U.S. Senate action puts Rio de Flag Flood Control Project back on track

Posted on by

Arizona Business Daily• September 20, 2016

The U.S, Senate passed the Water Resources Development Act on Sept. 15 that reauthorizes the Rio de Flag Flood Control Project, authorizes funds for tribal wastewater certification, speeds up removal of invasive salt cedar trees, reduces Nogales’ financial burden for a sewage pipeline and speeds up reimbursements to tribes for water quality monitoring after a Gold King Mine spill.

“I am pleased that after eight years, we are finally on track to provide the federal funding needed for the Army Corps of Engineers to complete the Rio de Flag flood control project,” U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said. “This project, which has languished due to bureaucratic delays, is critical for the city of Flagstaff to mitigate potentially disastrous flood damage that could destroy land and infrastructure and directly impact the local and regional economy. I will continue to monitor the progress of this important project, and look forward to the completion of the Rio de Flag flood control project.” (read more…)


Upcoming Springs Inventory and Assessment workshops in Flagstaff, Arizona

Posted on by

Springs inventory and assessment workshop, October 13-14, 2016: The Spring Stewardship Institute (SSI) will host a 2-day workshop designed to inform and educate the public, students, government agencies, NGOs, and Tribes about springs inventory and stewardship. Participants will deepen their understanding of springs ecosystems, ecological integrity, natural and cultural resources, stewardship, restoration, monitoring, field data collection, and information management. The workshop consists of classroom presentations and discussions, as well as hands-on field inventory and assessment training each day. For more information visit http://springstewardshipinstitute.org/workshops/.

Free webinar, September 28th at 9am: SSI will also present the final results of their 2-year project to support provide land managers, researchers, and NGOs with comprehensive information about springs and springs-dependent species in the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Registration for this free webinar can be found here.

Trailheads: Do what you can as best you can — but do it

Posted on by

Arizona Daily Sun • April 16, 2016 • Special to the Daily Sun by Jack Welch

Do what you can as best you can was my mother’s most favored catchphrase. And that simple line is my mantra. Not being a perpetual spectator should be the steadfast goal of everyone. Especially, If you wish to carry forward a personal level of physical well-being.

Nonetheless, I eagerly watch the Olympics on television every four years. There’s something very special about being able to sit and see the finest athletes in the world perform at a level few of us will ever achieve. But witnessing their extraordinary accomplishments shouldn’t act as a deterrent to the physical ambitions of average folks. Their fantastic capabilities are reached through dedication, diligence and enthusiasm — qualities we all possess, but few choose to fully develop. We can all gain, however, positive results from emulating as best we can their dedicated pursuit of excellence.

You don’t have to be the best to do your best. And there’s nothing wrong with being second or even last. There is however, something very wrong about not being a participant. Choosing to sit at home in the comfort of a well-cushioned couch or in a stadium safely ensconced in a folding chair shouldn’t be our only option. (read more…)

Much thanks to Fred Phillips Consulting volunteers!

Posted on by

On July 12, personnel from Fred Phillips Consulting graciously volunteered their time to survey and brainstorm ideas for enhancing the I-40 wetlands area along the FUTS. Biologists and landscape architects from this award winning, local firm spent their time assessing resources and providing a preliminary sketch of how things might be better for this heavily used area.  The materials they provided are greatly appreciated and provide us all with a place to begin the conversation on how we want this area to look and perform.  We look forward to that conversation with all of our partners.  Many thanks from us to them!

I-40 Wetlands Vision Document

Please click on the image to download a larger version of this vision map of the I-40 Wetlands.



Big thank you to our guest speakers!

Posted on by

The Friends of the Rio de Flag is a local non-profit operating on a small, donations-based budget. We are extremely appreciative of our monthly guest speakers who volunteer their time and energy to share their knowledge and experience about the watershed with our group!

We thank Mindy Bell of STEM City and Gary Alpert with the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) for their informative presentation on August 4th, 2016 at Coyote Springs. Mindy shared her past experience as a science teacher doing outdoor, place-based education with students at the Flagstaff Arts & Leadership Academy, while Gary discussed his current insect sampling efforts to better understand the biodiversity supported by the springs. For more information about Mindy’s past work at the spring including student-collected data, please email deflagrio@gmail.com. To learn about her current work with STEM City, visit their Facebook page. If you would like to learn more about Gary’s insect studies with MNA, shoot him an email at garydalpert@gmail.com.

Thanks again to our wonderful guest speakers!

Member Meeting: Thursday, July 7th

Posted on by

Walk along the Rio de Flag with Coral Evans, City Councilmember

Thursday, July 7th, 6:00PM

Meet at the Bus Connection Center on Phoenix Ave.

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

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

Walk the Rio de Flag though the Southside neighborhood with City Councilmember Coral Evans and Friends of the Rio de Flag. Coral, who grew up in Southside, will explain some of the history here as we view areas flooded by recent heavy rains.

Volunteer Opportunity: Creating a Monarch Butterfly Way Station

Posted on by
Volunteer Opportunity 
 Creating a Monarch Butterfly Way Station
Sunday, June 26th, 8am-12pm
Picture Canyon, next to the Fire Department Training Center
Hello Friends of the Rio! Please see below for an awesome volunteer opportunity!
Request for volunteers from Boy Scout Tristan Meriwether here in Flagstaff:
After the monarch wintering area got hit by an unusual spring snowstorm that killed up to 50% of the population, this summer’s generations will need all the help we can give. Tristan was one of the Boy Scouts who completed his Bird Study Merit Badge thanks to the NAAS sponsored classes that Deb James led in 2014.

    My name is Tristan Meriwether and I am creating a Monarch Way Station for my Eagle Scout Service Project. I am working with the City of Flagstaff to create a food and shelter station for Monarch Butterflies and other pollinators whose numbers are rapidly dwindling. I am in need of volunteers to make this project a reality.

I have three work days coming up. The next one is Sunday, June 26th, 8am – 12pm.

Location: Near Flagstaff Wildcat Hill Wastewater Treatment Plant, 2800 N. El Paso Flagstaff Rd., Flagstaff, AZ 86004 (about a mile behind the Flagstaff Mall off of Route 66, right next to Fire Department Training Center).

Snacks and Drinks: Provided!

Wear: We’ll be moving dirt, so expect to get dirty; work clothes, work shoes, hat, work gloves, sunscreen.

Tools: Please bring shovels and landscaping rakes (not leaf rakes) if you can; if not, some will be available.

PHASE TWO: We will be planting seeds and placing erosion control cloth down which needs to get done before the monsoons start in beginning July. We have the following dates set to complete this work:

Tuesday, June 28, 8-10 am
Thursday June 30, 4-6 pm

Thank you so very much!

Tristan Meriwether

Rio Walk and Talk

Posted on by
Rio Walk and Talk
 David Mckee, Floodplain Inspector,
City of Flagstaff Stormwater Management Section
Thursday, June 2nd, 6:00pm
Frances Short Pond

Frances Short Pond along the Rio de Flag.                     Photo courteous of Tom Bean

During Flagstaff’s 2015 Make a Difference Day, community members gathered at Frances Short Pond to take part in various restoration projects. These volunteer efforts stimulated further interest and activity at the pond with a focus on restoration and recreational opportunities.

We invite you to join us this Thursday, June 2nd, for a walk and talk around Frances Short Pond with David Mckee, City of Flagstaff Floodplain Inspector. David will discuss current projects underway at Frances Short Pond, and visions for the future of the Rio de Flag and the Flagstaff Urban Trail System (FUTS) in the area.

Please join us at the Frances Short Pond on Thursday, June 2nd at 6:00PM. Access the pond by following N Aztec St. north until the road ends at a small dirt parking lot. Directions to the pond can be found here.

May 5th, 2016 Member Meeting Reminder: How I Came to Love Engineers

Posted on by

How I Came to Love Engineers  

 Allen Haden, Aquatic Ecologist and Project Manager,

Natural Channel Designs, Inc.

Thursday, May 5th, 6:00pm

Montoya Community Center

Rio de Flag has eroded a narrow basalt canyon at Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona

Rio de Flag has eroded a narrow basalt canyon at Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, Arizona, Photo courteous of Tom Bean

Predicting stream morphology allows us to assess and restore streams and ecological function. Please join us Thursday, May 5th, for a presentation by Allen Haden, who will give a brief primer on how we can predict stream morphology.

Allen is an aquatic ecologist with Natural Channel Designs, Inc. and has broad experience with aquatic habitats and stream systems in the arid Southwest.

We look forward to seeing you next Thursday, May 5th at 6:00PM at the Montoya Community Center. Enjoy the spring storms ahead of us this weekend!