Verde River Blue Trail Kick-Off

Earlier this month I made my first trip to the Verde River in Arizona. Thanks to the generous support of the Walton Family Foundation, American Rivers is helping communities along the Verde to develop a Blue Trail, the water equivalent to a hiking trail.

We held our first meeting with the City of Clarkdale, The Nature Conservancy, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Arizona State Parks, Friends of the Verde River Greenway, and others to discuss plans to raise awareness about the river and the benefits it provides, build support within the community for its protection, and boost the local economy by providing important opportunities for residents and visitors alike to enjoy the river through recreation.

The Verde River is a unique and important resource in Arizona. In a southwestern state where perennial flowing water is rare, the riverside oasis of the Verde stands in stark contrast to the arid uplands through which it meanders.

The Verde begins its journey across central Arizona from a series of springs emanating from the Big and Little Chino aquifers, provides critical drinking water to many communities including Phoenix, and irrigators depend on water from the Verde to farm successfully. The river also provides outstanding recreational values, including boating, hiking, bird watching, and fishing.

Special thanks to Mayor Doug Von Gausig and Kim Schonek with The Nature Conservancy for a great two-day river tour and to our other partners who are shaping this blue trail in a way that will benefit their communities now and for years to come.

American Rivers looks forward to continuing our work on this blue trail together! Please check back from more information and updates on the Verde River Blue Trail.