Celebrating Sedona’s Volunteers and National Parks



April 15, 2022



Sedonans have much to celebrate over the next few days as we mark National Parks Week and National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Both have special meaning for us.


America’s national parks are priceless treasures boasting a colorful history, and fortunate to be close to two of the three in Arizona. We live within the aura cast by the most famous of them all, Grand Canyon National Park, which significantly affects our economy and quality of life. This natural wonder is a pleasant 2 ¼ hour drive that includes Oak Creek Canyon, one of America’s most scenic roadways. How lucky is that?


The Petrified Forest National Park is about three hours away, its bizarre and beautiful formations telling one of Earth’s richest geological tales. In my view, Saguaro National Park in southern Arizona offers the most spectacular desert scenery and wildlife encounters you will find anywhere.


Entrance fees at all national parks are waived tomorrow, and parks across the country will host special events all week.


For the Chamber and the City of Sedona, tourism management includes encouraging visitors to sight-see outside Sedona, reducing local congestion. Some of our favorite recommendations are national parks and our nearby national monuments. Wupatki, Montezuma Castle, and Walnut Canyon blend the remains of ancient civilizations with natural beauty, making a fantastic travel experience. In addition, Sunset Crater National Monument is unique, one of North America’s most recently active volcanic sites. Expand the horizons of your out-of-town guests with a visit to all four.


National Volunteer Appreciation Week begins Sunday. At the Chamber, we see volunteers making a difference every day. Among other services, our Visitor Center volunteers advise hundreds of thousands of guests on visiting safely and responsibly by practicing the seven principles of Leave No Trace and taking the Sedona Cares Pledge. They also encourage dispersion by sharing Sedona’s Secret 7 sites and other Verde Valley attractions.


We count 130 nonprofit organizations among our Chamber members, and all depend on the dedication of volunteers. These selfless Sedonans make our community cleaner, safer, more sustainable, kinder and more giving, an incalculable contribution to our quality of life. You probably know a volunteer, so please thank them this week. And if you are one, accept our gratitude for all you do!


Finally, today is April 15, the infamous income tax deadline day. This year, state and federal taxes deadlines are Monday, April 18, due to a holiday observed in Washington DC. Our window to qualify for a state tax credit via donations to qualifying charities, foster care organizations and schools is also April 18. A tax credit reduces the amount of tax you owe. It differs from a tax deduction, which reduces your taxable income. Some restrictions apply, so be sure to check with your tax professional.


We should not forget the travel industry’s tax contribution to Sedona, covering most of the cost of services we all use. City of Sedona revenues are in record territory this year (FY22), following an FY21 in which tourism-based businesses contributed 77% of our sales and bed taxes.


I’m grateful for our beautiful National Parks and our selfless volunteers. Did you know it was volunteers who inspired our voluntourism idea, a sustainability tactic where we involve visitors in helping make Sedona a little better? If you know a cause, nonprofit or business that could offer a voluntourism opportunity, let us know at 928-204-1123.  It’s another way to do your part to keep Sedona sustainable – and thank you!

Michelle Conway, Interim President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau