Please join Friends in thanking our Verde River Exchange participants for their leadership and stewardship.

Four local businesses are helping lead the way on river protection in the Verde River Basin through their purchase of Water Offset Credits through the Verde River Exchange in 2017.

Page Springs Cellars & Vineyards, an inaugural and second-year participant in the Verde River Exchange, is a family-owned vineyard and winery that crafts fine Arizona wines. In 2017, Page Springs offset the water used to grow about four and a half acres of grapes on the banks of Oak Creek.

Caduceus Cellars & Merkin Vineyards, the other second-year participant in the Exchange, is a boutique winery with tasting rooms in Jerome and Cottonwood. They have reduced their water footprint this year through offsetting the water used at the Merkin Vineyards Tasting Room & Osteria in downtown Cottonwood.

Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, a park that offers the community a chance to see wild animals from all over the world, joined the Exchange in 2017. Out of Africa offset water used in its Tiger Splash exhibit as well as new habitat for “Totter the Otter.”

The Fish’s Garden, a family owned aquaponics business, is the other new 2017 participant in the Exchange. The Fish’s Garden offset the water used to produce both fish and produce in its cutting-edge Camp Verde greenhouse.

Launched in 2016 as a solution to pressure on the Verde River due to increased groundwater pumping in the Verde Valley, the Exchange program allows Verde Valley residents and businesses to reduce their water footprint through the purchase of Water Offset Credits. As a result of these four businesses’ participation in the Exchange, roughly 2,998,000 gallons (9.2 acre-feet) of water were returned to the Verde River and its tributaries this year.

Want to join the Exchange? Learn more about how to participate.

 The Verde River Exchange partners and funders include: Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Walton Family Foundation, the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust, and Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

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