COMMUNITY SERVICES COMMITTEE
In carrying out project activities, the Green Valley Council partners with other organizations and clubs in Green Valley.
Avenue of Flags
Placing American flags along La Canada Drive between Esperanza Boulevard and Continental Road on patriotic holidays began in 1991 with the issuance of a license to the American Legion Green Valley Chapter, Post No. 66, by the Pima County Board of Supervisors. In 1999, the Avenue of Flags was incorporated as a 501(c)(3). In 2013, the organization was dissolved and the program was placed under the newly formed GVC Foundation, Inc. and subsequently managed, beginning in 2016, by the Community Services Committee of the Green Valley Council. Ray Robinson is the Chair of the subcommittee formed to carry out the activities of raising and lowering flags on days. The Chair coordinates with volunteers from several fraternal, veteran, service and social organizations in the Green Valley to help put up and take down the flags, which occur on the same day. The current number of flags flown is 92. They are housed in the Green Valley Fire Station when they are not in use. Read more takes them to Foundation—Avenue of Flags.
Green Valley Community Pride Day
Green Valley Community Pride Day was initiated in 2015 by the Green Valley Council and the Green Valley Sahaurita Chamber of Commerce. The impetus for the program arose from abandoned properties, in particular, gas stations which had gone out of business and were not being maintained. While abandoned properties are still an issue in Green Valley, the Council is working with Pima County to help resolve the problem. The Council and the Chamber are aware that Keeping Green Valley Green is an important objective, both for attracting future residents and business and for ensuring property values do not fall. MedianGreen, which is also part of the GVC Foundation, has done a great job over the course of the past 10 years to restore and replant the medians along the community’s boulevards. Just this year, Pima County agreed to accept the gift of a 130-acre property, formerly known as the Canoa Hills Golf Couse, to develop an open space park. The Foundation, the Council and the Chamber will move to expand and redefine the activities associated with the GV Community Pride Day and work with the community to identify neighborhood projects, signage, and to enhance curb appeal wherever and whenever possible. In this, they are joined by Green Valley Recreation which has its own Adopt-a-Highway cleanup program.
The Community Services Committee has launched many projects and two of the most notable successes were the Household Hazardous Waste collections events from 2015 through 2017 and the Dispose-A-Med projects. Both of these projects still continue under modification to fit their new organizational structures.
Household Hazardous Waste
This project original started with sponsorship from Pima County. The events were held in Green Valley, usually twice a year in the Spring and Fall, from ca. 2000 to the Spring of 2014. At that time funds for Pima County to support such projects was withdrawn. Because of the success of the project and the interest and support of Green Valley residents to continue to hold these events, the GVC Foundation wrote grants and accepted contributions enabling the Council to hold collection events over the next three (3) years.
The HHW Case Study provides summary data on the results of the collection events from 2015-2017. Collection events involving paper shredding, the
collection of food and contributions for the Southern Arizona Food Bank—Green Valley, and the recycling of electronics and latex paint by two Tucson 501(c)(3) charitable organizations (i.e., RISE Recycling and the Beacon Group, respectively) will continue to be held. An educational campaign partnering the Council with Tucson Clean & Beautiful and Freeport-McMoRan will inform Green Valley residents about the Sahaurita Waste Transfer Station that will recycle hazardous materials at no cost. The program will continue under the management of the GVC’s Environmental Committee.
The Dispose-A-Med initiative, sponsored by the Green Valley Council in partnership with the local Green Valley Fire District, and funding by Freeport-McMoRan, was the answer to a question posed by a Green Valley resident—Sheila Benanan—who in 2007 asked “Couldn’t we find a way to dispose of expired medication?” Click here for original video presentation.
The Expired Medication Disposal System, known as “Dispose-A-Med, was launched in Green Valley in the Fall of 2008. One of the major objectives of Community Services Committee, which managed the project initiative, was to introduce the concept and its implementation to other communities. In 2009, working with the Green Valley Council, Pima County launched the countywide Dispose-A-Med program and the idea and name quickly went national.
Although the collection boxes manufactured by Green Valley for Dispose-A-Med were first placed in Fire District buildings, they were moved in 2009 to the Pima County Sheriff’s Substation in Green Valley because there was 24/7 onsite security. This location continues to accept expired or unused medicine to this day.
Continued onsite collections were held at the Green Valley Hazardous Waste Collection Events with the onsite presence of Sheriff’s deputies or the Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers (SAV). Medications will still be collected during the more limited waste collection events managed by the GVC Environmental Committee. These collections include all types of prescribed medication because flushing drugs causes pollution of the groundwater, especially in such a fragile ecosystem as the Sonoran Desert in Southern Arizona.
Dispose-A-Med collection station at the 2016 Spring Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event in Green Valley.The move to have law enforcement receive and dispose of controlled substances occurred at the same time the Federal Food & Drug Administration launched their own public inquiry for new rulemaking concerning the disposal of controlled substances by ultimate users, that is, patients. The new regulations, in accordance with the Controlled Substance Act and its existing rules, were released in 2010, and authorizes law enforcement to accept controlled medications from ultimate users.
Since 2010 the DEA has coordinated “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” twice a year in Spring and Fall. Research on the use of prescription drugs indicates that they are abused far more than illegal controlled substances. Therefore, to keep these medications out of the hands of children or other adults, for which the medication was not prescribed, designated disposal days and places protect both individuals and the community at large.