Through education, community involvement, and stewardship, Prescott Creeks promotes healthy watersheds & clean waters
By Julie Ann Baker
For three decades, Prescott Creeks, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has worked to benefit people and wildlife through protection, restoration, education, and advocacy. Established in 1990, Prescott Creeks promotes watershed awareness with programs and projects that enhance water quality and riparian habitat in Prescott.
Community involvement and stewardship are vital components of all the organization does. Prescott Creeks educates the community about important inter-relationships between people and creeks and works with the community to implement practical solutions to local creek-related issues.
The organizational founders constructed a nature trail (now known as the Downtown Greenway) that provides an alternative travel route and immersive nature experience in the heart of Prescott. The group later established the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve in the 126 acres of streamside habitat above Watson Lake.
One of the key activities for Prescott Creeks is the annual Granite Creek Cleanup. Since 2007 almost 6,500 volunteers have invested 14,700 hours of their time to collect fifty tons of trash and debris from the community’s waterways and trails.
“This annual event is made great by a community of volunteers, generous sponsors, and the City of Prescott!” said Michael Byrd, Executive Director of Prescott Creeks.
Prescott Creeks is involved in other activities such as watershed improvement to protect and restore surface water quality. Projects include green infrastructure to clean stormwater, construction of the Miller Creek Public Bathroom, and the CreekCare Stewardship Guide. And, In-Lieu Fee Mitigation on Granite Creek represents another component of ongoing wetland and riparian conservation work.
Opportunities for the active and vibrant network of Prescott Creeks’ community of volunteers is made possible by a group of people working behind the scenes. This includes an all-volunteer Board of Directors, a Professional Staff, and core administrative and field Volunteers. In addition to donations, support for Prescott Creeks comes from generous Cleanup Sponsors and Business Members.
To learn more about where to go or how to get involved, please visit the Prescott Creeks website at www.PrescottCreeks.org, volunteer for next year’s Granite Creek Cleanup on April 23, 2022, sign up for the Prescott Creekside E-newsletter, or visit Watson Woods Riparian Preserve where a quiet visitor might encounter a green-backed heron fishing the pond, a Mexican vole scurrying along runways under the grasses, or a common kingsnake winding its way through the branches of a toppled cottonwood. It can be magical!