For the past 38 years, Sun City West PRIDES have been beautifying the roads and other common areas of the community.
Every Saturday morning the 300-member group is hard at work maintaining the landscaping in the medians and sides of Deer Valley Drive, Stardust, Meeker and R.H. Johnson boulevards and others. Their most recent project includes rehabilitating and refreshing the foliage on R.H. Johnson and Meeker boulevards. Prides president Ralph Johnson said a recreation center governing board member shared information he received from a resident who said the plants needed some attention.
“Many have been here for 40 years and some have been added along the way. The sage and oleanders used to blanket the community and still do in some areas,” he said. “We took what they said to heart and our board decided to form a horticulture task force.”
This task force has been working since Jan. 2 to formulate a design plan with a variety of low-water plant options. As the project is completed it will move from Bell Road to Grand Avenue and will repeat itself as it comes up from Bell Road in sets of three.
“The county has control of the streets and they support our efforts with cones, bags for foliage and trash on Saturday morning, but they can’t help maintain the plants on a continuous basis as we do every week,” Mr. Johnson said. “They are terrific partners and in this project we have told them what to remove and their crew comes out and takes care of it.”
The removal of 53 plants already took place at 151st Avenue and that section up to Grand Avenue is the first phase of the project. This upcoming spring the PRIDES plan to complete the entire boulevard.
“We are going to concentrate on the entrances from Bell Road to 128th Avenue and coming up from Grand Avenue on Meeker Boulevard back to R.H. Johnson,” Mr. Johnson explained. “So all entrances will have been impacted this spring. And this summer we will have other plants removed and when fall planting season is here, we will be able to close it up and finish this year.”
Prides member Sue Bublitz said most people don’t realize to what extent the members get involved with beautifying Sun City West.
“They know we do clean up, but we do so much more and are out there every Saturday morning working on a 26-mile stretch,” she said.
The club’s sole fundraiser to support their efforts is the luminaria program during the holidays and the PRIDES are always accepting donations. Volunteers are welcome and can complete work on Saturday morning or help the Tuesday crew keep the 25 golf cars maintained and ready for use out in the community.
Visit www.scwprides.com to get involved.