Category Archives: Calendar

May 2nd – Restoration Projects with the City of Flagstaff

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with Ed Schenk, Stormwater Project Manager

A walk to look at restoration potential at Cheshire Pond

Thursday, May 2nd, 2019 from 5:30pm-7:00pm

Meet at the Northwest corner of the Museum of Northern Arizona’s parking lot. Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather of the day.

Wetlands near Cheshire Park, along Rio de Flag, Flagstaff, Arizona

The Cheshire Pond Dam was built in the 1950s as a fishing pond. The dam location was likely selected to take advantage of the natural gorge that drained the Cheshire meadow before the neighborhood was developed. The resulting pond has rarely been managed, most recently by the Friends of the Rio as a wetland restoration on the fringe of the pond. The pond currently fills during monsoon rains and snowmelt but can dry completely in the early summer.

Ed Schenk, with the City’s Stormwater team will provide an overview of past activities at the pond and potential restoration and monitoring options including dredging the core pond to provide perennial surface water, wetlands plantings to increase biodiversity, and citizen science potential to engage the community in local watershed protection initiatives.

Ed Schenk is a project manager with the City of Flagstaff’s Stormwater team. He has lived in Flagstaff for the last 4 years with additional hydrology and geology work at the Museum of Northern Arizona and the National Park Service. Ed was a research scientist with the USGS for the decade before moving to Arizona with river restoration experience in more than 10 states. He has a Master’s from Indiana University and over 30 publications on river, wetlands, and estuary ecosystem function.

Amenity benefits from recharging the C-aquifer: a year-round stream in the heart of Flagstaff!

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with Paul Beier

Thursday, April 4th, 2019

6:00pm-7:30pm

Montoya Community Center

245 N. Thorpe Road

The City of Flagstaff is currently considering potential new release sites for our reclaimed water, with the goal of recharging the C-aquifer that supplies the City’s water supply. This creates an exciting opportunity to create a year-round stream 1-2 miles long in the heart of the City!

Join us on Thursday, April 4th to learn about the amenity benefits from the four release sites under consideration. Paul Beier will describe the City of Flagstaff’s “groundwater recharge feasibility study” and the potential benefits to the Rio and its tributaries – and the people who love the Rio.

The speaker, Paul Beier, is Regents’ Professor of conservation biology at NAU. He is best known for his work on design of wildlife corridors, animal movement, and systematic conservation planning, and his studies of mountain lions, deer, owls, and goshawks. He is former President of the Society for Conservation Biology, and currently Secretary of the Board of the Friends of the Rio.

March 7th: Springs Restoration on the Colorado Plateau

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Thursday, March 7th, 2019

6:00-7:30pm

Montoya Community Center, 245 N. Thorpe Road

Cerissa Hoglander has her Masters in Environmental Sciences & Policy and has worked with the Grand Canyon Trust since 2013.

After record-breaking snowfall on February 21st, 2019, many Flagstaffians are feeling pretty confident about the 2019 water supply and the beautiful Rio de Flag flowing through town.

But how do our riparian communities sustain themselves during the drier parts of the year?
Precious water from thousands of springs across Arizona provide are critical, sustained flows for our riparian systems.

We hope you can join us on Thursday, March 7th as we hear from Cerissa Hoglander, Land Conservation Program Manager with the Grand Canyon Trust. We’ll learn about her important work restoring springs on the Colorado Plateau.

Learn more about Grand Canyon Trust’s focus on water.

February 7th: Keeping Our Forests Clean and Healthy through Volunteerism

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Presentation by Tom Mackin, Friends of Northern Arizona Forests

Thursday, February 7th, 6:00PM – 7:30PM

Montoya Community Center, 245 N Thorpe Rd.

The Friends of Northern Arizona Forests (FoNAF) gather for a photo opp at Rosilda Springs. Photo from the the FoNAF website.

With high elevation comes snowy winters in the Flagstaff area. Locals enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and quite walks among ponderosa pine and the occasional gambel oak. 

With snowy winters comes plastic sleds. Unfortunately, these disposable, flimsy sheets of plastic which bring so much joy to their users for one day often end up as broken bits of litter in our forests.

Flagstaff residents have taken action to address the mess.

The Friends of Northern Arizona Forests (FoNAF) is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to assisting the resource management agencies in maintaining, protecting, and restoring the natural and cultural resources and the scenic beauty of our forest lands for the enjoyment and use of present and future generations. FoNAF assists the Forest Service and other agencies on tasks that these agencies do not have the staff or funds to accomplish.

On Thursday, February 7th we will hear from Tom Mackin, FoNAF Board President. Tom is a retired Technical Specialist with the Coconino County Sheriff’s/Flagstaff Police Department who has spent over 35 years volunteering with various agencies.

Tom will share FoNAF’s successes over the years and help members learn how to get more involved with their projects, from sled cleanups to fencing projects and more. 

January 3rd: Annual Potluck and Board Elections

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Please join us on Thursday, January 3rd for our annual potluck! Meet members of the Board (if you haven’t already) and learn about our 2018 achievements. In addition, the City of Flagstaff Water Conservation Program will provide an introduction to their current strategic planning process.

We will also host elections for Board of Directors. Vote online now  or in person at the potluck. 

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

December 7th: Mountain Sports Gives 10% to Friends of the Rio

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Friday, December 7th: Mountain Sports Gives 10% to Friends of the Rio de Flag

Need to pick up some outdoorsy holiday gifts? Make sure your gift counts! Save your purchases for December 7th (First Friday) at Mountain Sports when the shop gives 10% of sales to Friends of the Rio.

We will have Arizona-themed Christmas ornament making, mulled wine and hot cocoa, and a “Tour de Rio” through photography from 6-8pm.

The Friends of the Rio de Flag is a nonprofit that works to protect and restore the Rio de Flag for the benefit of Flagstaff.

Support your river and shop with us on December 7th!

Mountain Sports is located at 24 N San Francisco Street in downtown Flagstaff.

Nov 1st: Wet/Dry Mapping and Recreation along the Rio

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Wet/Dry Mapping and Recreation along the Rio

Flow Monitoring Crew poses at Frances Short Pond before heading out to collect data along the Rio de Flag on May 19th, 2018.

When: Thursday, November 1st, 6:00p-7:30pm

Where: Joe Montoya Communter Center, 245 N Thorpe Road

Friends of the Rio has been lucky to mentor several interns and NAU student-led projects in 2018.

Join us on Thursday to hear from these individuals. John Leary, NAU Masters in Environmental Sciences & Policy student, will share his work on wet/dry mapping of the Rio de Flag. John helped developed protocol for wet/dry mapping in Flagstaff and worked closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality to organize a citizen science event that engaged volunteers in collecting data along the Rio. John will share maps and camera footage that help us better understand flow regimes of the Rio de Flag.

We will also hear from Casey Langstroth, Victoria Hess, and Ryan Turley, three NAU undergraduate students who worked as a team to collect observational user data on two segments of the Rio de Flag. The intent of their project was to document how many users use the FUTS trails during sample periods.

Please join us this week to hear about the great work being done by these NAU students.

October 4th: What’s Up with the Friends of the Rio?

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Public Meeting: What’s Up with the Friends of the Rio?

Attendees at a workshop focused on stormwater in the Southside Neighborhood discuss the future of the Rio de Flag in their neighborhood with City staff. The meeting was co-hosted by the City of Flagstaff and Friends of the Rio de Flag.

What: Public Meeting

Where: Montoya Community Center, 245 N. Thorpe Road

When: Thursday, October 4th, 6:00-7:30pm

Friends of the Rio de Flag has been busy over the last year. Join us October 4th to learn more about where we are at and where we are headed.

Last fall, the Friends received and EPA Environmental Justice Small grant aimed at building partnerships and gathering information in the Southside Neighborhood where the Rio de Flag and localized flooding have caused issues for generations.

As our EPA grant wraps up, we are preparing to receive a WaterSMART Cooperative Watershed Management grant from the Bureau of Reclamation. The WaterSMART grant will help us gather input from key stakeholders and the public for a watershed restoration plan.

Join us to learn about these projects and how you can be involved moving forward! Presenters include Chelsea Silva and Matt Muchna.