Sustainability at Parks & Rec

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The Fort Tuthill County Park Sustainable Water Management Plan (PDF) was developed through a collaborative effort by internal leadership and the community. The Plan provides a model and foundational tool for strategic water planning and coordination throughout Coconino County.

Water conservation continues to be an important factor in managing parks and recreation, and we are pleased to issue this project update, Implementation of Fort Tuthill County Park Sustainable Water Management Plan, Sept. 2021 (PDF), that showcases completed, pending, and priority projects.

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Invasive species, both plant and animal, impacts our parks and natural areas. CCPR holds occasional community weed pulls to target invasive weed species such as diffuse knapweed, Dalmation toadflax, and Scotch thistle. 

According to the Northern Arizona Invasive Plants website managed by Coconino County Cooperative Extension, "Invasive plants are aggressive spreaders and/or prolific reproducers, which can adapt to a variety of conditions and have few natural controls in their new habitat. The animals, birds, insects, and fungi that controlled them in their native habitat are absent. They are difficult to control or eliminate once established. In certain situations, such as over-grazed pastures, even native plants can become invasive." Check out their website to learn more about invasive plants in the area.

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Sustainable recreation is about providing recreational opportunities and activities that are ecologically, economically, and socially sustainable for present and future generations. The Arizona Office of Tourism and the © Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics have forged a partnership to promote sustainable tourism practices across Arizona’s spectacular landscapes and unique destinations. Read more at Appreciate Arizona

CCPR received a federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP) grant administered by the Arizona State Parks Board for trail construction, trail maintenance and to make sustainable improvements to the Fort Tuthill trail system. The contractor, Flagline Trails, provided sustainable trail design and implementation in key drainages, either by providing reroutes and moving the trail out of the drainages or building rock walls or drainage features. 

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Wetlands are marsh-like areas that are located in the zone between dry land and aquatic areas, including lakes and streams, where the water table is near the surface or the land receives water on a regular basis. They are characterized by wet soils, unique vegetation, and the availability of a consistent water source. Two natural areas in Coconino County, Rogers Lake and Pumphouse, help protect wetland ecosystems.

What makes wetlands so important? They serve human needs and support wildlife. In Arizona, they are especially important for sustaining our communities and natural resources. Wetlands serve people: Wetlands recharge groundwater to replenish our water supply. They act as nature's purification system as run-off is filtered into the groundwater aquifer. They help with flood control, acting as sponges that slow down run-off from storms and snowmelt. Wetlands support wildlife: They provide a specialized type of wildlife habitat that provides food and shelter to support resident and migratory species during critical times of their life cycle. They contribute to survival of the young (elk, deer, antelope, voles, and ducks) during dry years by providing food and shelter.

Read more about the loss of wetlands in the southwest at https://geochange.er.usgs.gov/sw/impacts/hydrology/wetlands/

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Coconino County Parks & Recreation hosted two bioblitzes at county natural areas. Read more about the activities at the 2015 BioBlitz at Pumphouse County Natural Area and the bird walk during the 2016 BioBlitz at Rogers Lake County Natural Area.

CCPR holds occasional community weed pulls to target invasive weed species such as diffuse knapweed, Dalmation toadflax, and Scotch thistle.

For upcoming volunteer opportunities, visit https://coconino.az.gov/1397/Volunteer.

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What makes a working landscape? The Diablo Trust published a booklet that introduces wild and working landscapes on the Colorado Plateau and in Coconino County. Read more at http://www.diablotrust.org/working-and-wild-lands

Coconino County Parks & Recreation is conducting a forest thinning project in Fort Tuthill County Park to increase forest health, to improve public safety and to reduce wildfire risk. Removal will be by hand and mechanical thinning. Read more at https://coconino.az.gov/1810/Fort-Tuthill-Thinning-Project.

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Curious how Coconino County Parks & Recreation Operations and Maintenance repurposes felled trees from hazardous tree removal? Check out this video, which showcases projects completed in 2020. The picture of this ramada at Rogers Lake County Natural Area shows how park staff upcycled felled trees at Fort Tuthill County Park during the building of the APS substation.