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Adopt A Trail Program

About the Program
The Adopt A Trail Program is designed to help maintain and improve trails in the Town of Oro Valley, by providing an outlet for community and interest groups to assist in trail maintenance. The Town of Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Department’s Adopt A Trail Program (AAT) was established in January 2004. It was modeled after the Town’s Adopt A Roadway program as well as successful Adopt A Trail programs throughout the United States. The program provides land stewardship, physical fitness, and instills a sense of pride and ownership for volunteers, fostering a closer connection to the community and to the environment. Trails provide a recreation outlet in Oro Valley, which is a requirement for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. They preserve open space and animal habitat, which assist in maintaining the health of the environment.

The Town of Oro Valley’s program is designed to help beautify Oro Valley by facilitating trash removal and performing maintenance activities on the trails within the Town. By adopting a trail, civic and other nonprofit organizations help to generate civic pride in their community, thus creating economic benefits to all the citizens of the Town of Oro Valley. By helping to maintain a trail, the trails can remain accessible and enjoyable to all users. This basic maintenance includes removing downed logs, brush and rocks, correcting drainage problems, and repairing trail tread. Strenuous cleanup activities are reported to the AAT Coordinator for re-assignment to Parks and Recreation Division employees.

The objectives of the Adopt A Trail Program are:

  • To clear, maintain, upgrade and mark existing hiking, biking, and equestrian trails
  • To teach organizational, outdoor, and safety skills
  • To encourage volunteer participation
  • To publicize and encourage use of the trail system

How to Participate
Interested organizations should contact the Adopt A Trail Coordinator. Interested groups may include scout groups, youth groups, special interest clubs, families, schools, and private industry groups. The Coordinator will explain and discuss the AAT Program with a responsible representative of the interested organization, emphasizing that the program requires significant physical work that must be done on a reasonably frequent basis for at least two years.

Choosing a Trail
The Town of Oro Valley’s trail system consists of trails of varying lengths, as well as different types of access (hiking, mountain biking, and equestrian). A trail can be chosen by accessing the Oro Valley Trails Task Force Report online, or by visiting the Parks and Recreation Office at 10555 N. La Canada Drive in Oro Valley. The only trails that are available for adoption at this time are those in which the Town has been given permanent access or a non-motorized public recreation easement. Longer trails can be divided into several sections that can be shared by different adopting groups.

Organization's Responsibility

  • Complete at least three cleanups and maintenance checks of the adopted trail per year. Schedule each cleanup two weeks prior to cleanup date.
  • Obtain signatures of each participant on the Special Event Waiver Form prior to each cleanup and return the completed form to the AAT Coordinator.
  • Obtain safety vests, trash cans, and other equipment at the Town of Oro Valley Public Works Division at 680 W. Calle Concordia.
  • Return safety vests, unused trash bags, and other equipment to the Town of Oro Valley Public Works Division within two working days after cleanup completion.
  • Adhere to all Town of Oro Valley Safety Rules and Regulations stated in this brochure.
  • Volunteer groups may send photos and write-ups of their trail maintenance projects for publication on the Town of Oro Valley’s Adopt A Trail Web page.

Oro Valley's Responsibility

  • Approve trail selection based on trail use and maintenance issues.
  • Provide safety training and safety rules and regulations to organization’s group supervisor for distribution to program participants.
  • Supply safety vests, trash bags, and other necessary equipment for use by volunteer organizations.
  • Remove filled trash bags from trail side and dispose of properly.
  • Erect a sign identifying the name of the volunteer organization.

Adopt A Trail Safety Rules and Regulations

The safety of the volunteers is the number one priority of the Adopt A Trail Program. All volunteers must receive proper safety training on the equipment prior to arriving at the job site to perform any clean up activities. Training for basic trail maintenance will be provided to group leaders by AAT staff prior to the commencement of trail activities. No power tools such as chainsaws are permitted to be used by the adopting group.

The following guidelines are designed to help ensure the safety of each volunteer and MUST be adhered to at all times.

  • Clean up activities must be scheduled through the AAT Coordinator and must be performed only in daylight hours, during good weather conditions.
  • Supervisors of both adult and youth groups should be assigned prior to departing for the work site.
  • All participants should be at least 14 years of age. For every 10 teenagers participating, there must be one adult supervisor at least 21 years of age.
  • Safety vests must be worn by all participants at all times during the litter pick-up projects.
  • Wear appropriate attire, including boots or hard-soled shoes (no sandals), comfortable clothes, gloves, and hats.
  • Participants should assemble away from the designated work site and carpool to reduce the number of cars at the trail site. Vehicles must be parked at least four feet away from the roadway.
  • Participants should assure that first aid kits are available, and it is recommended that at least one person is experienced in administering first aid and CPR and that transportation is available to the nearest medical facility.
  • Utility installations, culverts, and drainage structures are off limits. Do not remove litter from these areas.
  • Use caution when you encounter the following: cactus, animals, steep slopes, sharp rocks, insects, barbed wire, traffic, and other unusual circumstances.
  • Do not pick up hazardous materials such as car batteries, animal carcasses, discarded chemical containers, or any object that appears questionable. Report these materials to your supervisor.
  • When lifting objects, use correct lifting techniques, keeping your back as straight as possible. Keep the object that you are trying to lift close to your body and let your legs do the work. Do not attempt to lift heavy objects that two of you cannot reasonably lift.
  • Assure that water is available and in sufficient quantity to meet your group’s needs.
  • Alcoholic beverages and smoking are strictly prohibited. Anyone under the influence of alcohol or narcotics shall be asked to leave the work site.


For more information or for a printed copy of the AAT brochure, please contact:

Nancy Ellis, AICP, CPRP, GPC, Multimodal Planner
520-229-5057 or