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Well done!

Each issue, eScoop would like to give a shout-out to employees and departments who have earned special recognition. We want to hear about colleagues who have earned kudos on the job as well as those being recognized for their work or volunteerism outside the office.

This issue, we'll read about Wastewater's clean-up on the Santa Cruz River, a grateful park patron and NRPR's successful efforts to recruit volunteers.

Wastewater team cleans up Santa Cruz

Twenty members of the Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department’s Water Campus team spent three hours along the Santa Cruz River Jan. 7 hauling out all manner of trash for its fifth annual Santa Cruz River Clean Up.
Wastewater employees
Five years ago, Permit and Regulatory Compliance Officer Jason Grodman had the idea to adopt a section of the river modeled after the Arizona Department of Transportation Adopt a Highway program.  Grodman believed that since the Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department was releasing effluent into a portion of the Santa Cruz river at the outfall, they had a responsibility to the river.  The section from the outfall to the solar fields at the end of the property could be described as RWRD’s back yard.  

The river cleaning is a win-win scenario because it not only removes trash and debris from the body of water but it also acts as a team building activity for the Water Campus. It allows units that may not interact often to collaborate and work on a common project.  

Grodman said everyone can help keep the river clean by ensuring there are no items on their property that could float and wind up in a wash, and to be aware of illegal dumping. Anyone who does witness wildcat dumping should contact the County’s Department of Environmental Quality.

Thanks for the park

Green Valley resident Ann Panush wrote the following letter to the editor in the Jan. 22 Green Valley News about the Canoa Hills Park taking shape, thanks to work by the Regional Flood Control District and Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation.

“We have lived in Green Valley as winter visitors (yes, we pay taxes) for nine years. We walk the Canoa Hills Golf Course nearly every day. When we left last May, the course had been donated to Pima County but little if any work was evident. The grasses were at least a foot tall and tree branches were everywhere. Sand and rocks could be found on many paths.

We were thrilled when we returned in January to see the amount of work done. Visibility in the park has increased at least 50 percent. It has been mowed and maintained so it looks very parklike. The paths are clear and the edges easy to see. Picnic tables and benches have been added. What an asset to Green Valley.

Thank you, Pima County and or others for all the work to make this such a beautiful and natural park. If you haven’t been to it recently, come on out and walk a bit. Such a positive addition to our community!”

New year means new volunteers

Canoa Ranch volunteerNatural Resources, Parks and Recreation has made volunteering with County parks easier than ever. That’s according to Julie Strom, Environmental Education program coordinator with Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, who discussed the department’s volunteer program at a recent meeting of the Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission.

In Fiscal Year 2018-19, volunteers gave more than 18,000 hours of service as tour guides, docents, line safety officers on the shooting range and pulling buffelgrass, among many other duties. NRPR’s Edie Price recently revamped the department’s Volunteer Page, segmenting opportunities by tabs and including full job descriptions.

Wastewater group photo:
First row, from left: Jessie Jones, Tom Tomchak, Chantal Blissett, DeAnn Drottz, Ava Hopkinson, Sydnee Sexton, and Ann Gurr
Second row: Max DiSante, Joshua Lowry, Steve Valencia, James Brown, Mike Silva, Steve Mitchell, Courtney Kaufman and Juan Echanove 
Back row: Kyle Wetmore, Fernando Orduna , Rodrigo Morales, Matt Chapman and Jenelle Chraft
Not pictured: Matt Foy

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