Our Conservation Partner program brings together the collective resources of business conservation partners to raise funds to implement conservation projects across the Verde River Watershed. These conservation projects directly enhance the natural resources of the watershed which is essential to our community’s way of life.

The Problem

River Kayaking

The Verde River is a recreation destination.

The Verde Valley and the Verde River have always been prized to locals, but more and more it is becoming a destination for visitors from all over the region, state, and nation. With the influx of visitors, greater demands are placed on our local natural resources. The Conservation Partner Program allows local businesses and their customers, whether local or from out of town, to work together to help ensure that our natural resources are managed to the benefit of us all. Friends of the Verde River strongly believes that a healthy Verde River contributes to a healthy local economy.

The Solution

Oak Creek Watershed Partners

Conservation Partners

Our Conservation Partners are able to combine their efforts across the business community to contribute to conservation efforts across the watershed.

How It Works

Local businesses partner with their customers to contribute funds to the conservation program. Each business chooses it’s unique way of contributing. Examples include:

  • Portion of the cost of a bottle of wine or special flight of tastings
  • $1.00 per kayak rental
  • A special event may raise money through sales or raffles
  • A special item in the inventory is named “the Verde River item” and a portion of proceeds from that item goes to the fund
  • Customers are asked to round up at the register and proceeds go to the conservation fund

If you want to participate, and don’t find an idea here that works for you, talk with us and we’ll work it out. We can also put you in contact with similar businesses who can explain how they participate as a Conservation Partner.

One for the Verde - How It Works Diagram

Educating the Customer

We have window signs, point-of-sale displays and brochures that provide customer
notification. Most businesses put one at the customer entry and one near the cash register or check-out counter. This is all the notification you need. We do not expect you or your staff to explain the program to every customer transaction, unless they ask directly – which is rare.

Tax Deductions

Customer donations are not taxable to your business, so long as you pass those donations on. Your business cannot write off customer donations either. If you choose not to collect a donation from your customers, but make the donation yourself, then your business is entitled to the tax deduction.

Where does the Money go?

Become a Conservation Partner:

Businesses contributions go directly into a savings account used only for funding conservation, restoration, and education programs. Click here to make a donation.

Friends distributes contributed funds through an annual competitive grant cycle. Local conservation organizations, municipalities, and public land agencies submit applications to implement projects in support of a healthy Verde Watershed. A Selection Board, made up of participating business owners and community leaders, will choose the recipients.

Become a Conservation Patron:

One for the Verde’s operating expenses (mostly our coordinator position salary) will be paid for with grants and larger donations from patrons. Become a Conservation Patron to support program long term sustainability.

One for the Verde Staff and Advisory Board

Issac Wessel-Dudley, Business Development Coordinator

  • Isaac Wessel-Dudley, Business Development Coordinator

Advisory council Business Community Volunteers

  • Harry Sweet, Friends of the Verde River Board Member
  • Wendy Edwards, Apsey, Watkins and Diesel
  • Jeff Hendricks, Chateau Tumbleweed
  • Dan DiStefano, Clarkdale Kayak Company
  • Tom Taylor, Taylor and Huntly Financial Group

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