It was a lighthearted moment, with a point. Two hundred people raised their right hands to take the ‘Sedona Cares’ Pledge at the Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau annual meeting in October 2019.
We remember it clearly because it was the first time Sedonans literally stood up to promise to help preserve Sedona’s ‘poetry in red rock’ and protect the life-changing experience we offer you, our visitor.
Now, almost two years later, the world has changed – and the need for you to join us in standing up for Sedona is greater than ever.
- Post-COVID travel is poised to break records, placing new strains on America’s wild places as people seek fresh air, open space and room to savor the natural world.
- Eighty-four million people say they plan to travel between July and the end of 2021, and according to Airbnb and the vacation search engine company Home2Go, about 90% are looking for rural places and private rentals.
- Many areas are seeing an uptick in trash, traffic, trail damage and overcrowding that stresses water and energy resources in destinations - such as Sedona - that are relatively remote and have limited infrastructure.
Our mighty vistas are indeed awe-inspiring, but our semi-arid landscape is incredibly fragile and very vulnerable to human impact. For example, did you know that merely stepping off a marked trail disturbs nearly invisible cryptobiotic material, a naturally occurring ‘crust’ that protects the soil from eroding in whipping winds and desert downpours? It’s just that easy to trigger environmental damage unintentionally, even while being deeply moved by the natural beauty all around you.
Here in Red Rock Country, we are fortunate so many visitors are eager to do their part to keep Sedona sustainable. The Sedona Cares Pledge is all about helping you help us preserve the delicate balance that holds Sedona in its magical sway. Observing these ten commitments will make you a sustainability partner and a respectful, mindful guest:
- The rocks are red and the silence is golden. I vow to respect the natural quiet of Sedona’s open spaces and neighborhoods.
- I will be mindful of Sedona’s arid environment by minimizing water and energy use and I will be extremely careful with fire.
- I’ll make my own memories but not my own trails.
- I won’t risk life or limb – human or sapling – for more likes. I won’t get killed for a killer photo.
- When playing outside, I’ll be ready for rapid changes in the weather and random episodes of magic.
- I’ll leave no trace and pack out all my trash. That includes TP and pup poo!
- I will discover art in Sedona’s galleries rather than making my own. Carving on trees or rocks, stacking stones, or defacing the environment tarnishes nature’s art.
- If I can’t find a parking space, I will not invent my own. I will go with the traffic flow, using my turn signal often and my car horn seldom.
- I will be caring and considerate wherever I go, because that is the Sedona way.
- I promise to fulfill the commitments of this Pledge, thereby doing my part to keep Sedona the most Beautiful Place on Earth.
Knowing you are making a difference is a good feeling that can lead to other environmentally sound habits. Before you know it, you will be a Sedona sustainability advocate, too!
We hope you feel proud to be part of the movement, and after you sign the Pledge at SedonaCares.com, we ask that you share it with friends. Encourage them to join us in making Sedona more than memorable, more than moving, more than simply gorgeous – join us in making Sedona sustainable, too. Thank you!