What makes the Prescott area so special? The great music and art? Yes, we hear you! The perfect climate? Without a doubt. The wonderful, walkable downtown? Hundred percent. But what about the ribbons of green that wind through town, the creeks that support big shade trees, provide wildlife habitat, and create cool recreation areas, right in town?
Prescott Creeks are also one of the organizations that have made life in Prescott better for over 30 years now… a group that is quietly and diligently protecting and restoring those natural waterways, educating us on the vital interrelationships between us and the creeks, and advocating to preserve the natural areas that make Prescott the cool, green haven it is for birds, wildlife, and humans alike.
Today we are excited to talk with Prescott Creeks Executive Director Michael Byrd, former board president Karen O’Neill, and current board member Bruce McKeeman.
Karen, a retired nursing instructor, is an avid birder, as you will hear. She got involved with Prescott Creeks in 2004, and served on the board for 10 years, 2 of those as president. She’s been actively involved with the Prescott Audubon Society as well, working on numerous bird surveys. Karen continues to support Prescott Creeks as a donor and volunteer.
Bruce spent his career working in a number of roles in the National Park Service. His education in biology, forestry & recreation management prepared him to work with natural and cultural resources throughout the U.S. and even in other countries like Georgia and Jordan. After retiring to Prescott, Bruce joined the Board to help protect & restore the Watson Woods Riparian Preserve and educate people on the necessity and value of our wild areas.
And Michael, the sole paid employee of Prescott Creeks, is their jack of all trades, working directly with donors, developing education programs, pulling on his waders to assess creek health, and getting dirty planting trees. He’s been director of Prescott Creeks for 22 years, parlaying his senior project at Prescott College into his dream career.
I met Michael when I brought groups of volunteers to the big restoration project that turned a section of Granite Creek that had been degraded by gravel mining and neglect into a thriving creekside forest that actually helps purify the water running into Watson Lake. The Watson Woods Riparian Preserve is a perfect, close-by location for a cool hike and a quick getaway from our busy, growing city.
Stay tuned for a lively discussion of how Prescott Creeks is keeping us green, making it easier to get outside and enjoy our natural treasures, right in the heart of downtown, and working toward a sustainable future. Find out why Prescott is here and not someplace else, how many creeks Prescott has [you’ll be surprised], and how you can get in on the joy of taking care of them.