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Imagine the Next 20 Years!

Submitted by November 10, 2010 2:32 pm

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Founded in 1990, it is hard to believe that Prescott Creek Preservation Association has reached its 20th Anniversary (and that I have been involved for almost three-quarters of those 20 years)!

As we celebrate two decades of restoration, preservation and celebration, we’ve had the opportunity to look back through Prescott Creeks’ accomplishments and remember those who made it all possible. Established on the initiation of the Granite Creek Trail (which is now at the center of the Prescott Greenways Trail System), the work of Prescott Creeks quickly grew to include the creation of Prescott’s first natural area preserve – Watson Woods Riparian Preserve – where we continue to implement ecological restoration efforts today. From there we stepped up to address challenges with the surface water quality in Granite Creek, its tributary creeks, and in Watson Lake.

Many partners have been involved in getting so much done. While we’ve been fortunate to secure grant contracts with agencies like the Arizona Water Protection Fund Commission, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Water Quality Improvement Program and the Arizona Department of Game and Fish Heritage Fund, foundations like the Yavapai County Community Foundation and businesses like Arizona Public Service, New Belgium Brewing Company and Fann Contracting also helped Prescott Creeks to achieve its mission. In addition to holding the long-term lease which is the foundation for protection of the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve, the City of Prescott has provided a small annual stipend for the last 10 years.

I must also recognize our membership, donors and volunteers – the backbone of Prescott Creeks. Member dues and donors  supply the fuel for Prescott Creeks – they are the ongoing support that allows Prescott Creeks to plan for and secure the grant projects that demonstrate positive change in our community. Volunteers are the engine! Thousands of community volunteers have participated in hands-on activities like collecting trash from creeks throughout the watershed, planting cottonwoods and willows, conducting monitoring and collecting water quality samples.

Our Fall 2010 Fundraising Campaign is underway now and it features images of the progress. The image above is from the postcard we sent to our general mailing list. We selected these two images to depict progress in the protection and restoration of our local riparian resources, as well as to demonstrate the amazing change that can occur in a short amount of time. The image on the left side of the postcard shows Granite Creek in March 2009 prior to the planting of native vegetation, while the right side of the card shows the same reach of the creek in September 2010. You’ll note the abundant willows and grasses. (While the lack of water in the right image may not be as picturesque as the left image, Granite Creek is naturally an intermitten creek and is often dry during September.) See more before and after images that did not qualify for the postcard.

We’re looking to the future, too and we are thinking about outcomes. What do we want our watershed and its community be like? What actions will we, as a community need to take? Who do we need to have involved in the process? We are excited about the opportunities and we hope you will be part of it. Just imagine what could be accomplished working together.

Donate, join and/or volunteer to help now. The next 20 years depend your support.

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