Solid science and proven techniques
The 4Rivers Fund is a trust seeded with a $1 Million contribution from the Walton Family Foundation. Annual grants will maintain ecological restoration gains made on the Verde, Dolores, Gila, and Escalante Rivers in Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.
Friends of the Verde River runs the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition. This year, both will work to maintain control of tamarisk, tree of heaven, giant reed, and Russian olive along two miles of Oak Creek. The work will create conditions to support cottonwood and willow habitat, which is important to migratory birds and the local community. The work creates jobs and provides training for military veterans and conservation corp members.
Gila River Restoration Partnership transforms river sections choked with invasive tamarisk trees into diverse forests where native plant and animal species thrive, like the Southwest Willow Flycatcher. This year, they will maintain an irrigation system on 30 acres to keep recent native plantings alive. They will also remove other weed species on 50 acres.
Grand Staircase Escalante Partners is a member of the Escalante River Watershed Partnership. They work together to continue cutting and treating Russian olive trees where they were previously removed, covering between 1,500 to 2,000 acres annually. They also monitor a third of the watershed each year for emerging weed issues and to see how native habitat is responding to the past treatments.
RiversEdge West is a member of the Dolores River Restoration Partnership. The partnership works to maintain 1,882 acres along the Dolores River where they have removed invasive tamarisk trees. The work to remove other weeds and establish native plants will improve habitat, stream health, and protect the $10 Million invested in the river over the last decade.
Our Community Grant Program funds projects working to connect communities to healthy rivers by improving either access or river health.
Four Corners Water Center runs courses and expeditions on the Rio Chama and San Juan Rivers. These trips bring the college and the community together to discuss water issues in the southwest. The conversations benefit from the diverse student body at Fort Lewis. Over 50% are students of color and 42% are native students from over 100 tribes across the US.
San Juan Citizens Alliance wants to connect the communities of Durango, CO and Farmington, NM through their love of the Animas River. They’re working to secure new, permanent boat launches near both towns, to develop a boating guide for the stretch of river, and to organize a community float from one town to the other.
River Science is using a low-tech process-based restoration technique to promote erosion and restore the water table along an incised section of Oak Creek near Canyon City, CO. As part of the project, they will remove and repurpose juniper trees that are invading bottomland habitat. Students from Canon City High School’s first-ever River Science Class will help monitor the project’s success.