Friends of the Verde River works to restore healthy conditions to the Verde River system. We use many different strategies to tackle issues facing our river, including removing non-native invasive plants from riverside habitat. Read about some of the problems that invasive species of plants cause in this blog post. Our Arundo Free Oak Creek project works to remove invasive species, helping native plants grow and improving the river’s health. We are excited to announce that we have received a second grant to support this project from Forever Our Rivers!

The Arundo Free Oak Creek project sends out crews of field workers to remove invasive species. They target giant reed (Arundo donax) in an area that has been monitored for several years. Crew members also remove invasive plants such as tamarisk (Tamarix spp.), Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia), and tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima). By removing invasive plants from Oak Creek, a tributary of the Verde River, our field crews help restore natural conditions to the river, including returning flow patterns to their naturally occurring state, promoting the growth of native plant species, and protecting wildlife habitat.

Cutting Arundo
Habitat after Arundo removal

The 4Rivers Fund focuses on key tributaries to the Colorado River, including – of course – the Verde River, as well as the Dolores, Gila and Escalante rivers. These rivers flow through Colorado, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Forever Our Rivers has awarded us funding to continue our work in removing invasive species, with a special focus on protecting the rare Cottonwood-willow forests that grace our riverbanks.

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Penstemon Field Production Photo by Kate Watters