The Friends of the Rio de Flag is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose goal is to protect, restore, clean up and improve the Rio de Flag and its tributaries to maximize their beauty, educational, recreational, and natural resource values, including the riparian habitats they provide.

Where is the Rio de Flag anyway? Click here to see a 3D image of the Rio watershed.


Watershed Planning Discussion: 1/5/2017 Meeting Minutes

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Last Thursday we had an excellent turnout for our discussion on watershed planning for the Rio de Flag watershed. A big thanks to all of our attendees and to Mayor Coral Evans for joining the discussion! To view meeting minutes please follow this link.

Rio de Flag Project Receives Reauthorization Funds of $102.9 Million

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City of Flagstaff • January 3, 2017 • News Release

FLAGSTAFF, AZ – On December 10, 2016, the Rio de Flag Flood Control project received $102 million in reauthorization funds from the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000.)

This new $102.9 million reauthorization for the project was recently sent to the President for his signature. As an authorized project the Rio de Flag construction funds may be received which indicates the project will be completed in the next five to seven years.

A significant flood event would directly affect more than half of Flagstaff’s nearly 70,000 residents and would result in damages to approximately 1,500 structures valued at over $450,000,000. Implementation of the City’s Downtown and Southside Redevelopment Initiative are entirely dependent on the completion of the Rio de Flag Project. In addition to flood damage reduction, other benefits include elimination of mandatory flood insurance and restrictive floodplain management regulations.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (USACE) feasibility report proposes to contain the 100-year flood event through construction of 1.6 miles of flood control channel improvements, a 72-acre detention basin, property acquisition, utility relocations and three new bridges.

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See the original news release here.

January 5th – UPDATE: Special Guest Mayor Coral Evans to Join Discussion on Watershed Planning for the Rio de Flag

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Frances Short Pond with San Francisco Peaks, along the Rio de Flag, Nov. 5, 2015, Flagstaff

Membership Meeting: Watershed Planning for the Rio de Flag

Friends of the Rio Board of Directors

Thursday, January 5th at 6pm

Montoya Community Center

In 2017 the Friends of the Rio de Flag will begin watershed planning for the Rio de Flag. These efforts cannot happen without collaboration with key stakeholders including local government agencies, landowners, and the community.

Please join us on Thursday, January 5th as we seek input on and brainstorming for watershed planning of the Rio de Flag. As a small nonprofit organization, we rely on volunteers to achieve our major organizational goals. We invite your ideas and your skills in creating a viable plan for the Rio de Flag. UPDATE: We are honored to have Mayor Coral Evans joining us for this important discussion. 

We hope to see you at the Montoya Community Center at 6pm on Thursday, January 5th! Please bring a friend!

Happy Holidays from the Friends of the Rio Board

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With the blanketing of the peaks in snow and the days of 2016 counting down, we write share our accomplishments with our FY 2016 Annual Report. Although we’ve been working in the community for over ten years (with official nonprofit incorporation in 2010), this is the first time we’ve had the capacity to release an annual report. We owe it to our supporters that we are able to grow as an organization and expand our efforts to protect and promote the Rio de Flag through education, outreach, and restoration projects.   

Thank you for your support!  

This year we will focus on two major projects. First, we aim to draft a Rio de Flag Watershed Plan in collaboration with local government and nonprofit entities and with input from the community. Second, we seek to expand the Adopt-the-Rio de Flag Stewardship program.

Please consider giving a gift this season! All donations are tax deductible. Last year we raised over $2,000 and we hope to double this amount to $4,000.

Donate today!

We also accept donations by mail. Please send your gift to Friends of the Rio de Flag, P.O. Box 151, Flagstaff, AZ 86002

Thank you for your support, and happy holidays!

Friends of the Rio de Flag Board of Directors
Rick Miller, Board President
Deb Noel, Vice President
Tom Bean, Treasurer
Malcolm Alter
Bryan Bates
Kathy Flaccus
Hannah Griscom
Allen Haden

December 1st @ 6pm: annual potluck meeting

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Rio de Flag sign on Thorpe Ave. bridge, morning after first snow of season, Nov. 5, 2015, along the Rio de Flag and FUTS trail, Flagstaff

Rio de Flag sign on Thorpe Ave. bridge, morning after first snow of season, Nov. 5, 2015, along the Rio de Flag and FUTS trail, Flagstaff. Photo courteous of Tom Bean

Another year passed, and another potluck by which to celebrate our accomplishments! Please join us on Thursday, December 1st for a report out from the Friends of the Rio Board members. We will share our past accomplishments along with our future goals as we carry on the mission of the Friends of the Rio to, “promote the Rio de Flag’s natural stream system as a unique and valuable natural resource, an asset, and amenity to the City of Flagstaff and the surrounding community.”

Please join us for a 2016 report out to membership at 6pm on Thursday, December 1st at the Montoya Community Center. Bring along a friend and your favorite dish to share in this year’s feast!

November meeting with Tom Whitham follow up: dig a little deeper

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Click the icon above to open the article in a new window. Copyright High Country News

Click the icon above to open the article in a new window. Copyright High Country News

Thank you to Tom Whitham for his fascinating presentation on creating a plant genetic repository for the future of Arizona ecosystems. We invite you to delve deeper into Tom’s discussion through this June 2015 High Country News article “Tree of Life” by Cally Carswell. The article features Tom and his colleagues’ work with the idea that, “to save the most species, conservationists might do best to save the common ones they depend on.” Thanks again, Tom, and enjoy the read everyone!

November 3rd @ 6pm: Free monthly meeting

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Combining Science and Restoration of the Rio de Flag: Creating a Genetic Repository for the Future

Thursday, November 3rd @ 6pm

Montoya Community Center

Riparian restoration on the Rio de Flag in Cheshire. Cottonwoods, willows and aspen about 15 years after planting (foreground not planted) - Photo by Tom Whitham

Riparian restoration on the Rio de Flag in
Cheshire. Cottonwoods, willows and aspen
about 15 years after planting (foreground not
planted) – Photo by Tom Whitham

Riparian restoration efforts provide the combined benefits of improving ecohydrological health and beautifying unhealthy habitats. Community members and scientists alike have conducted restoration efforts throughout the Rio de Flag watershed, using techniques specific to addressing watershed needs in the present and in the face of climate change in the future.

Please join us on Thursday, November 3rd as we are joined by Tom Whitham, Regent’s Professor at Northern Arizona University. Tom will discuss his restoration efforts along the Rio de Flag and how these have created a genetic repository for the future.

We look forward to having you Thursday, November 3rd at 6pm for a presentation and discussion of science and restoration of the Rio de Flag.


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