[Source: Ron Dungan, The Arizona Republic]
The desert changes when you add water.
Plants flourish, and wildlife is drawn to the food and shade that they provide.
The Verde River is one of the few perennial rivers in Arizona, making it a vital resource for wildlife. You can learn about this important ecosystem during Verde River Days, Sept. 25 and 26 at Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood.
“Verde River Days is set up to appreciate and talk about the environment because the Verde River is such a unique environment in Arizona,” acting park manager Max Castillo said. “The Verde River runs year-round.”
The Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Salt River Project and other organizations will have exhibits at the event. More than 40 exhibits are planned. Activities include sand-castle building, pottery making, canoe rides and hikes. On Sept. 25, the park-admission fee of $7 per vehicle will be waived.
Visitors will be allowed to fish without a license during the event.
“We’ll have some catfish stocked in our lagoons, and there will be some fishing poles and bait available,” Castillo said.
There also will be food, Civil War re-enactments and live entertainment. The Arizona Vintage Tag a Longs, a club whose members are devoted to antique travel trailers, will camp in the park that weekend.
The Verde River Citizens Alliance will take people on canoe and kayak rides down the Verde River at 8 and 10 a.m. Sept. 26. The rides last about an hour and a half, and registration is required. Contact Marsha Foust at 928-634-8738.
Details: 928-634-5283, azstateparks.com.