Gila Valley spring cleaning begins with Thatcher VFW post

Volunteers work to clean up the weeds and grounds of the VFW Post 10385 in Thatcher in 2017 - Gila Valley Central Photo

By Brooke Curley

THATCHER – It was a blustery morning with light sprinkles but that didn’t stop the handful of volunteers from braving the weather to clean up.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) post 10385 was the center of attention Saturday morning, with the first of a valley-wide spring cleaning effort put on local nonprofit organizations. The VFW post asked Jay Rasco of Southeastern Arizona Clean and Beautiful (SEACAB) to clean up the area. Very quickly, individuals from multiple organizations appeared on the scene, including those from the Graham County Substance Abuse Coalition and the Safford Lions Club.

Rosa Contreras told Gila Valley Central that it was the least that the public could do to help out the local veterans.

“It’s a great opportunity to give back to our military,” Contreras said. “The fact that they’ve given so much for us; we can do something (for) them also.”

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: Standing in front of a massive pile of pulled tumbleweeds, volunteers sport blisters and smiles. Pictured are, from left, Tim Linden (SEACAB), Jay Rasco (SEACAB), James Robinson, Geno Contreras, Rosa Contreras (GSCAC) and Carolyn Vessels (Safford Lions).

The cleanup group pulled weeds and gathered a massive mountain of tumbleweeds. According to Rasco, however, the weed cleanup will just be a reoccurring problem unless there is a way to stop the weeds from growing. He suggested a natural herbicide consisting of dish soap, water, and vinegar.

“That will keep these weeds down so we don’t have to do this again next year,” Rasco said. “I use it on my own weeds, my neighbor’s weeds and across the street from my house. It’s better than Roundup because it doesn’t pollute the soil.”

Although Rasco has the herbicide and a plan, he doesn’t have a way of spreading it. To help curb the repetitive need to rake up the tumbleweeds, Rasco urges anyone who has a spray unit who would be willing to share with SEACUS to message him or bring it to the next cleanup.

Dates for upcoming cleanups

San Francisco River Cleanup in Clifton – March 4

Graham County Make a Difference E-Waste Event on Earth Day – April 22

Graham County Community Pride Days, April 22-29 (No fee per one household load dump at the landfill)