The Keep Oak Creek Canyon Beautiful (KOCCB) pilot program was launched during the 2003 Labor Day weekend, and volunteers visited campgrounds and day-use areas giving away trash bags to visitors.
A ten-ton dumpster was placed at Indian Gardens to encourage visitors to drop off their trash rather than leave it behind in the Canyon.
The weekend was a great success, and KOCCB was off and running!
The Arizona Republic supported our program with an editorial on littering in Arizona, and Oak Creek Canyon.
The following year, 2004, our group was awarded a Water Quality Improvement Grant including funding for the expansion of KOCCB.
Part of this grant was also focused on designing, constructing and installing four trailhead signs that conveyed the concept of reducing litter, and promoted using restrooms instead of the forest and creek area.
KOCCB is now a seasoned anti-litter/pollution program, resulting in tens of tons of trash to be collected, and removed from the Canyon.
Part of KOCCB program also includes educating visitors on outdoor ethics listed in the USFS Leave No Trace program. To that end, our group participated in an Education Grant to teach high school students from Sedona how to be Trailhead Ambassadors and in turn, pass along their knowledge to Canyon Visitors. This program was in effect in 2009.
The Oak Creek Watershed Council has also established a partnership with the University of Arizona Master Watershed Steward program in which volunteers are taught how to become stewards of a watershed. The first program began in March 2011 with 12 graduates in June 2011.