By Ethan Kispert

The Greater Pinnacle Peak Association (GPPA), more commonly known as Friends of the Scenic Drive, aims to keep the town of Scottsdale as charming as the day it was founded. Problems have arisen, however, as the organization is starting to run low on both the funds and manpower needed to continue their efforts.

The goal behind Friends of the Scenic Drive is to help maintain the natural beauty that Scottsdale has to offer. Cleaning up the section of Scottsdale Road, between Happy Valley Road and Carefree Highway, is part of that goal.

John Culp, who is on the nonprofit’s board of directors, stresses how important volunteering is to their mission. “Right now, the efforts are pretty much focused on picking up trash on the roads in support of Scottsdale,” Culp explains.

Maintaining Scottsdale’s natural beauty is no small undertaking. For Friends of the Scenic Drive, gathering as much financial support as possible will help ensure that they can continue to do what they love while getting the community involved.
Les Conklin, who started Friends of the Scenic Drive in 1996 and is the current president of the nonprofit, wants the money to go toward touching up the area so that it blends better with the scenery around it.

“One of the things we tried to get in the past was to get the street signs’ colors changed,” Conklin says. Since brown is a common color throughout Arizona’s landscape, he believes that many aspects of Scottsdale should match. “We’d like to see the backs of signs painted brown as well,” he adds.

Aside from getting volunteer help to clean up the streets, GPPA also needs help with other things, such as with their website. “We need a little bit better technical support,” Culp says.

For anyone who wishes to learn more about what Friends of the Scenic Drive does for Scottsdale and are curious how they can help out, call Les Conklin at 480-361-6498. Email inquiries can be sent to [email protected] as well. More info is also available at

Due to the technical difficulties with their donation system, they’ll be receiving support in a different way than normal. Anyone who wants to help out Friends of the Scenic Drive can make a personal check payable to “GPPA” and mail it to: GPPA, 8711 East Pinnacle Peak Road, #123, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255. Donations may be tax deductible; e-mail the organization for more information.