Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival 2015

The 2015 VVBNF was great, with an excellent attendance, good weather and a record number of species sited. The VVBNF leaders and committee would like to thank all of the participants and all of the volunteers for working hard to make this event an enjoyable success. To view the 2015 list of species observed, identified and recorded select [button link=”” newwindow=”yes”] 2015 Bird List VVBNF[/button].

The 2015 bird list finished with 202 species, breaking all previous annual records by 5.

Congratulations to Carl Tomoff’s group who wrapped up their BIG DAY with 92 species!

Nature Guide Academy–May 16 and 17–2015

Many people are expert in their areas of interest but lack the techniques to relate the information in an exciting, engaging way that leaves the participant feeling as if they had an experience. VRVNO’s goal is to foster appreciation and develop advocates for the Verde Valley by providing meaningful communications tools. This includes local business’s and employee’s that interact directly with our public. Hospitality and service industry’s, realtors, and really anyone who comes face to face with their customers can benefit from these techniques and the community information shared.

Sedona Hummingbird Festival – July 31-August 2, 2015

The Sedona Hummingbird Festival is always held the first weekend in August, when Sedona’s hummingbird population is highest and most diverse—5 or even 6 species instead of the usual 2—and with typically five times the number of hummers as in early summer. Thanks to Sedona’s high altitude of 4,500 feet, we escape the intense summer heat experienced in more southern parts of Arizona (more at the Sedona tab). August is also a “low season” for tourism in Sedona, so you’ll be able to take advantage of lower lodging prices. We’re working on securing deals from participating hotels and motels; see “lodging deals.”

Arizona is already well known as the top state for seeing many hummingbird species (a fact that Texas disputes, of course). People travel great distances just to see Arizona’s hummers. But Sedona also has Red Rock Country, and that makes it even more desirable to come here to see hummingbirds. Is there a prettier place in America to see hummers? We don’t think so! That’s the reason behind the tagline for the Sedona Hummingbird Festival: The Most Beautiful Place in America to See Hummingbirds.

Sedona Hummingbird Festivals were spectacular community events!  Residents and businesses were encouraged to include hummer-friendly flowers in their yard. Those lacking time or inclination for gardening put out feeders, especially beginning in June. By keeping the feeders filled and fresh, residents year after year see that migrants will reward their benefactors by returning—with friends and relatives—leading to ever-higher populations. In our dreams, the Hummingbird Society imagines feeders even hanging from the street signs, but that may not happen right away!

Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival

The 15th annual “Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival” is now open for registration.   Barbie Hart and Susie Beach, the leaders of this exciting and fun nature event, invite you to attend and enjoy the 2015 festival.  These two hard working ladies along with a group of dedicated volunteers produce this 4 day event each spring in the beautiful Verde Valley of northern Arizona.  Register to attend the event and sign up for field trips with expert birders, workshops and fun kids activities.  New this year is a scholarship offered to a young birder to attend an “American Birding Association Summer Camp” in Colorado.  Come and enjoy the Verde Valley.  It is a wonderful place to visit.[button link=”” newwindow=”yes”] To register and read more about the VVBNF Select Here[/button]

Photo provided by Vivian T. Nguyen.

Verde River Runoff 2016

The 2015 Verde River Runoff, a kayak and canoe race, starting at White Bridge near Camp Verde and ending at Beasely Flat, approximately 10 miles below Camp Verde was a good time. The event, sponsored by VRVNO in conjunction with the Town of Camp Verde is in its third year and there were 110 participants registered in 9 categories.  To see the list of all participants finishing the race and recording a race time,  Select HERE.   The first and 2nd place winners in each class received a medal and a $50.00 gift certificate to REI.

Previous year’s winners were:

Place Race Category Participants Race Time
1st Men’s Solo Kayak Jeff/James Johnson 1:42
2nd Men’s Solo Kayak Rob Hammerle 1:47
1st Tandem Canoe Juliane Viltone 2:02
Tandem Canoe Mathew Martz
2nd Tandem Canoe Michael Shaw 2:04
Tandem Canoe Tony Shaw
1st Men’s Solo Canoe Stephen Rutter 1:53
2nd Men’s Solo Canoe Jonathan Fuller 2:06
1st Men’s Inflatable Kayak Richard Ruth 3:11
2nd Men’s Inflatable Kayak Jon Vick 4:21
1st Women’s Inflatable Kayak Gail Pate 2:57
2nd Women’s Inflatable Kayak Brittany Kyte 2:59
1st Tandem Kayak Kyle Rafferty 1:42
Tandem Kayak Leith Eric
2nd Tandem Kayak Carri Vande Berg 2:08
Tandem Kayak Steve Buggy
1st Tandem Inflatable Kayak Holly Johnson 2:11
Tandem Inflatable Kayak Wes Johnson
2nd Tandem Inflatable Kayak Janet Fornear 2:50
Tandem Inflatable Kayak Jeffrey Fornear
1st Women’s Solo Kayak Melinda Hammerle 1:52
2nd Women’s Solo Kayak Julie Birkle 1:55
1st Women’s Solo Canoe Charmaine Galion 4:08

VRVNO on KAZM 780 AM Talk Radio

Verde River Valley Nature Organization Executive Director Wendy Harford and Board Member Bob Rothrock appeared as guests on Democratic Perspectives on KAZM 780 AM Radio. Host Steve Williamson and co-host Tino discuss tourism, recreation and education in the Verde River Valley with VRVNO team members. In addition to the unique recreational opportunity afforded by boating on the Verde River, several topics are addressed regarding multi-use impacts and access to one of the last free-flowing rivers in the state of Arizona.


Verde River Runoff 2015



Join us for the Verde River Runoff Event!

WHEN: March 28,2015     10:00 am – 3:00 pm

WHERE: White Bridge, Camp Verde, AZ

[button link=””] Register NOW[/button]

Susan Culp

VRVNO adds new board member-

The VRVNO Board would like to welcome a new board member–

Susan Culp is the principal of NextWest Consulting, LLC and has over 15 years of experience in natural resource management, research and policy analysis, conservation advocacy, community engagement, collaboration and coalition building, and issue and political campaign management in the Intermountain West. She currently represents American Rivers as their Verde River project coordinator. She also serves on the board of directors for the Verde River Valley Nature Organization, the Verde River Institute, and the AZLCV Education Fund.

Prior to starting NextWest Consulting, LLC, Susan was the project manager for Western Lands and Communities, a joint program between the Sonoran Institute and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, where she had oversight over research, analysis and tool development projects pertaining to state trust land management, smart growth and sustainable land use planning and development, and climate resiliency and adaptation planning.

Susan holds a B.A. in marine biology from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s degree in public administration and policy, with a focus on natural resources, from the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Business and Public Administration.


Saving Verde River might help save Arizona state parks.

CLARKDALE – Can a river be saved one oar stroke at a time.

Doug Von Gausig is banking on it, hoping if people get a kayaker’s-eye view of the Verde River, it can be spared from overuse.

He leads tours down a stretch of the Verde that is part of the state parks system, paddling up to a stand of grass for a close-up view of a ruby-spotted damselfly maneuvering his canoe to point out a black phoebe — “the river’s mascot” — flying overhead.

Select here for the full story at AZ Central.

“Jail Trail Cleanup”

“Jail Trail clean up” October 25, 2014

Friends of the Verde River Greenway,, held a big ‘Jail Trail’ clean up this past Saturday, October 25, 2014. Long time supporter Marsha Foutz of FOV was there to coordinate with a large team of locals.VRVNO was there to support our sister organization, with rakes and shovels and wheelbarrows and most worked right through till lunchtime cleaning up this beautiful, cottonwood corridor-ed river access trail.