Moab Solutions teams with off-road group for Potato Salad Hill shuttles, recycling
by Molly Marcello
The Times-Independent
Mar 24, 2016 | 2846 views | 0 0 comments | 59 59 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Visitors to Potato Salad Hill during Easter Jeep Safari will be encouraged to recycle, as well as stay on designated roads. Moab Solutions’ effort to protect the area during the nine-day event has been ongoing for several years. This year, Moab Solutions is teaming up with the Off-Road Business Association, which will provide funding to help cover the cost of shuttle service to reduce the number of vehicles at Potato Salad Hill, as well as recycling efforts. Photo courtesy of Abby Scott
Visitors to Potato Salad Hill during Easter Jeep Safari will be encouraged to recycle, as well as stay on designated roads. Moab Solutions’ effort to protect the area during the nine-day event has been ongoing for several years. This year, Moab Solutions is teaming up with the Off-Road Business Association, which will provide funding to help cover the cost of shuttle service to reduce the number of vehicles at Potato Salad Hill, as well as recycling efforts. Photo courtesy of Abby Scott
slideshow
As the 50th annual Easter Jeep Safari heads into its big weekend, Moab Solutions volunteers are gearing up for an unofficial off-roading event: Potato Salad Hill. For years, Sara Melnicoff of Moab Solutions has worked to lessen the impacts of the event, which is not part of the official Jeep Safari but often draws thousands of people, who set up lawn chairs and crack open drinks as they watch off-road drivers try to make it “over the hill.”

Melnicoff says her effort to bring awareness of the environment during the Potato Salad Hill events involves marking the official road with rocks, creating recycling stations and a wildflower display, and implementing a free shuttle service to reduce the amount of cars in the area.

“The main thing is to keep it free and open for everyone with minimizing the damage and maximizing the recycling,” Melnicoff said.

This year, Moab Solutions received a donation from the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), which Melnicoff said will pay for the shuttle, pocket ashtray giveaways and other recycling efforts.

ORBA president Fred Wiley said his organization, which comes to Moab for Easter Jeep Safari each year, wanted to find a way to give back to the community.

“We liked [Melnicoff’s] passion about Potato Salad Hill. As business owners we need to show that we do care about those areas and we don’t always tell that story very well,” Wiley said. “So this is partnering with someone who is very passionate, who lives there, and we can help out by bringing focus to what you should do out there. It’s about giving back.”

Moab resident Abby Scott will be among the volunteers collecting recycling at Potato Salad Hill this year. She said the off-road community is genuinely receptive to the recycling effort made by Moab Solutions.

“It’s a nice opportunity to say ‘hi’ to people and give them casual recycling information,” Scott said. “People have been incredibly receptive. The overwhelming majority of people are really positive, really appreciative, and really happy to see this program going on.”

Melnicoff said new working relationships between Moab Solutions and ORBA, as well as long-standing ones with the Grand County Sherriff’s Department and land management agencies, are the key to minimizing damage to the landscape at Potato Salad Hill.

“I strongly believe that change can only happen when we all work together,” Melnicoff said. “It’s why people with different lifestyles and viewpoints need to get together and move change forward.”

Free shuttles to Potato Salad Hill, operated by Rim Tours in partnership with Moab Solutions, will run continuously from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday March 25 and Saturday March 26. Shuttles leave from the old Red Rock Elementary School parking lot across the street from Rotary Park on Mill Creek Drive and go to the top of Potato Salad Hill.

For more information, or to volunteer with Moab Solutions, call 425-259-0910.

Copyright 2013 The Times-Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

report abuse...

Express yourself:

We're glad to give readers a forum to express their points of view on issues important to this community. That forum is the “Letters to the Editor.” Letters to the editor may be submitted directly to The Times-Independent through this link and will be published in the print edition of the newspaper. All letters must be the original work of the letter writer – form letters will not be accepted. All letters must include the actual first and last name of the letter writer, the writer’s address, city and state and telephone number. Anonymous letters will not be accepted.

Letters may not exceed 400 words in length, must be regarding issues of general interest to the community, and may not include personal attacks, offensive language, ethnic or racial slurs, or attacks on personal or religious beliefs. Letters should focus on a single issue. Letters that proselytize or focus on theological debates will not be published. During political campaigns, The Times-Independent will not publish letters supporting or opposing any local candidate. Thank you letters are generally not accepted for publication unless the letter has a public purpose. Thank you letters dealing with private matters that compliment or complain about a business or individual will not be published. Nor will letters listing the names of individuals and/or businesses that supported a cause or event. Thank you letters about good Samaritan acts will be considered at the discretion of the newspaper.