The “Desert is Crying” project, begun on April 17, and lasting for three days, was a massive undertaking designed to erase generations of abuse of our desert community in an area known as Coronado Lakes Estates, north of Golf Course Road.

During the clean-up, nine dump-truck loads of debris were collected; mattresses, wooden structures, bedding, yard refuse, furniture, carpets, clothing, paint cans, bottles, cans, batteries and more. Additionally, 150 tires, over 60 tons of concrete and a car were hauled away.

According to Bob Barnes, one of those involved in the cleanup, “This is enough garbage to have buried Raul Castro Park. Today, the desert is being restored to its natural beauty and is happy.”

This effort was made possible by a consortium of people; Barnes and Bill Martin conceived the project and organized the work. Raul and Sons Backhoe Service donated their time to gather the garbage strewn over one square mile of the desert floor, and staged it for pick-up.

The City of Douglas, under the direction of Public Works Director Lynn Kartchner and his staff, provided the machinery needed for heavy lifting as well as the dump trucks. The garbage was picked up over a two-day period and hauled to the Cochise County Transfer Station. Ann English, Cochise County supervisor, negotiated the not so small task of such a massive dump at the transfer station.

All who were involved are pleading with the community to use the Cochise County Transfer Station to dispose of garbage, not the desert. Chollas, desert rats, jack rabbits and mesquite trees belong in the desert, not trash. The transfer station will accept up to three tires per year, per resident and oil for free.

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels has established a partnership with local citizens to prevent damage to our environment. New signs will be posted and Coronado Lakes Estates has been established as an enhanced enforcement zone. Those who choose to illegally dump will be cited.

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