What We Do
Any river is really the summation of the whole valley. To think of it as nothing but water is to ignore the greater part.
What We Do
Listening to the Verde: Season 3 is Live
Listening to the Verde is designed to connect you to the people, places, nature, and culture of the Verde River! Tune in for storytelling, conversations, and more.
Thank you very much to our sponsors: Tierra Verde Builders, Salt River Project, Verde Valley STREAM, and APS. Additional support provided by: Arizona Community Foundation – Sedona and Arizona Humanities.
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Episode 1: River Friendly Living Principles Successfully Put Into Effect - S3 E1
December 8th, 2022
Hosted by Isaac Dudley, Flows Project Manager, featuring Anna May Cory, owner of Pines Inn & Suites and Darin Dinsmore, owner of TinyCamp Cottonwood Resort.
In this episode, they dive into River Friendly Living principles that were successfully put into effect at their properties and share valuable information for river stewardship.
Episode 2: Birding with The Armstrongs - S3 E2
January 12th, 2023
Hosted by Nancy Steele, Executive Director featuring Nanette and Rich Armstrong about all things birding!
In this episode, the group share stories about birding and the importance of the Verde River for birds, both local and migratory.
Episode 3: Discussion with Steve Ayers - S3 E3
January 26th, 2023
In November 2022, Friends of the Verde River received the Arizona State University Knowledge for Exchange Resilience Award.
This video features the reasoning behind the award.
Episode 6: River Friendly Living Certification - S3 E6
Mar 20, 2023
Isaac Dudley interviews two residents of the Verde Valley whose homes are River Friendly certified. Laura Jones and Michael Levick live in Clarkdale, AZ.
As a certification program, Friends will use River Friendly Living to recognize homes, businesses, farms, ranches, real estate developments, congregations, communities, and others* that do their part to protect the Verde River for future generations.
River Friendly Living Principles:
- Sustainable Water Supply
- Clean Water
- Healthy Uplands and Riparian Forests
- Connected and Supportive Communities
Episode 7: Water Quality with Cynthia Butler and Meghan Smart - S3 E7
May 18, 2023
Cynthia Butler, Water Quality Monitoring Technician, and Meghan Smart, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Community Science Coordinator, talk about the importance of water quality and how community members can help with monitoring.
Episode 12: Wildlife Corridors
August 8, 2023
US Forest Service wildlife biologist Janie Agayos talks with us about pronghorns, wildlife corridors, and grassland species in the Verde River watershed.
Episode 1: Cottonwood Officials Speak about the Verde River – Listening to the Verde S2 E1
November 4, 2021
Cottonwood Mayor Tim Elinski and City Manager Ron Corbin speak about the importance of the Verde River to the City of Cottonwood. Hear about threats facing the Verde River and learn about the future of river recreation and water management in the City of Cottonwood.
Maxwell Wilson, PhD, Sustaining Flows Program Manager – Friends of the Verde River; Ron Corbin, City Planner – City of Cottonwood; Tim Elinski, Mayor – City of Cottonwood
Episode 2: Creating the “New West” with Sinagua Malt – Listening to the Verde S2 E2
November 4, 2021
Sinagua Malt, located in Camp Verde, AZ, has developed an innovative approach to incentivising water conservation in the Verde Valley by using beer! By creating a market for low water use crops like barley, this local business helps keep millions of gallons of water in the Verde River. Listen in to hear about Sinagua Malt’s business model and how they hope to create a model for the “New West,” envisioning thriving communities that use water responsibly.
Episode 3: Fire on the Verde River and Fossil Creek – S2 E3
December 2, 2021
Janie Agyagos with the Coconino National Forest and Kelly Mott Lacroix with the Tonto National Forest explain the impacts of the Backbone and Rafael Fires that Arizona experienced during the summer of 2021. Learn about the diverse effects of fire in our habitat system, and hear about how the US Forest Service helps burned areas recover.
Tracy Stephens, Habitat Restoration Manager – Friends of the Verde River; Janie Agyagos, Wildlife Biologist – Red Rock Ranger District, Coconino National Forest; Kelly Mott Lacroix, PhD, Forest Hydrologist and Watershed Program Manager – Tonto National Forest
Episode 4: Inside a School Garden with Verde Valley School – Listening the Verde S2 E4
December 2, 2021
At Verde Valley School in Sedona, Arizona, a student-led garden program offers a look into the value and beauty of mixed crops and pollinator gardens. Farmer Mike takes us on a guided tour of the garden and tells stories of the impact it has had on the student population.
Episode 5: Mayor Panel Discussion on Water – Listening to the Verde S2 E5
February 3, 2022
Executive director of Friends of the Verde River Nancy Steele leads a discussion with a panel of local mayors about water in Sedona and the Verde Valley. Join in to hear from Sandy Moriarty, Mayor of Sedona, Robyn Prud’homme-Bauer, Mayor of the Town of Clarkdale, and Dee Jenkins, Mayor of the Town of Camp Verde.
Nancy L.C. Steele, D. Env, Executive Director – Friends of the Verde River; Sandra Moriarty, Mayor – City of Sedona; Robyn Prud’homme-bauer, Mayor – Town of Clarkdale; Dee Jenkins, Mayor – Town of Camp Verde
Episode 6: A Look Back in Time on Oak Creek
February 3, 2022
The Bill family has lived in the Sedona area for many years. Listen to their stories of raising a family near Oak Creek and hear some of their favorite memories. Hear the Bill family share about the crucial role of water in their lives, and listen to them explain some of the ways they are working to protect it.
Episode 7: The Upper Verde River with the Citizens Water Advocacy Group – Listening to the Verde S2 E7
March 24, 2022
The Upper Verde is one of the most threatened sections of the Verde River. From the headwaters of the Verde River to the confluence with Sycamore Creek, the flows of the river have declined dramatically since 1990. Join in to hear Gary Beverly, Chair of the Citizens’ Water Advocacy Group in Prescott, speak about the changes that he has witnessed over the years, the fate of similar rivers in Arizona, and how CWAG is working to keep the river flowing.
Maxwell Wilson, PhD, Sustaining Flows Program Manager – Friends of the Verde River; Gary Beverly, PhD, Chair of Citizens Water Advocacy Group & Chair of the Yavapai Group of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club
Episode 8: Wild and Scenic Coordinator Comments on the Verde River – S2 E8
March 24, 2022
The Verde River is one of only two designated Wild and Scenic Rivers in the State of Arizona. The second is Fossil Creek, which is a tributary to the Verde River. Join in to hear the Wild and Scenic River Coordinator discuss why these rivers are so important, and learn about the possibility of future designations.
Episode 9: Wildlife on the Verde River – Listening to the Verde S2 E9
April 14, 2022
Join in today to hear from Hannah Griscom, Wildlife Habitat Specialist for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and Tice Supplee, Director of Bird Conservation for Audubon Southwest. Enjoy learning about our critical local bird habitat and how it is impacted by conservation efforts in Arizona.
Tracy Stephens, Habitat Restoration Manager – Friends of the Verde River; Hannah Griscom, Wildlife Habitat Specialist – Arizona Game and Fish Department; Tice Supplee, Director of Bird Conservation – Audubon Southwest
Episode 10: Founding Board Member Shares History of Friends of the Verde River – S2 E10
April 14, 2022
Peggy Chaikin, founding board member of Friends of the Verde River, shares about some of the history of the organization and about what inspired her to become part of the Verde River conservation effort.
Episode 11: The Importance of Community – Listening the Verde S2 E11
May 5, 2022
Thomasene Cardona speaks about her role as a community leader. Listen in as she comments on her election to leadership positions and how she has worked with the community to support many causes, including river conservation.
Nancy L.C. Steele, D. Env, Executive Director – Friends of the Verde River; Thomasene Cardona, School Board Member – Camp Verde Unified School District & Former Council Member – Yavapai-Apache Nation
Mayor, City of Cottonwood
Tim Elinski was born and raised in Arizona, and spent his childhood along the banks of the East Verde River north of Payson. After spending time in the Pacific Northwest and Eastern Europe, Elinski moved to the Verde Valley and purchased his home in Old Town Cottonwood where he now lives with his wife Ruth Ellen, and two talented young daughters. Elinski has been an entrepreneur and licensed contractor for over 20 years specializing in historic restoration, and now manufactures vintage-styled travel trailers. His hobbies include restoring his own historic home with his patient wife, exploring forgotten-about dirt roads in distant corners of the state, and learning by doing. Elinski has served Cottonwood for 15 years as an elected official. He was instrumental in forming the Cottonwood Historic Preservation Commission, and formerly served on Cottonwood’s Planning and Zoning Commission. Elinski is a Fellow of the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership’s Flinn Brown Leadership Academy and currently serves on the Homeless Coalition Board of Directors.
City Manager of Cottonwood
Cottonwood City Manager Ron Corbin has almost 20 years of government experience. He joined the City of Cottonwood in January of 2019. He was with the City of Yuma, Arizona since 2014 where he served as the Deputy City Administrator, City’s Human Resources Director and interim Chief Information Officer. Before the City of Yuma, he worked as the Human Resources Director for the Town of Oro Valley, Arizona and the Deputy HR Director for Yuma County. Ron also experience as a Border Patrol Agent, a college instructor, a middle school science teacher and US Army Medic. Ron has a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Eastern Washington University and a Master of Administration from Northern Arizona University.
Mayor, Town of Clarkdale
Robyn is currently Mayor of the Town of Clarkdale. Robyn has also served on the Town of Clarkdale’s Planning Commission, Design Review Board, and Board of Adjustment.
Robyn is also a long-time member of the League of Women Voters, holding many positions including local and state president in California and Arizona and on the board of directors of the League of Women Voters Greater Verde Valley (Northern Arizona). And a co-founder and past chairperson of the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization. Robyn currently serves on the board of directors of the Clarkdale Foundation.
Robyn’s fun activities with the Clarkdale Downtown Business Alliance have been organizing and participating in the Clarkdale Downtown Block Parties, Clarktoberfest and the Clarkdale Car Show. Robyn has also been a part of a wonderful team of artists that put together the annual Made In Clarkdale art show and the Northern Arizona Student Art Show.
Robyn and her husband, Henri, have been residents of Clarkdale AZ since 1997. Robyn is the owner of her family’s business, ALCORA MARBLE, a custom bath and kitchen products business that has been located in Clarkdale since 1979 and owned by the Bauer family for 37 years.
Mayor, Town of Camp Verde
Born in Maryland, Dee Jenkins spent much of my childhood on a dairy farm in rural Chester County, Pa., moved to Flagstaff in 1980 and relocated to Camp Verde in 1997. Married to Clif Jenkins a retired residential and commercial General Contractor and native Arizonian. I am a mother to two sons and grandmother to two granddaughters. Past President of Northern Arizona Horsemen’s Association and past Treasurer of Doney Park Water Company in Flagstaff. Volunteered for many organizations including NAHA, 4-H, public and private schools and numerous Town of Camp Verde Events. Worked at W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. for 31 years as an Accountant, Financial Analyst and Plant Leader. Simultaneously, provided accounting and administrative support for husband’s contracting business. For the past 19 years employed by Quintus, Inc. of Camp Verde as their Financial Analyst, General Manager, Treasurer and current Chairman of the Board for Quintus, Inc. When I am not working or volunteering, I enjoy gardening, horseback riding, hiking, camping, taking walks and time with family.
Mayor, City of Sedona
I was born and raised in Seattle, Washington, where I graduated from the University of Washington with a B.A. in Economics. I moved to Sedona in January of 1972, when Sedona was a town of about 4,000, unincorporated, and split between two counties. I worked for the local branch of the Phoenix CPA firm, Walker & Armstrong, LLP, for 31 years, and I am now a self-employed accountant.
Soon after coming to Sedona, I became involved in getting Sedona incorporated. Sedona was already growing, and I thought we needed to make our own decisions rather than have Flagstaff or Prescott control our future. Incorporating Sedona was not an easy task, as state legislation had to be passed to allow us to incorporate across county lines. Voters finally approved incorporation in a December 1987 election, and in January of 1988, the City of Sedona became a reality.
I am proud to have been a member of the first appointed City Council. Meetings were quite different in those days, with no staff in place, no ordinances and no City Hall. By the time we turned things over to the first elected Council five months later, we had a City Clerk, a City Manager, a Police Chief, a sales tax and bed tax, a City Hall and a well-operating city government.
I have always followed City government in Sedona and over the years have volunteered for a variety of organizations and activities, including AYSO (youth soccer), Good Morning Sedona, Southwest Public Recycling Association and the Verde Valley Wine Consortium. I’ve found volunteering to be educational and rewarding, and I always find I get back more than I give. My philosophy is that if you want to see something happen, be a part of making it happen. Sedona is fortunate to have a robust and dedicated cadre of volunteers.
I am especially proud of being one of the “founders” of the City of Sedona, one of the founders of Sedona Recycles, and a founder of Sedona Winefest, which has become one of Sedona’s signature events. All of these were accomplished by working with many other dedicated, wonderful people who shared my goals. That is one of the most important skills I bring to my candidacy for Mayor. I will continue to work with others, including the other members of the City Council, to keep Sedona on the path to excellence.
The Nature Conservancy
Kim Schonek works with The Nature Conservancy based in Prescott, AZ. She is a long-time supporter of the Verde River.
US Forest Service
Janie has a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Management from Arizona State University. She has over 27 years of work experience with the US Forest Service as a wildlife biologist. Currently as the District Wildlife Staff, she is the sole wildlife biologist on a 550,000 acre district and is responsible for inventorying and monitoring rare birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, and plants; designing and implementing habitat improvement projects; managing area closures that protect species and habitat; conducting project effect analyses and developing design features and mitigations for over 100 special status species; coordinating with various agencies, academia, and NGOs in all above activities; and developing and presenting various environmental education programs, brochures, signs, and articles.
Friends of the Verde River Staff
Learn about Isaac Dudley, Tracy Stephens, Nancy Steele, and more at the Friends of the Verde River Staff Page.
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