Friends of the Verde River is pleased to announce the awardees of the River Friendly Living grants for projects in 2023. The grants are directly funded by businesses that are participating in the River Friendly Business program. Funding is made available to homeowners, businesses, and other organizations to implement conservation projects. Businesses and organizations can apply for up to $5,000; Homeowners can apply for up to $1,000.

More than thirty local businesses participated in the River Friendly Living program by donating proceeds from products, conserving water, and supporting healthy habitat. These businesses have made it possible to put more than $100,000 back into the community since the program in 2016. 

The goal of the grant program is to support homeowners and businesses in becoming more sustainable and efficient to maintain a healthy Verde River system. This year, the program was able to fund nine projects including rainwater harvesting, water efficiency, education, and trail building.

Grants were reviewed and selected by program participants and Friends of the Verde River staff. The Awardees for 2023 projects are:

  • Camp Verde Community Library received $2,800 for assistance with the purchase and installation of a 10,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system.
  • Smelter Town Brewery received $1,300 for the purchase and installation of a flow meter to accurately measure the amount of water used in beer production.
  • Verde River Institute received $1,000 for the instruction of a river-focused educational program aimed at creating additional stewards for the Verde River.
  • Verde Valley Trail Fund received $1,000 for an expansion to the Blowout Wash Trail System.  
  • Five Homeowner projects received a total of $3,900 for assistance with rainwater harvesting to reduce groundwater use at their homes.

“We are so grateful for the Friends of the Verde River grant that helped us purchase rain barrels for our home in the Rio Verde Foothills. We live just two blocks from Tonto National Forest and want to do our part to preserve the beautiful desert landscape. Little did we know how important those rain barrels would become as the water situation in our area became tenuous.  We are now using rainwater to soak dishes and water plants and have become even more conscious of how often our “taps” are open!  Thank you, Friends of the Verde River for all you are doing and all your support.” Jessica and Ross Mehlman, Rio Verde FoothillsTo learn more about the River Friendly Living program, and how to apply for grants, visit To make a general donation to Friends of the Verde River, go to

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