The voluntary donations you make every time to buy a product or service from One for the Verde businesses, help support the activities of dedicated organizations in the Verde Valley. They are all doing their best to restore and preserve the Verde River watershed – the source of the water we drink and our economic prosperity. Here are some examples of what these great folks have been doing on your behalf without One for the Verde funding. Imagine how much more can be accomplished with your help…just pennies at a time.
Through the River Restoration Program, the Friends of the Verde River Greenway work in collaboration with multiple partners, including government agencies, private landowners and conservation organizations to plan and implement floodplain and riparian habitat improvement projects within the Verde River Greenway. During the last three years, the Friends of the Verde River Greenway have worked on dozens of river restoration projects.
The Friends of the Verde River Greenway have also engaged hundreds of private property owners as active stakeholders in the mapping, identifying, removing and ongoing management of harmful invasive plants within the Verde watershed riparian zones.
Through a collaborative partnership with federal, state, county and local NGO’s , the Friends of the Verde River Greenway helped to create a 35 acre riparian zone nature preserve owned by the Verde Village Property Owners Association. The property had for decades been abused by off-road motorized vehicles and used as a dumping ground for large appliances, consumer electronics, mattresses, and domestic garbage. The preserve is now protected by motorized traffic mitigation methods and an active collaboration between the participating agencies, the property owners and local law enforcement authorities.
Originally organized in response to an act of Congress, the Verde River Basin Partnership provides the highest quality and most pertinent scientific knowledge regarding the flow of the Verde River. Most recently, the Verde River Basin Partnership worked with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) hydrologists (world-class experts with long-established expertise in groundwater modeling and Arizona hydrology) to run the Northern Arizona Regional Groundwater-Flow Model. The findings are deemed groundbreaking in setting a firm foundation for science-based policy development with regard to future water demands and resource management in the region.
Partnering with Friends of the Verde River Greenway, Verde Valley Land Preservation has been involved in habitat restoration and engaging private property owner participation in addressing issues of harmful invasive plant species in the riparian zones of the Verde watershed.
VVLP headed the Verde Village Property Owners Association Nature Preserve project.
VVLP works with private landowners on ways they can permanently preserve their lands as open space. These preserved lands protect unobstructed viewscapes, intact wildlife habitat and migration corridors, and natural hydrologic functions critical to the health of the Verde River watershed.
The Oak Creek Watershed Council conducted a field investigation during summer 2011 to try to identify E. coli source areas. Water samples were collected repeatedly before and during summer monsoon at several locations along the entire stream length, from tributary flow, and from springs that discharge to Oak Creek. All samples were tested for E. coli bacteria. Some of these samples were also tested for turbidity and nutrient concentrations.
The findings of the 2011 investigation support earlier studies some of which call for investigation of sediment E. coli reservoirs. A series of best management practices projects regarding recreational, agricultural, residential and commercial activities in the watershed is recommended, as are continued investigations into potential contaminant pathways including septic system leakage, dog feces concentrations, and sediment reservoir development and disturbance with emphasis on tracking and reducing sediment sources as a means of reducing the E. coli bacteria that are harbored in sediment.
Local groups have been working with landowners and conservation partners to protect sensitive places on the Verde River from development and keep them part of a working landscape.
The allocation and use of Verde River water has been at the heart of many issues concerning the ecological health of the Verde Watershed. Local leaders have been working with Verde River ditch managers to install automated ditch systems that efficiently deliver water to landowners while preserving more water for the river.
Decision-makers can now control upstream water use to create the water flow levels essential to spawning fish and cottonwood trees. The information has been turned over to cities, county officials, landowners and other water-using groups.
Progress also has been made to protect the springs at the headwaters of the Verde River as well. In 2008 a local family and other partners made an agreement in the form of a conservation easement that will forever protect 470 acres surrounding the headwaters of the Verde.