Join Verde River ValCelebrate the River Concert 2014ley Nature Organization (VRVNO), Old Town Center for the Arts (OTCA) and our Sponsors (TBA) for the 3rd ANNUAL SINGER/SONGWRITER & PERFORMANCE POETRY COMPETITION AND CONCERT.

DEADLINE FOR ALL SUBMISSION(S) IS SEPT 9TH, 2016 CelebrateTheRiver-Application-2016


MAGIC OF MIGRATION with Dena Greenwood of Jay’s Bird Barn – Sedona

Saturday, AuMigratingBirds_3inchgust 20th  10a to 11:30a
Yavapai College – Clarkdale Campus- Bldg G Rm 106

REGISTRATION $15 per individual to help cover costs of instructor and venue.

To register  click here! if you need help please contact Jeri at 928-282-2202


VRVNO Comm & Events Mgr Job Description July 2016

The Verde River Valley Nature Organization (VRVNO) is seeking qualified professionals with experience in event planning, marketing and/or public relations for a Communications & Events Manager position.  VRVNO is a nonprofit organization that provides nature-based tourism and recreation opportunities to build connections with and promote stewardship of our natural resources.  The ideal candidate will be a dynamic and energetic individual with a passion for conservation, and an interest in building upon the foundation of the organization to expand educational programs and event offerings.

Candidate will report to the Board of Directors, and will be primary staff person for the organization.

Email  VRVNO.Info@gmail.com for a job description and application submission contact.

2016 VRVNO Events

Feb. 1 – Open Registration


Feb. 27/28 – Birding 101

March 19 – Verde River Runoff Race

April 2 – Riverfest Kickoff at Desert Diamond Distillery

April 6 – Verde Valley SciTech

April 21-24 – 16th Annual Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival

April 17-24For the Birds art exhibit At Manheim Gallery

May TBA – Interpretive Guiding and Communications Workshop

June 18/19 – Tilted Earth Festival

Aug. 20 – Magic of Migration

Sept. 23 – Celebrate the River Concert

Sept. 24 – Verde River Day(s)

Sept. 25 – Guided Canoe Paddle

VRVNO Board of Directors

RitaFaruki-Sweetwater-cropsmMichael Cosentino

VRVNO has some new members on our Board of Directors. True, they have been with us for a few months, but we want to tell you about them anyway. They are bringing a new vibrancy and energy to our organization. They have great ideas and are passionate about the Verde River Valley. Please send a huge welcome to: Michael Cosentino who keeps us grounded with great humor, Rita Faruki who was with The Nature Conservancy for many years, Ginger Lindquist, hula dancer and avid conservationist, Dennis Tomko who is returning after an absence of 2 years and Jim Whatley a long time lover of the Verde River Valley and its amazing river.  These five along with Harry Lampros – President, Susan Culp – Treasurer, Joe Spangler – Secretary and Bob Rothrock, the quintessential kayaker, are the governing force behind VRVNO and all that we stand for. Go here for more information about these extraordinary people. We are still looking for more great board members. If you are interested in our mission and making it happen, please contact us at VRVNO.info@gmail.com or call us: 928.300.3880.

Friends of Verde River Greenway Community Meeting


Come learn about the Friends of Verde River Greenway
programs that restore, preserve and promote
the Verde River and its tributaries.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Yavapai College M-Building Room 137
Community Presentations 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition : Anna Schrenk, Friends of Verde River Greenway

  • Riparian Habitat Restoration: 4 Years of On-the-Ground Work
  • Expanded Funding Opportunities
  • Pollinator Gardens, Cottonwood Nursery and More!

Sustainable Recreation: Communities Working Strategically

  • National Geographic GeoTourism: Susan Culp, American Rivers
  • The Verde Front: Chip Norton, Friends of Verde River Greenway
  • Camp Verde Master Plan: Steve Ayers, Town of Camp Verde

Verde River: Ground Water Program: Jocelyn Gibbon, Freshwater Policy Consulting

“Working Collaboratively for a Healthy Verde River”

VRVNO Announces Membership Drive!

VRVNO is growing and you can help! On September 28 we will begin our first membership drive. We invite you to become part of our mission to increase awareness of the amazing river and the valley we live in. Your membership will assist us in creating educational and recreational programs to increase awareness of the river and the valley and how we can protect it for your children and theirs.

Contributions are the life blood of a not for profit organization. Your charitable tax-deductible contribution will fuel the community programs and events that will help us help the valley we love. Your membership CAN make a difference!

If you are on our contact list, you will be receiving an invitation to become one of the first to join us in teaching Arizonans and the rest of the world about the valley you love.


“Celebrate the River” Concert

Celebrate the River Concert 2014We are only a few days away from the second annual concert celebrating our verdant Verde River Valley. Join us on Friday, September 25 – 7:00 PM at the Old Town Center for the Arts (OTCA) in Cottonwood, Arizona. Tickets are $15 adv, $18 door, $20 priority and can be bought HERE.

Musicians, artists and river advocates will gather for an evening of music, stories and awards for the 2nd Annual Celebrate the River concert. You will also be part of choosing the winner of our ‘Celebrate the River’ Singer / Songwriter contest. Verde River Valley Nature Organization (VRVNO) and OTCA are partnering with the Verde River Day Committee, Verde River Basin Partnership, Arizona Watchable Wildlife Tourism Association, City of Sedona, Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce and the City of Cottonwood to bring you the second annual kick-off event for the 27th Annual Verde River Day Festival.

The concert will not only feature the finalists of the Singer / Songwriter contest, but also a return of William Eaton and the professional musicians making up the annual ‘River Band’, along with John Ziegler, Allen Ames, Marianne Kremer-Ames, Claudia Tulip, Mary Redhouse, Will Clipman, Wendy Harford and JoAnne Agostinelli.

John Ziegler & Sally

Susie Beach Steps Down from VRVNO Board

Susie BeachSusie Beach, a founding member, and Board President since the inception of Verde River Valley Nature Organization has stepped down from the Board of Directors as of September 1, 2015. She will remain in an advisory capacity and also as co-chairperson of the Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival.

Susie has worked tirelessly, for the last four years, to get VRVNO up and running. Her leadership and guidance has been invaluable in the creation of VRVNO and its evolution to where we are today. We will miss her leadership and are very pleased to have her continue to be a part of VRVNO.

Susie's Parting Gift
Hand Blown Hummingbird Feeder Parting Gift

Susie and Barbie Hart have been putting together the Birding Festival for 15 years, turning it into a signature event in the Verde Valley. VRVNO was created to ensure the continuation of that event and to expand into other events centered around conservation, education and recreation in the Verde Valley. VRVNO, as the parent organization of the Birding Festival, is thrilled to have Susie continue to co-chair that event.

Susie is still exploring her new found freedom and is excited about the future of VRVNO. The VRVNO Board of Directors held a “Retirement” celebration at their monthly meeting on September 2nd for her. Susie may be leaving the board, but her legend will live on.


‘Celebrate the River’ Singer/Songwriter Contest!

Celebrate the River Concert 2014
Celebrate the River Concert 2014

Click here to download an application form.

The Verde River Valley Nature Organization (VRVNO), and Old Town Center for the Arts (OTCA) have put their heads together for another grand event featuring our verdant Verde River Valley, partnering with the Verde River Day Committee and Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce to bring you a kick-off event for the annual Verde River Day Festival. The 2nd Annual ‘CELEBRATE THE RIVER CONCERT’ will include a SINGER / SONGWRITERS CONTEST.  Last year OTCA and VRVNO invited our local Mayors and Verde River Valley organizations to present and enjoy the first annual ‘Celebrate the River Concert’. “It was very well attended, and many compliments received from the audience,“ stated Wendy Harford – Director of VRVNO, and William Eaton – Director of OTCA.

This year’s concert will not only feature a return of William Eaton and the professional musicians making up the annual ‘River Band’, but also include 3 finalists of this year’s ‘Celebrate the River ‘ Singer / Songwriters competition.  This competition is open to all ages and created to support outreach and stewardship of the Verde River.

The ‘CELEBRATE THE RIVER’ SINGER/SONGWRITER CONTEST is both a PERFORMANCE and SONGWRITING COMPETITION, all three finalists will be judged on performance and songwriting. Three selected finalists will perform on stage at the ‘Celebrate the River’ concert to be held Sept 25th at OTCA, as well as on stage at Verde River Day Sept 26th!  The audience of the Friday eve OTCA concert will select the Grand Finalist!

Applicants need to be aware that they have to pay all of their own travel and any stayover expenses related to the competition, and if they are selected as one of the finalists that they must be available in particular for the eve of the 25th and the day of the 26th to perform. The song submissions must  be about personal experience on or around the Verde River that will help others make a connection to the Verde River, its stories, histories and value. So not just a made up song about a river and stick ‘Verde’ in front of it.  Preference will be given to authentic lyrics created specific for this purpose.

Click here to download the application form and instructions for submitting your song(s). For more information on how to submit your song(s) please write Wendy at VRVNO.Info@gmail.com.  You may also write to VRVNO at PO Box 2224, Cottonwood AZ 86326 for an application.

Deadline for submissions will be Sept 11th. Selected performers will be notified no later than Sept 21st. and will be required to be available for sound check and performance the eve of Sept 25th and performance time TBA Sept 26th, both venues are in Cottonwood, AZ.  Finalists are responsible for your own travel and lodging.

For more information:  Old Town Center for the Arts: OldTownCenter.org. Verde River Day: VerdeRiverDay.com

Sustainable Economic Growth City of the Decade Award!

The Sustainable Economic Growth City of the Decade award is a tangible way to recognize communities who are embracing ‘smart growth’ and taking it seriously. Mayor of Cottonwood, Diane Joens played an integral part in the process by sharing the city’s sustainable initiatives with the award committee.

Read more about this award and its process on the posted PDF!Cottonwood_SustainableGrowthCity_GreenLvng_6-15