Ernie and his team for their support of Natural Restorations. 

SRP Awards Capacity Building Funds to Natural Restorations

We would like to thank everyone at Salt River Project for awarding Natural Restorations with a corporate contribution for capacity building. As a community based, nonprofit public power utility, SRP makes corporate contributions to nonprofit organizations that provide programs and services which meet the needs of their customers and enhance the quality of life we enjoy. They are steadfast in their commitment to partner with nonprofit organizations that provide meaningful and beneficial programs to their customers and community. We are extremely proud to have our program recognized by SRP. We are excited to grow our relationship with them and continue to provide volunteer opportunities for SRP employees and their families. 

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Save The Date ~1st Annual Green Friday Project

We loved seeing so many people OptOutside for Black Friday last year. We want to take it a step further this year and start the Annual Natural Restorations Green Friday Project on Friday, November 24th. 

We're hosting a Cleanup the Friday after Thanksgiving at the Salt River in celebration of Green Friday, a day to get outside, give back, and make an immediate impact by helping us remove trash from natural areas. This is going to be a land and water cleanup event. 

Save the date for Friday, November 24th from 8AM to Noon and stay tuned for additional details coming soon! To register, click HERE

04/15/17 Lower Sycamore Trash Cleanup Event

We are gearing up for our last Spring 2017 Cleanup before it gets too hot in the desert and we move our projects north for the summer. Join us Saturday, April 15th from 8AM to Noon at Lower Sycamore for a Trash Cleanup Project for Volunteers. Check out the flyer below and click HERE to register.   

03/11/17 Butcher Jones Cleanup Project

160 volunteers joined us on Saturday, March 11th for a Butcher Jones Recreation Area Cleanup. We had Off-Highway Vehicle volunteers in the OHV areas, volunteers on foot in the beach area and surrounding trails, and volunteers in kayaks removing trash from Saguaro Lake before it floats down to the Salt River. 

Photo Gallery by Tom Story:

We will be posting additional pictures and videos soon, stay tuned!!

Did You Know We Remove Graffiti?

We recently launched our Dedicated Restoration Team's Graffiti Removal Services. We remove graffiti, we do not pain over it. We can even get into remote, difficult to reach areas. Check out all of the before and after pictures of a recent Graffiti Removal Project at Lower Sycamore in the Tonto National Forest by clicking HERE.

If you come across graffiti in natural areas across Arizona, please contact us

40.53 Tons of Trash Removed from the Desert!

Natural Restorations teamed up with Footprints Matter to Us for the 8th Annual Footprints Matter to Us Environmental Stewardship Event on Saturday, January 21st, 2017.


166 volunteers came out to remove 40.53 tons of trash illegally dumped or left behind by irresponsible target shooters in some of the most beautiful landscapes in our state.

 We had two entirely different cleanup sites for this event.

·      44 volunteers worked on Arizona State Trust Land between Gold Canyon and Queen Valley to remove 20.06 tons of trash. 

·      122 volunteers came out over the course of the morning and early afternoon to work on Tonto National Forest Land at Hewitt Station to remove 20.47 tons of trash.

We would like to thank everyone involved in making this event a huge success!

Click HERE to view additional pictures from the event.


Historical Trash

When does trash become history?

This is something you will hear us discussing at all of our volunteer events and we thought it would be good information to share with you here because many people we talk to have never heard of trash being considered a historical artifact.

Objects older than 50 years old are considered historic and can be significant pieces of our collective history. 

The biggest thing we would like you to take away from this is if you are in doubt, please leave the item and report it to us so we can contact the proper agency to come out and take a look at it. Please do not remove the object, often times removing the object destroys essential information. 

Below is some additional information on a flyer we put together on the subject.

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Youth Volunteering Opportunities

Did you know we work with elementary, middle, and high schools to provide hands-on service learning opportunities for their students? 

We're excited to host a Trash Cleanup Project for a group of local 6th Graders in January and we'll be sure to share pictures & videos afterwards!

Many schools require volunteer hours each semester and we offer opportunities to get youth out of the classroom and into nature, making immediate, visible impacts on natural areas.

If you are a student, parent, or teacher & would like to discuss future projects, please contact us at contact@naturalrestorations.org. We also work with scout groups and youth clubs and we can accommodate small and large groups.

Giving Tuesday ~ With a Twist

Tomorrow is Giving Tuesday and although we’d love for you to donate to Natural Restorations to increase our impact on the state, we’d like to ask you to give back to us in a different way.

One of the best ways you can support Natural Restorations is by checking with your employer to see if they support volunteerism and have a Community Involvement Advisor. If they do, reach out to them about Natural Restorations and see if they would be interested in learning more about our volunteer opportunities and promoting our events to employees.

Does your employer have a Charitable Giving Program that supports the environment, educating youth, and volunteerism?  Often times, organizations will not accept unsolicited requests and prefer to work with organizations their employees recommend and volunteer with. Let us know if you can put us in touch with the right person to get started.

If you would still like to donate to Natural Restorations, click HERE.

Natural Restoration OHV Area Restoration Project

We are proud to announce our Natural Restorations OHV Area Restoration Project through the Arizona State Parks Off-Highway Recreation Fund.

This project is financed in full by a grant from the Off-Highway Vehicle Fund administered by the Arizona State Parks Board. 

The Natural Restorations OHV Area Restoration Project is designed to address the long-standing issues of trash and illegal dumping in OHV areas. We will remove trash, graffiti, and anything foreign to the environment from natural areas surrounding OHV trails, routes, and areas, while leaving a minimal footprint. Restorations will be completed through volunteer cleanup events and restorations performed by our Dedicated Restoration Team. Click HERE for more details.

Volunteer Spotlight ~ Shawna Ketcherside

We love our volunteers and want others to know that volunteering with Natural Restoration is about more than just showing up to pick up trash. We're going to regularly feature an interview with one of our volunteers. 

Today we're kicking-off with a someone special who has been with us from the beginning.  She has encouraged us to pursue this dream and is the first to offer to lend a hand.

Shawna picked up scattered trash along a trail at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve.

Shawna picked up scattered trash along a trail at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve.

Valley native, Shawna Ketcherside, is an awesome individual who shares our passion for natural areas across Arizona. As a four-time Natural Restorations volunteer, Shawna knows a thing or two about how much work goes into removing broken concrete and shingle piles from the forest and scattered trash and broken glass from natural areas along urban trails. 

Check out what Shawna has to say about trash and illegal dumping in natural areas and volunteering with us:

  1. What is your first memory of finding trash or graffiti in a natural area?

    My first memory of finding trash in a natural area was when I went shooting in the desert with my husband and friends. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if this was a “designated dumping ground” for shooters (since I was just getting into the hobby) or what. But once we were done, I noticed a friend grab a large trash back and begin to pick up all the bits and pieces that we shot along with the trash that was already there.
  2. What made you decide to you get involved in with Natural Restorations?

    I became involved with Natural Restorations because I admired the drive and ambition of the founders. They showed a lot of dedication with leaving an area better than they found it, and it all consisted of trash. If one or two people can bring local areas back to their former glory, I want to do it too! The impact would be even greater! And plus, I’m such a tree hugger, I wanted to do what was right by nature.
  3. When you last volunteered with Natural Restorations, how did that experience make you feel?

    The last experience was awesome. It’s sad to see what people choose to leave behind instead of taking the time to dispose of their trash properly. But Natural Restorations has been gaining momentum, and it’s been a joy to see more and more people volunteer. The teamwork blew me away! Whether the volunteers knew each other or not, they worked together to get the job done.
  4. What do you wish other people knew about Natural Restorations?

    Although picking up trash may not be at the top of someone’s to-do list, there’s more to it. I get an opportunity to hike; Arizona is a beautiful state. I love that during the summers, the cleanups are up north. When it’s cooler, the cleanups are in the valley. That’s a smart way to do it in Arizona. Also, there’s a responsibility factor that comes into play. You definitely learn from other people’s mistakes, or rather, their negligence. It makes me want to educate kids, perhaps my own someday, to take care of the area they live in. It’s frustrating that grownups aren’t being a good example, but the silver lining is that, as adults, we get to also get to show what a responsible adult should do.
  5. What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering with Natural Restorations?

    Do it, and I’ll see you there!
  6. What has surprised you most about volunteering with Natural Restorations?

    What has surprised me is the teamwork I’ve witnessed. I’m relieved that I’m not the only one who believes how badly we need Natural Restorations.
  7. What do you enjoy doing do when you aren't volunteering?

    I enjoy time at home with my husband. But I also like to cook, read, hike, travel to sites in Arizona and out of state, camp, and sometimes stick my nose in a canvas or computer and be creative.

Left to Right: Nicole Corey, Justin Corey, & Shawna Ketcherside. Photo taken after our 07/16/16 Cleanup Project in the Coconino Forest. 

Video Footage of Cleanup Site for 10/01/16 Desert Cleanup

Sometimes it's difficult to capture a restoration site in one photograph. We want to share a quick video of one of the sites we are restoring this weekend. Come out for a few hours this Saturday, October 1st, and join Footprints Matter to Us & Natural Restorations at 7 AM as we support the Town of Superior in a Community Cleanup Event with local partners Superior Arizona Chamber and Resolution Copper

This is a perfect opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy the fall weather, volunteer with a fun group of people in a beautiful area, and make an immediate, visible impact. It’s also a great service-learning activity for youth and scout groups!

This cleanup is possible because of the support of the Arizona Trail AssociationEmpire CatThe Home DepotICON Vehicle DynamicsImerys, Oddonetto Construction, OmyaResolution CopperRight Away Disposal, Superior Arizona Chamber, Tonto National Forest - Globe District, and local ranchers.

Click HERE for more information.

Almost Sunrise Explores Veteran Experiences

The film "Almost Sunrise" follows two Iraq veterans, Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson, both tormented by depression for years after they returned home and pushed to the edge of suicide. The two embark on an extraordinary journey -- a 2,700 mile walk across the country from Wisconsin to California, in order to reflect on their haunting experiences of war and to ultimately, save themselves. To see a preview and view their action campaign to prevent veteran suicide click HERE.

An important part of our vision is to provide jobs for veterans on our dedicated restoration team. We're working extremely hard to make this dream a reality. It can be difficult for readjusting to civilian life, especially after deployment in dangerous environments.

We want to provide veterans a relatively stress-free work experience where they can be out in nature, learning and implementing site restoration skills. In the upcoming weeks and months, we will begin sharing our personal story and discuss why giving back to veterans means so much to us. Stay tuned!

Please check out this article about the difficulties veterans face when returning home from combat. You can still donate to the Action Campaign to prevent veteran suicide, click HERE





We're in Green Living AZ Magazine

We're honored to be featured in September's Green Living AZ magazine. We can't thank Jill Bernstein and Keep Arizona Beautiful enough for giving us the opportunity to share our story. Click HERE to read the article.

This article is special not only because it's our first magazine article, but more importantly it discusses a dream we've had for years; providing jobs for veterans and helping them readjust to civilian life, especially after deployment in dangerous environments. 

Click HERE to read the article and please share it to help us get the word out!

Removing Trash Near the Arizona Trail

Last September, we had the pleasure of volunteering with Footprints Matter to Us at a cleanup event surrounding Superior. 

This year, Natural Restorations is proud to partner with Footprints Matter to Us to support the town of Superior in Community Cleanup Event with local partners, Superior Chamber of Commerce and Resolution CopperMark your calendars and join us Saturday, October 1st at 7 a.m.

The Arizona Trail runs through the area and at last year’s cleanup, a few feet from the Arizona Trail, we found a big pile of VHS tapes, pallets, and other scattered trash. Click on pictures for larger images.

Who throws out the 1989 classic, Road House, starring Patrick Swayze? All kidding aside, this is an example of the illegal dumping we want to prevent through our service-learning and experiential education opportunities for youth and community members when they volunteer with us. This is a great way to give back to the Arizona Trail and the Arizona Trail Association.

For additional details click hereRSVP by sending an email to SuperiorCleanup@Footprintsmatter.org *Volunteers under the age of 18 years old, contact us via email for additional details.

We would also like to thank the Arizona Trail AssociationICON Vehicle Dynamics, ImerysOmyaResolution CopperRight Away DisposalSuperior Arizona Chamber, and Tonto National Forest - Globe District for their support of this cleanup. 

Volunteers will be supported with large equipment assigned to specific targeted areas.