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.

From Ditch to Greenbelt: reclamation of the Rio de Flag in Cheshire

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From Ditch to Greenbelt: reclamation of the Rio de Flag in Cheshire

Thursday, August 2nd, 5:30pm – 7pm

Meet at the NW section of the Museum of Northern Arizona’s parking lot.

Dr. Peter Price inspects a young willow tree he planted along the Rio de Flag in Cheshire. Photo by Tom Bean Photography

Ephemeral rivers only flow during large storm events such as summer monsoons. As such, these dry corridors are often perceived as and even treated as nothing more than ditches.

On Thursday, August 2nd we will discover how Regents’ Professor Emeritus Peter Price transformed the “ditch” behind his house into a flourishing riparian greenbelt. Dr. Price’s teachings at Northern Arizona University focused on insect ecology, entomology, and biological evolution.

Dr. Price will guide us along the Rio de Flag in his neighborhood where he planted willows and other plant species. These plantings create a vibrant area and provide shade for visitors and habitat for wildlife.

The restoration of ephemeral rivers builds awareness and recognition of these places as assets rather than unsightly burdens.

We look forward to seeing you next Thursday for a relaxing hike. Meet at 5:30pm at the northwest corner of the Museum of Northern Arizona’s parking lot (3101 N Fort Valley Road).

We are suggesting a $5/participant donation for this guided hike.

***Thank you to the Museum of Northern Arizona for providing parking for this event! Thirsty Thursday will take place at the museum following this hike (6-8pm). The cost is $6/person or free entry for museum members***


July 28th: Cleanup Our River!

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July 28th: Cleanup Our River

8AM-11AM at Foxglen Area (south on 4th Street)

Recent floods have carried large amounts of trash and debris throughout the community. Join us to cleanup the Foxglen area which got covered in trash after last week’s storms.

Coffee and breakfast provided. Gloves, trash pickers, and bags provided.

Bring your own water bottle and coffee mug. Note: there is not a restroom on site for this cleanup. Please plan accordingly.

Meet at the end of 4th Street driving south (as if headed to the Coconino Humane Association). See map:,-111.6057563,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!6m1!1s1l-GFZIemhY7-cf4PzfqfUS1-9bPYWyOA?hl=en&authuser=1

July 24th: Moving People and Water Workshop and Tour

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Public Workshop
Creating Solutions to Address Transportation and Stormwater Issues in the Southside

More information at


4:30pm to 6:30pm Neighborhood Tour (Please RSVP to Carlton Johnson at or call (928)213-2615 to save your spot)
6:30pm to 7:00pm Dinner and Presentation by staff
7:00pm to 8:30pm Break out Group Discussions about:
1. Street Design and Transportation
2. On and Off Street Parking
3. Future Transportation Scenarios – Lone Tree Extension to Route 66, Milton Road BNSF Bridge expansion, and expansion of the Downtown Transit Connection Center
4. Stormwater/Flooding Management and Facilities

July 17th: Trail to Tavern with Mountain Sports

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Do you enjoy hiking? What about hiking followed by complimentary pints from our favorite local brewery?

Join us on Tuesday, July 17th at Mountain Sports, 24 N San Francisco Street

3 pm Hike
Meet at Mountain Sports Flagstaff at 3pm for a guided hike with Friends of the Rio de Flag. Join us for an informative walk along the Urban Trail with details on local ecology and history.

5pm Music, discounts and FREE beer
Following the hike, return to Mountain Sports
Enjoy music by Railery, FREE beer from Mother Road Beer and 20% off all Toad&Co purchases.
Friends of the Rio de Flag will also be in house sharing information about their organization and mission to protect, restore, clean up and improve the Rio de Flag.

June 29th: Rio Cleanup with United By Blue

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Rio Cleanup with United by Blue on June 29th

Date: June 29, 2018

Location: Rio de Flag
5000 – 5324 Historic Route 66
Flagstaff, AZ  86004

Time: 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Join United by Blue,  Peace Surplus, the City of Flagstaff, Friends of Rio de Flag, and Natural Restorations  for their first ever joint waterway cleanup in Flagstaff, AZ! This cleanup is one of 20 that United by Blue is co-hosting nationwide this summer, from June-August, to establish community partnerships between their specialty retailers, conservation or municipal partners, and volunteers.

Join us as we contribute to the cleanup, restoration, and education work that the Friends of Rio de Flag and Natural Restorations do to keep Rio de Flag healthy and beautiful all year round. We will clean up trash and debris along the shoreline of the river, preventing it from flowing downstream and harming wildlife along the way. Kick your weekend off right with an evening of cleaning, games, and protecting the Rio de Flag ecosystem!

United By Blue provides all cleanup supplies, snacks, and drinking water. Please wear sturdy shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty or wet. Learn more about the cleanup calling 215-278-7858 ext. 4 or by emailing

Thank you hikers and guides!

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Hikers enjoy a guided hike at the Rio (I-40) wetlands, the first hike of our summer walk series

Michael Rotter, PhD candidate at Northern Arizona University, leads a guided hike at the Rio (I-40) wetlands on urban ecology. All photos courteous of Tom Bean Photography.

Thank you to all the hikers who joined us last night, Thursday, June 7th, at the Rio (I-40) wetlands! We hope to have you along again for the rest of our hikes that will occur this summer each month.

Thanks also to Michael Rotter, PhD candidate at Northern Arizona Universtiy, and Allen Haden, aquatic ecologist with Natural Channel Designs, for leading this informative hike.

All hikes are posted to this website and our Facebook page. Please consider signing up as a member (it’s free) to receive notifications about hikes directly to your inbox.

June 7th: Guided Hike at the Rio (I-40) Wetlands

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June 7th: Guided Hike at Rio (I-40) Wetlands

The Rio Wetlands as seen from a high point in Flagstaff, Arizona. Photos courteous of Tom Bean Photography.

Guides: Michael Rotter, NAU PhD Candidate; Allen Haden, Natural Channel Designs
Date: Thursday, June 7th at 5:30pm
Where: Meet at southwest corner of Sam’s Club Parking Lot

The Rio Wetlands as seen from a high point in Flagstaff, Arizona. Photos courteous
of Tom Bean Photography.

Urban wetlands support an incredible variety of plant and wildlife species while
also providing recreationists with a chance to enjoy nature within city limits.

Mike Rotter examines an insect at Leroux Springs during his 2016 field season.

On Thursday, June 7th we will uncover the often overlooked world of urban ecology
through a guided hike at the Rio (I-40) Wetlands with Michael Rotter. As a PhD candidate
at Northern Arizona University, Michael studies plant-insect interactions through
the lens of an evolutionary ecologist. On Thursday, Michael will discuss the importance
of urban wetlands in supporting habitat for local flora and fauna.

Co-leading the hike will be Allen Haden, aquatic ecologist at Natural Channel Designs, who will provide insight about the unique hydro-geomorphological characteristics of wetlands. Allen will shed light on how local communities build and sustain wetlands in Arizona for a range of purposes beyond wildlife habitat. Allen currently serves as a Board Member with the Friends of the Rio.

We look forward to seeing you next week for a great hike! Meet at 5:30pm at the
southwest corner of the Sam’s Club parking lot.

We are suggesting a $5/participant donation for this guided hike.

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