Clint Hickman

Clint Hickman. (Photo courtesy Maricopa County Board of Supervisors)

If escape is on your mind as the dog days of summer bear down, it’d be hard to beat Lake Pleasant for natural beauty and ease of access. This District 4 oasis is an hour’s drive or less depending on where you live in the West Valley.

Holidays are especially fun at the lake. Whether you want to be on a boat, under a tent, or at the marina, everybody seems to relish the opportunity to head north on Memorial Day weekend. And, of course, there’s the fireworks show on the Fourth of July.

This summer, three county departments — parks, transportation (MCDOT) and waste resources and recycling (WRR) — teamed up to make your experience even better. They started an anti-litter campaign and park-goers have the starring role.

Every vehicle that comes into the park during the three “summer” holiday periods (Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day) gets an orange trash bag from MCDOT’s Adopt a Highway program. The bags aren’t just a place to store garbage; they also have information about the impact of littering, so individuals can see the role they play in keeping Maricopa County beautiful. WRR is putting additional dumpsters on site to give people more places to throw away their trash.

With two holidays under our belt, the results are good. Over the Memorial Day weekend, the anti-litter campaign at Lake Pleasant distributed more than 5,000 trash bags to park visitors. And those bags were put to good use. Park staff reported finding a reduced amount of post-holiday trash along the shorelines and roadways, and inside campgrounds. Fourth of July saw a reduction of trash compared to last year as well, although that could have more to do with the holiday falling on a Wednesday this year. Still, we handed out more than 1,000 trash bags. That’s a lot of potential littering prevented, and every little bit helps.

So, if you have plans to go to Lake Pleasant this summer, I hope this serves as a reminder to leave the place better than you found it. The good news is, for Labor Day Weekend, cleaning up will be more convenient than ever.

Lake Pleasant Regional Park is the most visited park in the county for a reason. Its beautiful scenery is a source of pride for Maricopa County, and through this partnership, we can all do our part to keep it in pristine condition. 

Clint Hickman’s family owns Hickman’s Family Farms and he serves on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for District 4.