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.

9/10/16 Flagstaff Cleanup Postponed

We are postponing our September 10th Trash Cleanup along the Arizona Trail behind Mary’s Café in Flagstaff and will let everyone know when it’s rescheduled.

I recently sustained injuries from a dog attack that are preventing us from making the trip to Flagstaff and hosting the event.

We are committed to providing volunteers with the best experience possible in a safe environment and we don’t want to compromise that commitment.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and hope everyone can join us at our next event, a Community Cleanup Event surrounding Superior with Footprints Matter to Us on October 1st, click here for details.

Thank you for your support and understanding. If you are in Flagstaff, the Arizona Trail Association, our fiscal sponsor, is holding the third annual AZ Trail Days - Flagstaff on September 9-11. Don't miss it! For all the details, click here.

 

July 16th, 2016 Cleanup Video

We are excited to release the video we put together highlighting our July 16th Trash Cleanup Project outside of Flagstaff, near Walnut Canyon. 43 volunteers worked with us to removed 5.85 tons of trash from this beautiful area in the Coconino National Forest. 

We want to thank all of our hard working volunteers for donating 143 hours of their time to restore this beautiful, natural area. As you can see, this is a gorgeous part of our state that should not be littered with trash. 

Please join us at our next cleanup, click HERE for details. 

July 16th, 2016 Trash Cleanup Project

We're making the final edits on the video of our July 16th Trash Cleanup Project, be sure to check back soon! We have so many great pictures and videos to share, but we're doing our best to keep it as short as possible. In the meantime, be sure to check out all of the pictures from the 07/16/16 Restoration

We would like to give another shout out to all of the organizations who helped make this cleanup project a huge success: The Arizona Trail Association, Ascender Game Carrier, Coconino National Forest, The Home Depot, ICON Vehicle Dynamics, Mountain View Printing, Real Purity, Resolution Copper, Social Venture Partners Arizona, Southwest Airlines Phoenix, and Sprouts. Please support the businesses that support Natural Restorations.

If your organization would like to be a sponsor, please contact us

Don't miss our next event! Click HERE to view our Events Calendar and check out the details for our next Cleanup Project. 

ICON Vehicle Dynamics Suspension

One of the biggest reasons our cleanup this past Saturday, July 16th, 2016, was a success is because we have a new ICON Vehicle Dynamics suspension system on our Toyota FJ Cruiser work truck. 

We removed 5.85 tons of trash on Saturday and used the FJ to trailer most of it over to the dumpster. Check out the pictures below of our truck and new ICON suspension in action at Saturday's cleanup.

ICON Vehicle Dynamics is a premiere performance suspension manufacturer specializing in aftermarket suspension components for trucks, SUV’s and off road suspension development.

Natural Restorations is the proud recipient of a sponsorship with ICON Vehicle Dynamics and we recently installed an ICON Stage 2 Suspension System with Overland Series rear springs.

Visit ICON Vehicle Dynamics online at: http://www.iconvehicledynamics.com

Please support businesses that support Natural Restorations. 

Check out the rest of the pictures from our 07/16/16 Trash Cleanup

Radio Interview on Flagstaff Mornings with Peter Bruce

Tune in to KAFF Country Legends tomorrow morning at 7:37 a.m. (Arizona time) to hear Nicole's Interview on Flagstaff Mornings with Peter Bruce. We are promoting our July 16th Trash Cleanup Project near Walnut Canyon off Forest Road 791 & Historic Route 66.

Wednesday, July 13th at 7:37 a.m.
KAFF 93.5 FM, KAFF 107.9 FM, and KAFF 930 AM

Not by the radio? No problem! Go to the stations website and click on the Listen Live link: kafflegends.com

Buffalo Exchange Token for Bags® Program

We are proud to announce that Natural Restorations has been selected to be a recipient of the Buffalo Exchange Tokens for Bags® program—July through December 2016. 

You can now donate to Natural Restorations just by shopping at Buffalo Exchange in Phoenix. The Tokens for Bags® program offers every customer who opts to use a reusable bag (or to not use a bag at all) one “token” valued at $.05 USD (the cost to produce a bag) to donate to one of several local charities selected by the store employees. 

The program has generated over $656,790 for thousands of local nonprofit organizations since 1994 and has saved an estimated 13.1 million bags from the landfill. In November 2012, Buffalo Exchange discontinued the use of all disposable plastic bags, keeping an estimated 350,000 plastic bags out of landfills every year.

Please support organizations that support Natural Restorations.

ICON Vehicle Dynamics Sponsorship

Natural Restorations is the proud recipient of an ICON Vehicle Dynamics SILVER Sponsorship.  

ICON Vehicle Dynamics is a premiere performance suspension manufacturer specializing in aftermarket suspension components for trucks, SUV’s and off road suspension development.  

We recently installed an ICON Stage 2 Suspension System with Overland Series rear springs on our 2007 Toyota FJ Cruiser and cannot wait to use the truck at our July 16th Cleanup Project near Walnut Canyon. We will be posting a lot more pictures soon. 

Visit ICON Vehicle Dynamics online at http://www.iconvehicledynamics.com

Please support businesses that support Natural Restorations.

Currently...

Today we are launching a new page on our website, Currently....

Currently... is a way for us to stay connected with you. There's a lot going on behind the scenes when we aren't in the field restoring natural areas & we don't want you to miss it! 

What to expect: we're going to post volunteer spotlights, behind the scene details from our location scouting trips & adventures across the state (we always come across trash that needs to be picked up), we're going to highlight organizations that support Natural Restorations, share tips & educational resources, keep you up-to-date on all of our volunteer opportunities across the state, post behind-the-scene cleanup pictures & videos, & let you know about other ways you can support our mission.