Green Valley has a rich and surprising history including multiple cultural influences and a variety of distinctive agricultural, military, mining, and social ventures. Green Valley started on the road to becoming the active, vibrant retirement community it is today in 1964 when homes for the first 500 residents were built by the Maxon brothers of Chicago. Today, 32,000 people are here during the winter months, and about 23,000 people live here year-round. They all come from somewhere else—schoolteachers from Michigan, military officers from Colorado, civil engineers from Oregon. People of Green Valley live here because they want to. They are intrepid, active people. They are not content with the status quo.
Is it any wonder that there are at least 70 non-profits in the greater Green Valley area and that volunteering is one of the most popular local activities? The Country Fair White Elephant is an enormous non-profit second-hand store run by four paid employees and 600 volunteers who are involved in every aspect of the operation, from stocking shelves to determining how to award more than a million dollars in grants to local charities each year. Green Valley volunteers support local schools, design and maintain parks and landscaped medians, coach athletic teams, rescue animals, shelter victims of domestic violence, teach classes, patrol the streets, comfort the dying, promote conservation, staff the races at the Southern Arizona Senior Games, and so much more. The Green Valley/Sahuarita Volunteer Clearinghouse is a great resource for new residents, matching potential volunteers with opportunities that reflect their interests. The Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers and Green Valley Fire Corps extend the reach of those serving and protecting the community. The Green Valley Council, a volunteer driven organization serving as the civic voice of unincorporated of Green Valley, represents and advocates for Green Valley to county, state, and federal governments.
Churches and religious organizations in the area support literacy programs, run the local food bank, reach out to migrants in crisis with lifesaving water and first aid, provide free senior fitness programs, sponsor orphanages, organize an annual interfaith Mitzvah Day, make and deliver clothes for needy infants, and host concerts and conferences.
Setting Green Valley apart from planned resort villages are the 100+ Home Owner’s Associations (HOAs), each different from the last in culture, average home value, and appearance—just like the neighborhoods in your hometown. Like so many Green Valley entities, the HOAs are governed by volunteer boards and committees comprised of residents of the HOAs. The tidy, attractive neighborhoods reflect a home pride and sense of personal responsibility that is a hallmark of our community. When you plan your visit, be sure to set aside some time to drive or, better yet, walk through a few HOAs and get a feel for the variety of distinctive characters reflected among them. Plan your stroll for the morning or early evening hours and you will encounter a number of engaging folks, walking their dogs and chatting on the paths. You’ll see bulletin boards announcing the upcoming game night or landscape work party to help a neighbor in need. With open eyes, it doesn’t take long for the visitor to learn a lot about this community’s enormous heart.