Connection Made: Creating Space for Phoenix’s Urban Eco-System to Flourish


Perhaps the SCA + SWA team was inspired by the Winter Olympics, because the competitive spirit was certainly at play in Phoenix.  The group of Southwest employees gathered 56 bags of trash, for a total of 2,800 gallons of waste removed!


A previous volunteer group in Rio Salado claimed 100 bags, but with twice the participants and during an event three times as long. Ruben Alvez Southwest Airlines supervisor for below the wing operations reported that “it’s crazy, we made such and impact on this area. You can really see it!”

The thorough cleanup on the outflow drainage area was necessary to restore the riparian system to a balanced and sustainable ecology. The area was completely plugged with plastic, paper, and other debris.Everyone involved felt pleased to have conquered a section of trash and proud to help create better conditions for the riparian system to flourish. Rio Salado Park Staff was thankful for the SCA +SWA efforts to keep the hidden natural world running through the city.