Tempe Triumphs: Record-Breaking Cleanup at Papago Park with Joe Forte and Keep Tempe Beautiful

Good Morning Arizona News Segment, October 21st, 2023

TEMPE, AZ – A wave of change washed over Papago Park on Saturday, October 19th, as Keep Tempe Beautiful, under the guidance of its dedicated founder, Joe Forte, carried out a cleanup event that set new records in terms of volunteer turnout and impact.

The event, which ran from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., was not just a regular cleanup. It was a part of the Kiwanis day of service, which saw enthusiastic participation from Tempe Union High School-based Key Clubs and the Kiwanis Club of Tempe. The heartening unity displayed by the community was a testament to the city’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

One of the standout aspects of the event was the significant contribution from Tempe Sister Cities and the Four Peaks Oktoberfest Production Team. In an exceptional act of generosity, all remaining drinks from the 50th anniversary Oktoberfest were donated to Keep Tempe Beautiful, emphasizing the sense of community and shared responsibility.

The event also received overwhelming support from sponsors. Extreme Terrain, as part of their Clean Trail Initiative Program, came forward as the Snack Sponsor, ensuring volunteers were energized throughout. Keep Nature Wild sweetened the deal further by offering enticing goodies as the Swag Sponsor.

The scale and importance of the cleanup were underscored by the presence of many of the city’s notable dignitaries. Among those who graced the event with their presence were City of Tempe Mayor Corey Woods, Councilmembers Doreen Garlid, Berdetta Hodge, and Randy Keating. Moreover, City of Tempe’s administrative leadership was represented by City Manager Rosa Inchusti and Chief Deputy City Manager Tom Duensing.

Joe Forte, in his interaction with Good Morning Arizona, expressed immense gratitude and pride in the community’s collective effort. The event broke past records, with a staggering 218 volunteers in attendance. This commendable number surpassed the previous record set at last year’s Papago Park Cleanup. Together, these volunteers clocked in a combined total of 296.5 service hours.

Their hard work was evident in the tangible results achieved. A whopping 449 pounds of trash was removed from Papago Park, with an additional 57 pounds diverted to recycling from the landfill, ensuring a greener, cleaner future for the city’s cherished park.

The event stands as a shining example of what community effort, guided by passionate leadership, can achieve. With individuals like Joe Forte and organizations like Keep Tempe Beautiful, the city of Tempe continues to champion environmental responsibility and community engagement. The message is clear: Together, we can make a difference.