SEACAB rises from pandemic ready to beautify

Contributed Photo/Courtesy SEACAB: SEACAB invites the public to its May 4 informational meeting at the GSB in Safford, starting at 4:30 p.m.

Public invited to May 4 meeting

By Jon Johnson

SAFFORD – One of the many casualties of the pandemic was community gatherings due to the possibility of spreading disease. For South Eastern Arizona Clean and Beautiful (SEACAB), a small nonprofit that utilizes volunteer assistance to help clean up trash from the landscape, the loss of that community put its clean-up efforts on a back burner. 

But now SEACAB is back and will host an informational meeting at the Graham County General Services Building at 921 W. Thatcher Blvd. in Safford on May 4, starting at 4:30 p.m. The meeting will be the public’s chance to see the inner workings of the organization and perhaps join the board themselves.

SEACAB has been beautifying Graham and Greenlee counties for the past 13 years. 

“Our founder, Jay Rasco, was initially determined to clean up the Gila Valley by himself in the beginning,” said board member Danny Smith. “Jay would take foreign tourists out for tours of the Gila Valley to the Gila Box and beyond and they would mention how much they love the scenery but wondered why there was so much trash.”

While Rasco was taking guests out into the desert, local businessman Tim Linden was enjoying the scenery in his UTV and also became concerned about the trash. 

“I love exploring this county in my side by side and I was just tired of the illegal dumping, so we formed a non-profit to get it done,” Linden said. He would go on to chair SEACAB for nine years. 

The board has completed dozens of community cleanup events resulting in hundreds of tons of trash being removed from the landscape. Many hands make light work, and hundreds of volunteers have proved that adage true. The group has completed projects in various areas including the Gila Box, San Francisco River, Blue Ponds, Frye Mesa Reservoir, Little Hollywood, Thunderbird Estates, and local bridges and backroads throughout Graham County.  

SEACAB’s board is now reforming with new board members and it is encouraging those with an interest to come to its May 4 meeting at the GSB. 

“As people are getting out this spring we are seeing more illegal dumps and SEACAB is getting lots of calls for help,” Smith said. “There is a lot of energy in the community to see SEACAB take off again.”