Urban Waters Learning Network Award

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On February 16, the Urban Waters Learning Network announced that the Friends of the Rio de Flag will be awarded a 2021 Learning Network Expert Award in the category of Environmental Justice & Equity. The award is for our work during 2016-2018 to support education, dialogue, and coordination with Southside residents and community partners. Through surveys, public meetings, walking tours, and partnership building with the City of Flagstaff and Southside Community Association, Friends of the Rio de Flag helped residents plan for the future of their river after having suffered management-induced floods for decades. Ultimately, this work contributed to the success of the Southside Community Specific Plan, which received an award from the International Association for Public Participation.

This work was carried out primarily by Friends of the Rio de Flag’s former Executive Director Chelsea Silva, and our former Outreach Coordinator Matt Muchna. Their work was supported by Friends of the Rio de Flag members like YOU, who generously responded to appeals to fund their work during 2017-2018. As part of the award, Friends will receive $6000 worth of professional support for capacity building, communications, and design services or programs. Additionally, one student will be awarded a scholarship to the River Rally Conference, and $1,500 will be awarded to further their river related knowledge through specialized training.

This award-winning work was also the catalyst for our current collaborative watershed planning effort, which launched in 2020 when we received a Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant. In that effort, the Friends has led the effort to create the Watershed Alliance for the Rio de Flag (WARF).

You can read more about the award, and how we earned it, here: https://www.urbanwaterslearningnetwork.org/resources/centering-environmental-justice-to-strengthen-community-partnerships-oct-2020/. Please congratulate yourself for your good work!

River Rally Scholarship Awardee:
• Vicente Diaz graciously accepted the scholarship to attend the River Rally meeting. He is affiliated with three tribes and also is of Mexican descent. His thesis research is focused on ways in which federal conservation policies can be used to support the re-Indigenization of water resources.

Urban Waters Learning Network $1500 award for Training Awardees:
Both attended Natural Channel Design’s Stream Morphology workshop.
• Monica Pech Cardenas, PhD student in Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability. “I have over 5 years working with implementation and monitoring of mangrove restoration projects in Mexico on my master’s in marine biology and later work with mangrove restoration experts. That training in hydrologic restoration of coastal ecosystems was crucial to focus my research. Currently, I am a PhD student at School of Earth and Sustainability. I am aiming to address restoration of inherently connected ecosystems such as mangroves and rivers at regional and national level in Mexico. I have been doing bibliographic reviews about policies and management actions of rivers in the western US and Mexico under the direction of Dr. Denielle Perry, a water resource geographer. Because I want to help organizations and governments in my country to improve restoration practices, I need to integrate areas such as ecological engineering, hydrological restoration, and fluvial geomorphology in my research. I strongly think that implementing River engineering principles will give a powerful tool for being a future expert in the design of ecologically acceptable channels and structures for estuarine areas.”

• Vicente Diaz, MA student in Sustainable Communities, affiliated with Haulapai and Washoe tribes. His thesis is on using Wild and Scenic Rivers Act for Indigenous river governance. No prior experience with restoration.

Urban Waters Learning Network $6000 award for Capacity Building
• Brochures, Poster, and Logo Design, Potential upgrades to Pocketsights Virtual Tour

More upcoming events Spring-Summer 2021

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May 6

Ramon DC Alatorre of the City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program will lead this meeting 7:00-8:00 PM on Thursday May 6. This City has ambitious goals, and it ain’t gonna be easy. Over the next few days and weeks the plan will be revised in light of additional study and community feedback. Attending this meeting is an excellent way to ask questions and give live feedback to City staff.
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID:
859 6704 1282
Passcode:
207072
June 3
Jim David, the force behind the creation of Frances Short Pond from essentially a dumping ground, will lead a walk at the pond at 5:00.  He is aa former teacher at Flagstaff Jr High and the author of the bookJust A Teacher.
July 8
Trevor Henry from City of Flagstaff Engineering will lead a walk on the Rio de Flag from Bonito Street to City Hall at 5:00 discussing the changes in the channel with the upcoming flood control project.
August 5
Researchers from the Museum Fire project will lead a walk near Schultz Pass Road, showing how the possible flood events are monitored on the watershed.  Details to follow, especially as the monsoon season progresses
Sept 2
Tom Bean and Paul Beier from the Friends of the Rio board will lead a walk on the Sinclair Wash tributary of the Rio demonstrating how to use the new Rio app to discover cool places and plants on the Rio.

Thursday May 6 at 7pm Learn about and discuss the Flagstaff Climate Action Plan with Ramon DC Alatorre from Flagstaff Sustainability.

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Ramon DC Alatorre of the City of Flagstaff Sustainability Program will lead this meeting 7:00-8:00 PM on Thursday May 6. This City has ambitious goals, and it ain’t gonna be easy. Over the next few days and weeks the plan will be revised in light of additional study and community feedback. Attending this meeting is an excellent way to ask questions and give live feedback to City staff.
Meeting URL:
Meeting ID:
859 6704 1282
Passcode:
207072
You will get a LOT more from the meeting if you prepare by reading the draft Carbon Neutrality Draft Plan. You will learn that our emissions come from two sources that are cheap and easy to fix: burning fossil fuels for the electricity we use (about 32%), and gasses emitted in our landfill (about 10%). The other 60% will be much harder fix because the emissions come from vehicles (about 30%) and burning natural gas for space heating (about 25%), and the City can’t realistically force us to rip out our gas heaters nor can it ban gas vehicles. Probably the best we can do is require efficient electric heat pump systems on new buildings, encourage people to bike and walk, encourage housing to be built close to where people work, and hope that people gradually transition to electric vehicles as the auto industry shifts. No matter how you do the math, we will still emit GHGs, and getting to zero will require “sequestration” (pulling GHGs out of the air and storing them safely), which is much more expensive – and risky – than avoiding emissions. Expect to spend a half hour or more doing the math and thinking.
It’s called a Draft plan because your input can change the plan! Please read the draft plan, learn more on May 6, attend City Council meetings, fill out the feedback forms the city will put online, and otherwise engage in this important process.

Rio de Flag awarded 2021 Learning Network Expert Award in the category of Environmental Justice & Equity

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On February 16, the Urban Waters Learning Network announced that the Friends of the Rio de Flag will be awarded a 2021 Learning Network Expert Award in the category of Environmental Justice & Equity. The award is for our work during 2016-2018 to support education, dialogue, and coordination with Southside residents and community partners. Through surveys, public meetings, walking tours, and partnership building with the City of Flagstaff and Southside Community Association, Friends of the Rio de Flag helped residents plan for the future of their river after having suffered management-induced floods for decades. Ultimately, this work contributed to the success of the Southside Community Specific Plan, which received an award from the International Association for Public Participation.
This work was carried out primarily by Friends of the Rio de Flag’s former Executive Director Chelsea Silva, and our former Outreach Coordinator Matt Muchna. Their work was supported by Friends of the Rio de Flag members like YOU, who generously responded to appeals to fund their work during 2017-2018. As part of the award, Friends will receive $6000 worth of professional support for capacity building, communications, and design services or programs.
This award-winning work was also the catalyst for our current collaborative watershed planning effort, which launched in 2020 when we received a Bureau of Reclamation WaterSMART grant. In that effort, the Friends has led the effort to create the Watershed Alliance for the Rio de Flag (WARF). Over the last 6 months, many of us have attended some or all of the WARF’s seven virtual meetings, which will result in a watershed plan in June 2021.
You can read more about the award, and how we earned it, here:  https://www.urbanwaterslearningnetwork.org/resources/centering-environmental-justice-to-strengthen-community-partnerships-oct-2020/. Please congratulate yourself for your good work!
–Friends’ Board President Kathy Flaccus

World Wetlands Day 2021

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Water and Wetlands

The 2021 campaign highlights the contribution of wetlands to the quantity and quality of freshwater on our planet. Water and wetlands are connected in an inseparable co-existence

Website: www.worldwetlandsday.org

Hashtags: #WorldWetlandsDay #RestoreWetlands

Twitter Handles:  @RamsarConv @martharojasu1 Secretary General

FaceBook https://www.facebook.com/RamsarConventionOnWetlands

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ramsar_convention_on_wetlands/  

 

Nature Elevated: Benefiting Native Ecosystems of the Rio de Flag Watershed

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We want to hear from you as the watershed plan for the Rio de Flag is developed.
Please come join us for the third community Zoom event for the Rio de Flag watershed restoration plan:
Nature Elevated, where speakers Larry Stevens, Hannah Griscom, Paul Beier, Tom Whitham, and Max Taylor will present ideas and discuss the ecological communities of the Rio de Flag watershed
Register for the event by clicking on the poster below!!
 
The Explore the Watershed series is brought to you by the new Watershed Alliance for the Rio de Flag.
Learn more about the whole project here:

Join us for the Kickoff event Nov. 10 at 5:30pm: Understanding Our Changing Watershed

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Please come join us at the kickoff event, Understanding Our Changing Watershed, learn about the watershed from a wide range of perspectives, and then provide your public input on the upcoming watershed restoration plan! Teaser: there will be a cool interactive map.

Register for Understanding Our Changing Watershed here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAsfu2srDsiHtyYYWPC-5JBnO1iEQsRGZo6

Explore the Watershed brought to you by the new Watershed Alliance for the Rio de Flag. Learn more about the whole project here: watershedalliancefortherio.net

Parched: The Art of Water in the Southwest

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 This very cool art exhibit is on display and open to the public at the Center for the Arts, 2300 N. Ft Valley Rd. You can read more about the exhibit in an article that appeared in the Arizona Daily Sun on Sunday 11/1
Tune in to a virtual panel discussion with local water scientists on November 12 at 5 pm. Denielle Perry (one of our board members), Abe Springer, Colleen Cooley, and Julie Comnick explore the complex and conflicting issues surrounding water Here’s the Facebook post to get more information on the discussion or go to https://flagartscouncil.org/2020/05/parched/ for more information about the exhibit.