The Verde River Watershed Restoration Coalition (VWRC) presented awards during their annual VWRC Stakeholder’s meeting, held Thursday, December 7th, 2017.
Private Land Owner of the Year:
For our riparian restoration efforts to be most effective it is important to treat contiguous private and public lands at the same time. This year, George Groseta joined us as a private landowner partner in the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition. In addition to signing on for himself, he also encouraged his neighbor to join as well, which meant that we are able to treat even more property in the region. Both of their properties are adjacent to National Forest land, and though we haven’t treated these parcels yet, being able to gain access through private lands makes the evaluation of these properties much easier. Thank you George!
Partner of the Year:
Kate Watters, Agave Maria Botanicals
Kate is a true plant lover! This year she has enthusiastically taken the lead on the Verde Native Seed Coop introducing the Verde Valley to the importance of native plants and grasses. Kate lead our Native Seed Collection team this summer, training the staff, and leading them in the field to collect tons of native seed that can be grown out in local settings. Two of those team members have gone on to professional positions in the field of conservation. Kate has also lead volunteers in the planting of native grasses and pollinator gardens educating our community on the importance of local seed sources to the long-term health of the ecosystem. Thank you Kate!
Anna joined the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition six years ago. In that time, she has successfully deployed VWRC conservation crews across the Verde Watershed to restore more than 8,000 acers of riparian habitat. In addition, Anna has broadened VWRC from its initial focus of implementing the Cooperative Invasive Plant Management plan, to include the implementation of the Native Seed and Plant Cooperative, the Verde Outdoor Volunteer Network, Streambank Stabilization efforts, and Research, Monitoring and Adaptive Plant Management. Anna has mentored staff, trained crews and secured funding for this unique and groundbreaking program. Thank You Anna!
Volunteer of the Year!
Many of our volunteers like to get their hands in the dirt to battle invasive plants along the riparian corridor of the Verde River. Mynzah like many of them has volunteered to remove invasive plants and on other project that get you wet and dirty, like building check dams in Oak Creek, but he has also helped Friends with less glamorous volunteer task such as moving furniture for our new offices, and helping to ensure that everything is in place for us to be able to work for a healthy Verde River. It takes all kinds of volunteer skills to keep our river flowing! Thank You Mynzah!