In an area under the Interstate15 bridge, in the middle of the desert, lives an oasis on the river locals have named “Little Jamaica.”
Where the Virgin River runs through Beaver Dam and Desert Springs, Arizona, there lies a popular swimming spot where friends and family have gathered for years to get some relief from the heat of the Mohave summers.
The waters just under the highway bridge are usually crystal clear and icy cold from the icy mountain springs that feed into it from two different spots, one on either side of the bridge. The river’s waters can easily run wild and murky after a rain anywhere in the area or over the mountains.
Little Jamaica is filled with dense and vibrant foliage that allows only enough space between the brush for a foot path that runs down and along a waterfall that empties one mountain stream into the river on the west side of the I-15 bridge, right into about a three to five-foot-deep swimming hole. With the lush, green surroundings it resembles a tropical paradise; something very rare and beautiful in the desert.
Over the years more and more locals and non-locals have begun frequenting the area and leaving behind all their trace evidence. Around the make-shift parking area, along the foot-path leading to the falls, all around the small slice of paradise in the desert, the beauty is spoiled.
The area is littered with discarded clothing, plastic bottles and bags, beer packaging, broken bottles and even shattered automotive glass; and it’s getting worse every day.
The issue of trash is not new, in the summer of 2016 Rotary members and the Beaver Dam Interactive Club members were just completing the Beaver Dam Jr./Sr. High School Beautification project when they found they had some spare time on their hands. Given a choice of what they wanted to do for the remainder of their excessively hot Saturday afternoon, they decided they wanted to clean up Little Jamaica.
In a previous article in the MLN, Linda Gault stated, “They hauled out at 8-10 big black trash bags full of garbage that people had left.”
The pool itself is nice. However, getting down to it is gross and the surroundings are just disgusting. There is garbage everywhere including beer cans, glass bottles and everything else you could imagine. The path is kind of difficult to get down to the pool, and you walk past filth everywhere, and it doesn’t just look dirty, it smells dirty.”
Some public education and another community clean-up project may be needed sometime soon.