May 3rd: Social Perceptions on the Rio de Flag

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Free Membership Meeting

People fishing and enjoying the water at Frances Short Pond along the Rio de Flag, Flagstaff. Photo courteous of Tom Bean Photography.

Chelsea Silva to present on results from the Rio watershed survey

When: Thursday, May 3rd, 6pm-7:30pm

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

Description: What are your experiences with the Rio de Flag? How often do you cycle or walk your dog on the FUTS that parallels the Rio? What are the benefits the Rio provides and some of its issues?

Join us on Thursday, May 3rd as we hear from Chelsea Silva, Executive Director with Friends of the Rio, who will share results from a survey of Flagstaff Area residents’ experiences with the Rio de Flag.

Friends of the Rio partnered with the City of Flagstaff and Coconino County to release this survey on the City’s Peak Democracy platform. Over 200 residents provided input through comments and placing points on a map to show recreation and restoration needs throughout the watershed.

Thank you to the Arizona Community Foundation for supporting this project!

Chelsea earned her Masters in Environmental Sciences & Policy from Northern Arizona University in 2016. During her studies, she began volunteering with the Friends of the Rio. She currently serves as an AmeriCorps STEM VISTA with the organization, working to build capacity through fundraising, partnership building, and event coordination.

May 16th: Community Forum on Private Wells

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Private Wells: Water Regulation, Perched Aquifers and Septic Impacts

Please click here to view the original press release.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – The Coconino Plateau Watershed Partnership (CPWP), the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Coconino County and County Supervisor Art Babbott are hosting a community forum, “Private Wells: Water Regulations, Perched Aquifers and Septic Impacts,” on May 16. The meeting will inform private well owners across Coconino County on how to better understand the relationship between private wells and septic systems in the region and how to protect their wells from contamination.

There will be presenters from the State of Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Water Resources, Northern Arizona University, USGS and others to discuss the responsibilities of the State and County regarding people’s water supplies.

Specific questions may be submitted ahead of time using the “Contact Us” link on the Coconino Plateau Watershed Advisory Committee website The link is located on the lower right of the Home Page. Questions should be submitted prior to Thursday, May 10 so they can be distributed to the presenters.

Attendees will also receive a copy of the Arizona Well Owner’s Guide.

WHO: Free and open to members of the public

WHAT: Community Forum on Private Wells in Northern Arizona: Regulations, Perched Aquifers and Septic Impacts

WHEN: 6 – 8:30 p.m. May 16.

WHERE: United States Geological Survey Bldg. #3

2255 N. Gemini Dr., Flagstaff, Ariz., 86001

For more information, please call Ron Doba, CPWP Coordinator, at 480-299-5764.




You’re Invited to NAU’s First Annual Student Water Symposium!

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You are invited to Northern Arizona University’s First Annual Student Water Symposium on April 19th-20th. The event offers both graduate and undergraduate students at NAU an opportunity to present water-related research and collaborate across disciplines, shaping them as the next generation of water policy-makers, managers, and stewards.

Moreover, the symposium acts as a venue to connect campus and the greater Flagstaff community through water by offering two evening events centered around the theme: The Wild & Scenic Rivers Act: 50 Years of Conservation & Beyond.

Thursday evening features a talk and presentation by special guest, Tim Palmer, author of Wild and Scenic Rivers: An American Legacy. Friday evening presents a screening of three short films by American Rivers followed by a panel discussion with river conservation professionals.

Both evening events are free admission to the public and promise to enlighten and inspire the audience.

Please visit their website details regarding evening events, a detailed list of featured panelists, and the student presentation schedule.

Hors d’oeuvres will be available at all events.


April 5th: Flood Justice, Social Vulnerabilities and the Southside Neighborhood

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Free Membership Meeting

Rio de Flag flowing in Southside after heavy monsoon thunderstorm, June 28, 2016. Photo courteous of Tom Bean Photography

Matt Muchna to present on flood justice

When: Thursday, April 5th, 6pm-7:30pm

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

Description: Urban flooding is a significant factor in the creation of social vulnerabilities in marginalized communities. With the history of segregation and current state of gentrification, flooding in the Southside Neighborhood is a matter of environmental justice for long-term residents.

Join us on Thursday, April 5th as we hear from Matt Muchna who will share insights from his master’s research in Applied Sociology. Matt completed his master’s degree in May 2016 and became involved with the Friends of the Rio de Flag in late 2017, leading as Project Manager under the EPA Environmental Justice Small grant awarded to the Friends in September 2017.

Matt Muchna was raised in Prescott, Arizona where he spent his childhood exploring local green belts and a petroglyph park. Matt pursued an undergraduate degree at Grand Canyon University and became interested in urban environments which led to a degree in Sociology.

Matt now lives in the temperate beauty of Northern Arizona where trail access abounds. A trail-runner sociologist, Matt combined his love of the natural and urban world through a graduate sociological study of the Rio de Flag flood control project and the social implications for the changing Southside Neighborhood.

Mark your calendars for this informative presentation!

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!

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