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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : letters September 15, 2014

2/4/2012 1:07:00 PM
Letter: Putting new life in Adopt-A-Highway


Restore the Beauty.

I am the founder of Folksville USA, an energetic group of 30 ADOT Adopt-A-Highway Permittee’s commitment to the tax-payer funded, Arizona ADOT Adopt-A-Highway Program and to restoring the beauty to America.

In 2009, only 25 percent of these 30 groups honored their obligation to the ADOT Adopt-A-Highway Program. In 2011, more than 90 percent of these 30 groups have complied, and we have now become a well coordinated group of folks who could possibly be the role models for a highly functioning Adopt-A-Highway Program in any state.

I hope those of you who live in the valley will support my effort by donating $10 or more to keep this effort moving forward and eliminating the cancer that kills the economy of America’s communities by discouraging tourism, home sales and attracting new businesses. The “Broken Window Theory” that applies to neighborhoods also applies to communities.

I am not a 501(c)(3)I am a capitalistic, free market individual who has owned several businesses and has given this effort three years of my life to improve the Verde Valley and Arizona.

You may send your donations to, Folksville USA, c/o Gary Chamberlain, PO Box 1138, Cornville, AZ 86325 or contact me with any comments, questions or concerns. I hope that you will earmark your donation to either “General Use” or “$10 per bag.” The “General Use” contributions will be used to breathe life into the ADOT Adopt-A-Highway Program efforts locally and nationally, which in my opinion, aren’t being properly managed by the Arizona employees who are responsible for this task.

We are also planning a second valley-wide cleanup on Feb. 18, which everyone is encouraged to join in. Will you invest in this effort?

Gary Chamberlain


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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Article comment by: Gary Chamberlain

Folksville USA “Road Warriors and Leaping Frogs” to receive 2012 plaque from City of Sedona

Dear Highway 89A and Highway 260 ADOT Adopt-A-Highway Groups (ADOT AAHG’s), contributing businesses and ADOT Highway Maintenance Departments,

In 2009 a small group of concerned Verde Valley and Sedona residents decided to try to unite our communities in an effort to reduce the amount of litter that we saw on Highway 89A between Cottonwood and Sedona. In 2009, our effort was expanded to include an existing effort on Highway 260 between Cottonwood and Camp Verde. Late in 2010, Highways I-17 (Arizona Veterans Highway), 169, 69 and 89 in the Dewey, Prescott Valley and Prescott areas were included in the FVUSA campaign. Highway 89A from Cottonwood to Jerome is now in the planning stages for being added to FVUSA in 2012.

In 2009, the “Original Road Warriors” realized that there was evidence and the ADOT “Activity Reports” to support our assumptions that the state managed, ADOT Adopt-A-Highway Program (ADOT AAHP) wasn’t being effectively managed and 75% of the Adopt-A-Highway groups in our area were failing to honor their Arizona, 3 times per year, commitment noted on the ADOT AAHP web page. The Road Warriors realized that the ADOT AAHP, a tax-payer funded program, needed an attitude adjustment or needed to be eliminated.

In 2009, the “Road Warriors” realized that if they could inspire all of the (15) Highway 89A and (15) Highway 260 ADOT AAHG’s to clean their sections of highway 3 times or more per year then they could we create a heightened awareness of the increasing litter problems in the Verde Valley and in Arizona. They realized that these 30 ADOT AAHG’s could become the role models for the Arizona AAHP and possibly the nation.

Between 2009 and 2012, the Road Warriors started referring to all 30 ADOT AAHG’s as residents of the virtual town of “Folksville USA”, consisting of real people who parked their prejudices at the curb and came together on a common mission to restore the beauty to our highways. FVUSA and the “Leaping Frogs” litter events have now gained the attention of the state of Arizona, City of Sedona, 1/1 CAV Fort Bliss-El Paso Texas, Girl Scout Troop-Pleasantville, NY and many other places in the nation.

FVUSA has been featured on two radio shows, KYCA 1490 (Dr. Terry Lovell)-Prescott and The Don Smith Show-Florida. On November 21, 2011, FOX 10 TV in Phoenix shared our November 19, 2011, FVUSA “Leap Frog I” litter event with their viewers.

If you Google “Folksville USA” you will see many of our efforts being recognized. Most of our local media has very generously covered our progress. The Verde Independent, Camp Verde Bugle, SedonaEYE.com and SedonaBest.com, Prescott Valley Tribune, Prescott Daily Courier and PopRocket.com and others have increased our odds for success. The In and Out Magazine in Anthem, AZ published our story.

If we, as residents, of multiple communities, choose to make it happen, then the FVUSA “Leaping Frog” litter events, conducted 4 evenly spaced times per year will not only help attract tourists, new residents, new home buyers, new construction, new businesses and possible jobs to our area. Our efforts could make us feel better about where we live and work.

The FVUSA effort has never, nor can it ever be, about one individual or group. FVUSA is a team effort that confirms that there is “Strength in numbers and a chain or community is only as strong as its weakest link” and requires community participation to succeed.

The Prescott and Flagstaff, ADOT Highway Maintenance Departments, have been instrumental to our success and their mowing of the highway shoulders and medians before our May and August events have made it easier and safer for us to recover highway litter. With rattle snake season upon us and with the plant life crowding our highway signs, safety reflectors and guard rails, the mowing of our highways is a necessary task. If ADOT managers will authorize the mowing of the highway shoulders and medians for our May 2012 event, we can safely and efficiently honor our ADOT AAH commitment. We hope to have all 30 AAHG’s out in full force on May 19, 2012 and this could result in over 300 proud citizens who will be making a combined statement, “Don’t trash our highways or our communities!”

If you are one of the thirty ADOT AAHG’s or businesses who have contributed raffle prizes to the FVUSA effort or one of the businesses who recovers the blue ADOT trash bags after each event or you are part of the FVUSA recycling effort, please be part of receiving this plaque presented by the City of Sedona on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. The plaque is being presented in the name of, “Folksville USA’s Road Warriors whose mission is to restore the beauty to America’s and Arizona’s highways”. This is a team effort award. Anyone who is or has been part of our litter recovery effort, is encouraged to attend this plaque ceremony, as we are all trying to effectively and efficiently improve the visual aspects of our communities. The Sedona City Council meeting will start at 4:30 pm in the Sedona City Council Chambers, 102 Roadrunner Drive, Sedona, AZ. If more details are required please contact Susan Irving, City of Sedona, (928) 282-3113

All of the ADOT AAHG’s, the FVUSA “Road Warriors and Leaping Frogs” and the Flagstaff and Prescott ADOT Highway Maintenance Departments have worked particularly hard these past three years to keep our highways clean, safe and appealing to our citizens and visitors. The time to be recognized for our combined efforts is now! By attending this event, we raise the awareness of who we are, what we are doing to make a permanent difference in reducing the amount of highway trash and convincing those who litter to be a little more considerate and realize the impact of their actions on other people. We have a opportunity to ask those in attendance to participate in our efforts in some manner.

The “Original Road Warriors” of 2009, have made all of this possible. Don Hanks, owner of Tire Pro Automotive and his family Neil Dixon, owner of Reese & Son’s Tire and his crew Marla Guerrero and Bill Giles of Rusty’s Morningstar Ranch The Windmill Garden’s and Home Depot (Cottonwood, Prescott & Prescott Valley) have made our efforts and the FVUSA recycling process possible.

2009 “Original FVUSA Road Warriors”
Patricia (Pat) McQuade-Cornville, Beth Cady-Cottonwood, Diane Gallager-Cornville, Valarie Moore (Val)-Cottonwood, Rick Baldauf-Sedona (VOC) & Co-Founder FVUSA, Greg Penrod-Flagstaff, Gary Chamberlain-Cornville & Co-Founder FVUSA

2009 “Original FVUSA Road Warrior Recyclers”
Carole Lamb-Jean-Cornville, Lower Oak Creek Estates (LOCE), Connie Morgan-Cornville (LOCE), Jim Jean-Cornville (LOCE), Charlene Van Allen-Cornville (LOCE), Johnnie Wilson-Cornville (LOCE), Ed Helgeson-Cornville

Scenic Highway 89A Cottonwood to Sedona Adopt-A-Highway Group’s:

Rio Verde Roverett’s, Inc. MP 355-356, Folksville USA MP 356-357, Immaculate Conception Parish MP 357-358, Knights of Columbus Council #2493 MP 358-359, Cottonwood Ranch MP 359-360, Sedona Boy Scout Troop #48 MP 360-361, Verde Valley Cyclists Coalition MP 361-362, Halau Hula Na-Pua-O-Ka-Lei-‘Ilima MP 362-363, Sedona Car Club MP 363-364, Sedona Pines LLC MP 364-365, Sedona Pines Resort MP 365-366, Central Arizona Masonic #14 Sedona MP 366-367, Sedona Shadows & Sunset Hills MP 367-368, Available MP 368-369 and Rotary Club of Sedona MP 369-370.

Highway 260 Cottonwood to Camp Verde Adopt-A-Highway Group’s:

Mickles Custom Homes MP 89A-207, Verde Village Property Owners Association MP 207–209, Cottonwood Wal-Mart Associates MP 209–210, Clarkdale Verde Kiwanis MP 210–211, Faith Lutheran Church MP 211–212, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department MP 212-213, Folksville USA MP 213-214, American Legion Family Post #25 MP 214-215, Verde Valley Rotary MP 215-216, MUHS Marauders Wrestling Team MP 216-217, Highlands Resort at Verde Ridge MP 217-218, IAFF L3690 Camp Verde Chapter MP 218-219, American Legion Family Post #93 MP 219-220 and Friends of Coy Hughes MP 220-221

Gary Chamberlain-Cornville
"Point Man" FVUSA

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