March 1: The Importance of Beauty with Sandra Lubarsky

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Free Membership Meeting

“Beauty is a deep part of our evolutionary memory” 
– Dr. Sandra B. Lubarsky speaking at the Economics of Happiness conference in 2015. 

Oak Creek flowing with reflections of walls of Oak Creek Canyon. Photo courteous of Tom Bean Photography

Dr. Sandra Lubarsky to present on “The Importance of Beauty”

When: Thursday, March 1st 2018, 6pm-7:30pm

Where: Montoya Community Center, 245 N Thorpe Rd, Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Description: What is the meaning of beauty and how has this meaning changed throughout time? What does beauty mean to our culture?

Dr. Sandra Lubarsky states: “Beauty is not a mear, sentimental human opinion…it’s what we name those experiences of life that encourage and support freshness and zest so that life can continue.”

Join us on Thursday, March 1st as we hear from Dr. Sandra Lubarsky on the importance of beauty and how our disconnect with beauty is part of the story of how we have been talked out of caring for the natural world.

Sandra B. Lubarsky is a writer and retired professor whose research interests focus on the intersection of aesthetics and sustainability. She founded the master’s program in Sustainable Communities at Northern Arizona University and directed the Sustainable Development program at Appalachian State University in North Carolina.

We hope you can make this presentation that promises to be excellent on Thursday, March 1st.

February 1: How have Springs Responded to Fall 2017 Climate Phenomena?

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Clover Springs emergesfrom culvert under Highway 87, spring was burried by road construction, then flow was restored as part of Clover Springs Riparian Restoration Project, southwest of Clints Well, Coconino National Forest, Arizona

Public Meeting: How have springs responded to fall 2017 climate phenomena?

Thursday, February 1st
Montoya Community Center

Springs provide critical water resources for the ecosystems they support and the humans and wildlife that rely upon them. Climate change is putting pressure on these important natural features, especially in the arid Southwest.

How are these scenarios playing out in the Flagstaff region? Join us on Thursday, February 1st as we explore this question with a presentation by Dr. Abe Springer.

Dr. Springer, Professor of Hydrogeology and Ecohydrology in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability at Northern Arizona University, will discuss monitoring of regional springs to better understand recent climate phenomena. The monitoring includes traditional measurement of discharge at springs, and new innovative dye tracer studies. These springs, including Clover Spring (pictured above), are important water sources for humans and ecosystems alike.

We hope you can make it to this interesting talk! Read about some of Dr. Springer’s research with graduate student Casey Jones in this December 14th, 2017 article in the AZ Daily Sun entitled “Researchers find Grand Canyon’s underground water takes surprising paths.”

We look forward to seeing you this February!

Take the Rio de Flag Watershed Survey!

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What benefits do you receive from the Rio de Flag? What are the issues you face with the Rio? How do you use the Rio and where?

The Friends of the Rio de Flag has partnered with the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County to get your input on the Rio de Flag. Share your experiences by taking this survey on the City of Flagstaff’s Community Forum before January 19th.

All participants will be entered into a raffle to win cool prizes!

Click below to access the online survey, and thank you for participating!

Walk the Walk with Jack Welch!

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The new year is upon us, and Jack Welch is ready for you to join his walks! Start 2018 off right by joining Jack for his Walk the Walk series this January. Here is the schedule of walks for January! Don’t miss out!

Here are a few upcoming walks:


FRIDAY 5 DECEMBER 2018 – Walk Toward Spring

  • Start Location: Flagstaff Mall in the parking lot behind Sears next to the Mall Food Court Entrance
  • Time: 9:00 AM
  • About three total miles in and around that area. We can walk inside the Mall if the weather is really roiling, but that is always our last option. And please remember: the consumption of a Giant Pretzel is strictly forbidden during a Non-Festivus activity. And you shouldn’t eat one either.

SATURDAY 6 JANUARY 2018 – Babbitt Springs

  • Start Location: Parking Area next to the Upper Lake Mary Dam (second dam)
  • Time: 1:00 PM
  • A walk to a historical site – Babbitt Spring and Homestead Site. We haven’t been there in a while and a story about a recent Randy Wilson hike there peaked my interest. Will the weather continue to be warm and balmy? We would prefer some snow, but if it hasn’t arrived yet we’ll do this interesting hike. A Snow Shoe adventure is optional – weather dependent!

SUNDAY 7 JANUARY 2018 – WALK THE WALK with a snow shoe option – Weather dependent

  • Proposed John Wesley Powell Blvd Connection
  • Start Location: Old Ranger Station parking area on Lake Mary Road across from John Wesley Powell Blvd
  • Time: 1:00 PM
  • We’ll traverse along the Pulliam Airport runway and enter the woods leading to the FAA facility.

January 4th: Climate Change Research and Planning in Flagstaff

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Public Meeting: Climate Change Research and Planning in Flagstaff  

This photograph from 1920 shows a milking barn surrounded by water in Mormon Lake. It was among the evidence used by USGS researcher Richard Hereford to determine the lake’s historic depths for a study on how they are related to the local affects of global warming. (from AZ Daily Sun article)
NAU Cline Library Special Collections

Thursday, January 4th
Montoya Community Center

It’s no coincidence that Flagstaff experienced the driest fall on record in 2017. Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are insulating the planet and causing it to warm. The results of climate change, including increasing temperatures, drought, and wildfire, have led to adverse effects on Southwestern communities’ health and economies.

To start off the New Year, we invite you to learn more about local research and planning efforts on climate change at our January  membership meeting. We will hear from USGS researcher Richard Hereford who recently completed a new study linking Mormon Lake’s historic levels with climate change. Richard will share the methods and results of his studies and what these mean for the future of Mormon Lake.

We will also hear from City of Flagstaff Sustainability Specialist Jenny Niemann on the City’s newest endeavor to address climate change with the Flagstaff Climate Action and Adaptation Plan. Jenny will discuss the goals of the plan and how you can be involved.

We look forward to seeing you Thursday, January 4th!

Annual Membership Meeting (Potluck!)

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Annual Potluck Meeting

  • When: Thursday, December 7th
    • 6-7:30pm
  • Where: Montoya Community Center,
    • 245 N Thorpe

This year has been a big one for the Friends of the Rio de Flag and we want to share our accomplishments with you, the members of the organization.

Join us on Thursday, December 7th for our annual potluck! Meet members of the Board (if you haven’t already) and learn about our 2017 achievements. We will also host elections for Board of Directors.

Bring a friend and your favorite dish to share in this year’s feast!

Cast your Ballot for Board of Directors

When: Now until December 7th

Where: Cast your online ballot here! Voting is for members only.

What: Online voting for the reelection of four Board Members. To vote, please follow this link to the anonymous ballot. Voting is for members only. This online ballot will be available until 12AM on December 7th. In-person voting will be made available at the Annual Potluck on Thursday, December 7th. Board Member positions are three-year terms and are volunteer-based.

Take the Watershed Survey

Rio de Flag viewed from Stardust Road and north end of Rio Rancho and April Roads, Nov. 16, 2017, Doney Park neighborhood, northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona; Photo courteous of Tom Bean Photography

What benefits do you receive from the Rio de Flag? What are the issues you face with the Rio? How do you use the Rio and where?

The Friends of the Rio de Flag has partnered with the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County to get your input on the Rio de Flag. Share your experiences by taking this survey on the City of Flagstaff’s Community Forum before December 17th.

All participants will be entered into a raffle to win cool prizes!


Nov 2: What’s New with the Rio de Flag?

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Membership Meeting: Updates from the Board and City of Flagstaff Community Development

Thursday, November 2nd, 6pm

Montoya Community Center

Volunteers cleanup Switzer Canyon Wash at Foxglen in celebration of Colorado River Days on September 3rd, 2017.

As we gear up for the final months of 2017, the Board of Directors will dedicate the November membership meeting to updates on Rio de Flag happenings. Topics to be covered include:

  • Update on the Rio de Flag Flood Control Project Design with City of Flagstaff Community Development Department staff
  • Friends of the Rio’s Proposal for submission to the Flagstaff Open Space, Parks, and Recreation Campaign
  • Update on Rio watershed planning efforts including meetings with the City and County, watershed public survey, and plans for addressing environmental justice in the Southside Neighborhood with the Southside Community Association
  • Elections in December

With so many updates, you won’t want to miss this meeting!

We hope to see you on Thursday, November 2nd.


October Membership Meeting Cancelled, But Flagstaff Walks!

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Frances Short Pond along the Rio de Flag with a view of the Peaks in the background. Tom Bean Photography

Flagstaff Walks!
Flagstaff Community Market
Guide: Chelsea Silva,
Friends of the Rio de Flag Executive Director
Sunday, October 1st at 9am
Meet at Flagstaff Walks! booth at market entrance
The Friends of the Rio de Flag October membership meeting is cancelled due to temporary closure of the Montoya Community Center.
We will resume membership meetings in November (Nov. 2nd), but in the mean time join our Executive Director, Chelsea Silva, for a walk this Sunday, October 1st. Chelsea will lead a walk from the Flagstaff Community Market to Frances Short Pond. She will provide updates on the U.S. Army Corps Rio de Flag Flood Control Project Design and other Rio-related projects.
We hope you can make it out for a leisurely hike this Sunday!

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