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.