State of the Watershed Conference 2017

This post is a press release from the Verde River Valley Nature Organization

The Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition (VWRC) announces The Verde River: State of the Watershed Conference for May 10-11, 2017. This two-day event will kick-off with Verde Watershed Field Trips on Wednesday, May 10, where participants can select from of a dozen field trips will be led by local watershed experts across the Verde Watershed. On Thursday, May 11, The Verde River: State of the Watershed Conference will be held at the Clark Memorial Clubhouse, in historic Clarkdale, Arizona.

Field Trips are filling fast!

Field trips highlight the Verde River Watershed’s recreation, ecology, hydrology, restoration, wildlife, and community. Trips will take participants from the Verde River headwaters in Prescott, and throughout the watershed on the Verde Valley Railroad in Perkinsville, on guided tours of Oak Creek Canyon and Fossil Creek, and on a kayak trip on the Verde River in Clarkdale. 

Join the Northern Arizona Audubon Society and AZ Game & Fish for a birding and wildlife tour of Page Springs Fish Hatchery & Bubbling Ponds, led by Holly Kleindienst (Audubon) and Cindy Dunn (AZ Game & Fish). A second chance bird with some of the best will be hosted by Rich Armstrong, at Sedona Wetlands Preserve, where over 200 species of birds have been seen around the Preserve.

Ride the Rails with the Verde River Exchange offers participants breathtaking views of the Verde River headwaters, as the Verde Canyon Railway takes a tour of the river from Clarkdale to Perkinsville, AZ. Learn from water expert Jocelyn Gibbon about the Verde River Exchange’s unique market-based approach to water conservation, through water offset projects at both Page Springs Cellars and Merkin Vineyards in the Verde Valley. 

See what Camp Verde and AZ State Parks are doing best these days on the Verde River for recreation on their field trip that will tour Parsons Park, Homestead Park, Rezzonico Park, and Rockin’ River State Park. 

Also in Camp Verde, you are invited to take a tour of the Yavapai Apache Nation’s agricultural work on the Verde River. Learn first-hand from environmental project leaders Yolanda Trujillo and Vivian Stevens about new and smart irrigation technology for tribal crops, as well as best management practices for vegetation and soil management. 

Don’t miss a rare chance to visit Tavasci Marsh (near Tuzigoot National Monument), the largest fresh water marsh in northern Arizona, with John Cannon, of the National Park Service. John will engage in discussion of the joint Northern Arizona University-NPS Northern Mexican Garter Snake Project, ongoing riparian restoration efforts, and the natural history of the marsh.

Has spring had you thinking about weeds in your backyard? Look no further for your answers on how to effectively and ecologically manage invasive plant species in your yard than the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition (VWRC) field trip with Anna Schrenk and Ben Kowalewski. Learn how to identify, treat, and restore riparian areas affected by invasive plants on the Verde River with VWRC staff. Get to know the threats of Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), Giant Reed (Arundo donax), Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima), and Russian Olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia). 

All of these field trips, and more, are open for registration with The Verde River: State of the Watershed Conference, May 10th-11th. All field trips will be held on May 10, as full- and half-day trips across the Verde Valley and Prescott. For more information (including the Field Trip and Conference’s schedules), event sales ($35 for entry to the two-day event, May 10-11), please see the online at 

Sponsors of The Verde River: State of the Watershed Conference include: The Walton Family Foundation, Arizona Public Service (APS), Salt River Project (SPR), Salt River Materials Group, National Park Service, Town of Clarkdale, American Rivers, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona State Parks, City of Cottonwood, Freeport McMoRan, Nextwest Consulting, Oak Creek Watershed Council, Sedona Chamber of Commerce, Tamarisk Coalition, The Nature Conservancy of Arizona, Town of Camp Verde, and Yavapai County.

VWRC invites all of you—our community, partners and friends—to join us for this inaugural event, and contribute to its success. Visit to see The Verde River: State of the Watershed event schedule, registration, and sponsor information. 

VWRC is a program of Friends of Verde River Greenway. VWRC in a collaborative effort uniting landowners, organizations and agencies in their common interest in the health of the Verde River Watershed. Friends of Verde River Greenway is a 501-C3 non-profit organization. Friends of Verde River Greenway restores, preserves and promotes the natural, cultural, scenic and recreational resources of the Verde River and its tributaries.