Tag: Watson Woods Riparian Preserve

2022 Stage I Fire Restrictions

It’s that time of year again where we all start thinking about wildfires!  On Thursday May 5th, Yavapai County (and much of Northern Arizona) implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions. This is 10 days earlier than last year in 2021. The main restrictions as they relate to our local creeks and lakes are: NO smoking outside

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Watson Woods Riparian Preserve Showcase Video

In cooperation with the City of Prescott and the Prescott Chamber of Commerce, Prescott Creeks is pleased to present a video showcasing Watson Woods Riparian Preserve.  Join Michael Byrd, Prescott Creeks Executive Director, and others in this approximately 7 minute video to learn about Watson Woods Riparian Preserve – a rare and threatened cottonwood/willow forest

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2021 Bird Conservation

Important Bird Area Did you know that Watson Woods Riparian Preserve is part of the Watson and Willow Lakes Important Bird Area (IBA)? An IBA is a site that is small enough to be entirely conserved and differ in its character, habitat, or ornithological importance from the surrounding habitat. In the United States the Program

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The Corps Network – Watershed Restoration

Submitted to The Corps Network by Hannah Traverse on 07/07/2021  “Arizona is one of the driest states in the country. Water is precious here. This makes the watershed improvement projects completed by GEM Environmental Corps all the more important. Based in Prescott, AZ, the GEM Corps team was introduced to watershed restoration work in the spring

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Creeks Connect Community

Prescott Creeks is the featured non-profit in the June/July issue of Prescott Woman Magazine. In addition to the article, we had the distinct pleasure to participate in the Prescott Woman Podcast with Charles Matheus and Kelly Roberge. Read the non-profit feature and listen to Karen O’Neil, Bruce McKeeman, and Michael Byrd chat with Charles and Kelly about

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2021 Stage II Fire Restrictions

With no precipitation since May 14th when Phase I Fire Restrictions were imposed, restrictions are now being elevated to Phase II. Effective Friday June 11, 2021 the Prescott Fire Department (and much of Northern Arizona) are implementing Stage II Fire Restrictions.  Stage II fire restrictions are as follows: NO smoking outside of vehicles, outside of residential

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Emerging Conservation Professionals

Watson Woods Riparian Preserve is many things. Among other things, the Preserve is an important rest-stop and permanent home to Arizona’s wildlife. It is green space in the community. It is natural parkland with walking trails. It is a carbon sink absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It is a sponge and a filter holding

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New Mexico Thistle - Not a Weed - 📷 M Byrd

Is It a Weed?

As a part of the Prescott Creeks mission to achieve healthy watersheds and clean waters, we invest substantial effort into managing non-native, invasive plant species. Some people call them weeds. But what is a “weed?” Are those yellow flowers that pop up in your garden a weed? Are the pink, prickly things along the trail a

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Western Tanager - 📷 EF Sanborn

Watson Woods Riparian Preserve is for the Birds!

Did you know that Watson Woods Riparian Preserve is a key component of the larger Watson and Willow Lake Important Bird Area (IBA)? Riparian (streamside) areas like those at Watson Woods Riparian Preserve are unique environments. They occupy about ½ of 1% of Arizona’s total land area, yet approximately 75% of the state wildlife species

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2021 Stage I Fire Restrictions

It’s that time of year again where we all start thinking about wildfires!  On Friday May 14th, the Prescott Fire Department (and much of Northern Arizona) implemented Stage 1 fire restrictions.  The main restrictions as they relate to our local creeks and lakes are: NO smoking outside of vehicles, outside of residential yards, or outside

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Wildlife Imagery

You may have noticed all the fantastic wildlife imagery featured on the Prescott Creeks social media in recent months. Much of it has come to us courtesy of Everett Sanborn – a community volunteer who has proven quite handy with his camera. Among other activities, Everett has been photographing the bald eagles nesting at Lynx

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IMPORTANT BIRD SURVEYS

Important Bird Surveys in Watson Woods Riparian Preserve By:    Karen O’Neil(Prescott Creeks Board Chair 2010-2014) In 2005, the Watson-Willow Lakes Ecosystem Important Bird Area (IBA) was designated as the first Important Bird Area in Yavapai County by a group of Arizona scientists for National Audubon Society.  As a part of the ecosystem, Watson Woods Riparian Preserve was

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Release of American Kestrels

by: Dave Frechette, Prescott Audubon Society For the last few years, Prescott Audubon Society (PAS) has worked with Prescott Creeks to install and monitor nest boxes in Watson Woods Riparian Preserve for use by American Kestrels as part of an effort by the American Kestrel Partnership (AKP) and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD)

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50 Yrs at Watson Woods Preserve

We’re excited to share the news that Prescott Creeks has extended its lease for Watson Woods Riparian Preserve with the City of Prescott to the year 2045! The original lease had a 25-year term that matured on July 27th. The lease had a provision to extend for an additional 25-year term, thus continuing the collaborative

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Fire Restrictions

Effective June 3rd, 2020 at 8 a.m. until rescinded, the Central AZ Fire and Medical Authority and Prescott Fire Department Jurisdictions have implemented Stage II Fire Restrictions This is of particular interest and concern to Prescott Creeks as Watson Woods Riparian Preserve has experienced human-caused wildfires at least three times (1997, 2005, and 2007) resulting in

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Periwinkle (Vinca major)

Periwinkle (Vinca major) was first observed in Watson Woods Riparian Preserve in 2016. Since that time, Prescott Creeks has engaged volunteers in a multiple methods to control, and ideally locally eradicate the periwinkle from the Preserve. A recent effort is being viewed as a preliminary success. While the plant may be viewed a desirable landscape

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New Riparian Habitat in the Preserve

During this past winter, Prescott Creeks took the opportunity provided by the dormancy of Cottonwood trees and Willow shrubs to harvest pole cuttings for revegetation in the Preserve. Cottonwoods and Willows are members of the Willow Family, (Salicaceae) of which all members have an amazing ability to reproduce asexually. In the wild they grow along

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Mysterious Streamflow

In Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, Granite Creek and wetlands like the one pictured above filled with groundwater after months of drought. After decent monsoon rains, this past fall and early winter brought essentially no measurable precipitation until January 9th, 2018. To those who pay close attention to seasonal shifts and the ecological response to weather,

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Biodiversity & Invasive Plants

Nature loves diversity. A walk through a healthy Central Arizonan riparian (streamside) corridor would reveal a rich forest composed of ash, walnut, boxelder maple, hackberry, three to four different species of willow, three different species of cottonwood, and numerous species of shrubs, graminoids (grasses and grass-like plants), forbs, and aquatic plants. Each of these plants

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Saltcedar in Watson Woods

Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.), also known as tamarisk, is a large shrub native to the Eurasia and northern Africa that grows in arid to semiarid regions. Found only along waterways, saltcedar can spread rapidly and take over areas normally dominated by willows. Saltcedar does best in disturbed areas, which make up a majority of the riparian areas

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Preserve Infrastructure

If you drive along Highway 89 between Downtown Prescott and the Granite Dells, or if you spend much time in Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, you would have a hard time not noticing the construction project that has been occurring over the last several months. Last year the City of Prescott approached Prescott Creeks with plans

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Art in Nature

Expressive Arts in Partnership with Nature   “We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature – for we will not fight to save what we do not love.” – Stephen J. Gould, Evolutionary Biologist In early August this year Denise Incao, local artist and

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Monarchs Returning

Right on schedule, monarch butterflies are appearing in the Prescott area. A number of astute observers report seeing these familiar butterflies returning to their haunts in Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, along the Willow Lake trail system, and in monarch-friendly gardens throughout the community. Thanks to Suzanne Yoder for the remarkable video of a monarch laying

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Nesting Raptors

Prescott Creeks’ ongoing restoration efforts in Watson Woods Riparian Preserve continue to see results in stream and wetland function, willow and cottonwood planting distribution and growth (“recruitment”), and habitat quality. With the support of thousands of volunteer hours and your membership contributions and donations, what was once the town dump and gravel pit is now

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