Check out the schedule for the rest of October and November for the Walk the Walk series with our favorite Jack Welch! If you’ve never been on a walk with Jack, you’re missing out!
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.
Join Coconino County Supervisor Mandy Metzger in celebrating the Coconino County Rio de Flag FUTS Extension on November 3rd from 10:30am-12pm. This event will be held at the Coconino County Public Works Yard at 5600 Commerce, Flagstaff, Arizona.
We invite you to consider joining the Board of the Friends of the Rio de Flag (FoRIO). The functionality of any group is often related to the effectiveness and vision of the Board. Without the engagement of members on the Board, an organization often loses its capacity to meet its mission and commitments.
To that end, we invite you to consider either nominating another FoRIO member or nominating yourself to the Board. Board members commit to one 2 hour meeting per month and various follow-up information gathering, reading and thoughtful purposing in identifying the most critical task needed to be addressed by the Board and the FoRIO membership.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of yourself, why you are interested in joining the Board, and what skills you can contribute to the successful functionality of the Friends of the Rio.
The City of Flagstaff has partnered with several local organizations, including Friends of the Rio de Flag, Natural Channel Design, Inc. and Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, for this year’s Make a Difference Day service event on Saturday, October 22nd, 8 am – 12 pm.
We are in need of volunteers to complete a series of restoration and improvement projects at the I-40 Wetlands, a lush section of Sinclair Wash located along the Flagstaff Urban Trail System.
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Creating plant and bird species lists as part of a BioBlitz
- Planting willow trees
- Removing trash and debris
- Removing invasive species and excess vegetation
- Cleaning out a culvert to support increased water flow into the upstream wetlands
Don’t miss this opportunity to make a difference in Flagstaff with family and friends on Saturday, October 22nd from 8 am-12 pm at the I-40 Wetlands! Parking will be available near the site (near Sam’s Club) There will be a 7 am start for those interested in building a bird species list with local experts.
Please contact Maggie Twomey at MTwomey@flagstaffaz.gov or (928) 213-2144 to sign up to volunteer. Please bring a hat, reusable water container, work gloves, sturdy shoes, and tools (shovels). Waders would also be beneficial. Some tools will be provided. We will also provide water, coffee, donuts, and a pizza lunch.
Arizona Daily Sun • October 1, 2016
On Sept. 27, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, Friends of the Rio de Flag, and multiple other partners organized a Bioblitz at Frances Short Pond.
Stations were set up around the pond that collected information about water quality, aquatic insects, birds, plants and fish. More than 260 students from Marshall Elementary, Flagstaff Junior Academy, and Mount Elden Middle School measured the temperature and dissolved oxygen of the water, used microscopes to identify the aquatic invertebrates they caught, wandered the pond in search of common plants, used binoculars to spot ducks and red-winged blackbirds, fished for rainbow trout, and then pulled together what they learned by constructing a life cycle diagram of an organism of their choice. In the afternoon community members got the same chance to explore this unique ecosystem in their backyard while contributing to the survey data collection.
“The kids and families were super happy to be out conducting citizen science for such a special place in Flagstaff. Watching the binoculars focus in on mallards, coots and blackbirds, eyes grow wide at discovering beetles and bees, and screams of excitement catching their first fish- what a memorable day of science in its simplest form,” said Brenda Strohmeyer, Rocky Mountain Research Station supervisory biological science technician, and event co-organizer.
Valerie Brazzell, whose son Maddox, a 4th grader at Marshall Elementary, participated during the morning school period said “my son came home from school all excited and told me he had a lot of much fun. I decided to check it out too. We participated together in the afternoon session, had a great time, and learned a lot”.
Chelsea Silva, AmeriCorps VISTA watershed stewardship aide with Friends of the Rio de Flag and the City of Flagstaff, who was also in charge of the Plant ID station, said that everyone at her station was super engaged and excited to be part of this effort. “I can’t wait for next time” she added.
Moran Henn, Willow Bend’s executive director and one of the event’s co-organizers, concluded that the event was a huge success.
“This was a true multi-partner collaborative effort, held in conjunction with the Flagstaff Festival of Science,” she said. “I can’t thank our volunteers, experts, and helpers enough. They did such a great job and the result is hundreds of happy students, teachers, and community members who got to spend the day outside, learn about their local environment, and contribute to meaningful data collection and open space management.”
Additional event partners included multiple departments from the City of Flagstaff including Sustainability Section Open Space Program and Storm Water, The Museum of Northern Arizona, Grand Canyon Trust, AZ Game and Fish, local illustrator Zack Zdinak, and more. The event was made possible through a generous grant from the National Geographic Education Foundation and the AZ Game and Fish Heritage Grant.
Documentary: Lost Rivers
Thursday, October 6th @ 6pm, Montoya Community Center
“Once upon a time, in almost every industrial city, countless rivers flowed. We built houses along their banks. Our roads hugged their curves. And their currents fed our mills and factories. But as cities grew, we polluted rivers so much that they became conduits for deadly waterborne diseases like cholera, which was 19th century’s version of the Black Plague. Our solution two centuries ago was to bury rivers underground and merge them with sewer networks.
Today, under the city, they still flow, out of sight and out of mind… until now. That’s because urban dwellers are on a quest to reconnect with this denigrated natural world. Lost Rivers takes us on an adventure down below and across the globe, retracing the history of these lost urban rivers by plunging into archival maps and going underground with clandestine urban explorers.” – IMDb online film description
Join us at the Montoya Community Center on Thursday, October 6th at 6pm for a showing of this incredible documentary.
We look forward to having you! Popcorn will be provided (please bring a cup or bowl to enjoy a serving!).
Walk and Talk to Frances Short Pond
Saturday, September 24th at Wheeler Park
This year, the Festival of Science theme is “Change”. Join Board Member and Vice President Deb Noel for a walk and talk from Wheeler Park to Frances Short Pond at 10:30am during Science in the Park. Deb will lead participants in a discussion of the changes we see in the Rio de Flag throughout the year, and how we can document those changes through photography and other forms of technology.
Meet Deb in Wheeler Park during Science in the Park at 10:30am on Saturday, September 24th for a walk to Frances Short Pond. We look forward to kicking off the Festival of Science by focusing on the theme of “Change” within the Rio de Flag watershed. Click here to share this event on Facebook.
In celebration of the Flagstaff Festival of Science, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, and the Friends of the Rio de Flag will be organizing a BioBlitz at Frances Short Pond.
A BioBlitz is an opportunity for students, teachers, and the general public to work in collaboration with biologists, naturalists, and scientists to complete a formal survey or a biological inventory of the plants, animals, and other organisms that live in a particular place within a 24 hour time frame.
Between 3pm-6pm community members will be invited to collect important scientific information about water quality, insects, birds, plants, fish, invertebrates and mammals at established stations. Between 6-7pm guest experts will be giving short presentations and providing opportunities for the public to ask questions about the pond, its history, wildlife, and plans for the future.
The event is made possible through a generous grant from the National Geographic Education Foundation and is free and open to the public.
See Willow Bend’s event post for location and contact information regarding the event.
They will be removing invasive weeds (primarily kochia and diffuse knapweed) from the Rio de Flag channel and maintaining the trail to the Watchable Wildlife Site.
Please bring stury shoes, sun protection and a reusable water bottle. If possible, please bring work gloves and hand tools for yourself, or to share.
Questions? Contact Betsy Emery at BEmery@flagstaffaz.gov or (928)213-2154. For more information, visit the Facebook Event page.
Walk and Talk at Sinclair Wash and the I-40 Wetlands
Thursday, September 1st at 5:30pm
A surprisingly deep canyon cuts through Flagstaff and opens up unto a constructed wetland area at Interstate 40. I am, of course, referring to Sinclair Wash and the I-40 wetlands, a section along the Flagstaff Urban Trail System frequented by families, students, and wildlife alike.
Join us Thursday, September 1st at 5:30pm for a leisurely walk along Sinclair Wash from Willow Bend to the I-40 wetlands. Several speakers will join us to discuss current and future restoration projects, urban wildlife, and research at the wetlands on the effects of endocrine disruptor chemicals on amphibians.
Please meet and park vehicles at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center. If the lot is full, additional parking is available at the nearby sheriff’s station. We will walk from Willow Bend downstream to the I-40 wetlands. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a filled water bottle.
We look forward to another summer walk and talk September 1st!