Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Friends of the Verde River

Working collaboratively for a health Verde River

aka Friends of the Verde River   |   Cottonwood, AZ   |  http://www.verderiver.org

Mission

Friends of the Verde River works collaboratively to restore habitat, sustain flows and promote community stewardship to support a healthy Verde River system. We envision a healthy, flowing Verde River and tributaries that support our unique environment, vibrant economy, and quality of life for future generations.

Ruling year info

2012

President, Board of Directors

Delbert "Chip" Norton

Main address

PO Box 2535

Cottonwood, AZ 86326 USA

Show more addresses

Formerly known as

Friends of Verde River Greenway

EIN

45-2927355

Cause area (NTEE code) info

Natural Resource Conservation and Protection (C30)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Verde River is 190 miles of flowing water—one of Arizona’s last living rivers. The river supports in-stream and riverside habitats that are unique in the arid southwest. Today, stream flows are threatened by unrestricted groundwater pumping, surface water diversion, degraded habitats, and climate change. Friends of the Verde River believes that we must work together to ensure that the river keeps flowing and our communities flourish. We work collaboratively to restore habitat, sustain flows, and promote community stewardship to support a healthy Verde River system. We envision a healthy, flowing Verde River and tributaries that support our unique environment, vibrant economy, and quality of life for future generations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Riparian Habitat Restoration

Friends of the Verde River supports native wildlife and vegetation, a healthy watershed, and places of stunning beauty. We are the lead non-profit of the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition (VWRC) a public/private partnership to restore habitat by removing invasive plants from the riparian habitat of the Verde Watershed. Working with more than 25 partners and over 200 private landowners, FVR oversees all aspects of VWRC, including field crews and private landownership agreements, to implement a coordinated effort to restore and maintain healthy riparian habitat on both public and private land. Working with Conservation Corps and Veteran crews, Friends of the Verde River takes a hands on approach to restoration.

Population(s) Served
General/Unspecified

We work to inspire stewardship among residents and visitors in support of the river we love. The Verde River and its watershed are unique national treasures and people from around the world choose to travel here to experience our picturesque and iconic landscapes, as well as our cultural heritage and vibrant communities. Our residents value the opportunities the river provides, such as access to natural beauty, healthy economic opportunities, enhanced quality of life, and of course, water supplies.

Population(s) Served
General/Unspecified

We work to ensure the Verde River will flow for generations to come. The Verde River is one of the last rivers in the American Southwest to still flow year-round for its entire length. Although flow now begins downstream from its historical headwaters, the Verde River still sustains a critical green oasis of life through the heart of Arizona for approximately 192 miles, providing economic and recreational opportunities along the way, and delivering essential water supplies to communities – along the river, as well as upstream and downstream, where millions rely on this desert river’s water.

Population(s) Served
General/Unspecified

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Promoting Community Stewardship

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Volunteers participate in activities as varied as removing invasive weeds and helping to host community events.

Acres of land monitored and cleared of invasive plants

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Riparian Habitat Restoration

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

The amount of land that is monitored and cleared of invasive plants will vary from year to year depending on funding availability and need.

Number of groups brought together in a coalition/alliance/partnership

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Riparian Habitat Restoration

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric currently records the number of public and private partners in the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition.

Gallons of water saved over due to the organization's services

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

General/Unspecified

Related Program

Sustainable Flows

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

The Verde River Exchange is a voluntary water offset program. These figures represent the amount of water offset credits purchased and remaining in the Verde River.

Charting impact

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

In order to achieve and maintain a healthy Verde River system, Friends focuses on restoring habitat, sustaining flows, and promoting community stewardship. Habitat restoration: Ensure that the riparian corridor of the Verde River and its tributaries provides important habitat for wildlife, supports healthy watershed functions, and contributes to the economy of the region. Sustaining flows: Better manage groundwater as a resource through a variety of efforts to offset groundwater pumping impacts and reduce consumptive use of water. Promoting community stewardship: Promote the benefits of conservation of the Verde River system to the economy and quality of life to build support for river conservation and the organization.

To restore habitat, we annually set target goals for removal of invasive, nuisance woody plants that are based on springtime monitoring of over 3,000 of riverside habitat in the Verde watershed. Over fall and winter, we have crews in the field conducting habitat restoration. We convene a collaborative called the Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition, made up of land managers, agencies, regulators, tribes, conservation groups, and private landowners. We participate in another collaborative group, called the Verde Front, that focuses on stewardship of natural and cultural resources, with an emphasis on sustainable recreation. Our sustaining flows program operates the Verde River Exchange, an innovative method to keep water in the river while promoting sustainable economic development in the Verde Valley. We sell “water off-set credits” to businesses to offset their use of groundwater; the off-set credits have been created when an existing water user voluntarily reduces their water use. In 2019 we created the Verde Watershed Report Card, a science-driving process to understand and monitor the health of the Verde watershed from the viewpoints of habitat, water, and community. Our community stewardship programming seeks to inspire residents and visitors to support river conservation through volunteerism, regional collaborations, education, and partnerships with businesses and individuals. We host fun events, run volunteer activities, and invite businesses to join our Verde Conservation Partners program to signal their support for our rivers.

Founded as Friends of the Verde River Greenway in 2008, we merged with two other nonprofits and adopted a transformational strategic plan in 2017. At this time, we changed our name and rebranded as Friends of the Verde River. In 2019 we hosted the 2nd State of the Verde Watershed Conference. The conference theme focused on at the results of the first ever Verde Watershed Report Card, which will be released in 2020. Friends is a collaborator and we do much of our work through three partnerships: Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition, Verde Front, and Sustaining Flows Coordinating Council. We are broadly supported and a proud member of our community.

The Verde Watershed Report Card sets metrics and benchmarks for the health of the watershed in three areas: water (quality and quantity), habitat (upland, aquatic, and riparian), and communities (recreation, vitality, and engagement).

In the past five years, we have restored over 9,000 acres of wildland habitat while working with over 25 agencies and almost 300 private property owners. Our next strategic plan for habitat restoration focuses on maintaining healthy riparian corridors, reducing human-caused erosion, improving and maintaining water quality for aquatic life, and continuing to build coalitions around this work. Establishment of the Verde River Exchange is significant, with participation among water off-set credit buyers growing from two in 2016 to eleven in 2019. The program has kept over 14 million gallons of water in the Verde River system. As water supplies are available for the Exchange, we plan to continue growing participation and awareness around the importance of sustaining year-round river flows. With the publication of the Verde Watershed Report Card in early 2020, we are making plans for how we can maintain and improve data collection and communication to ensure we have a healthy river system and vibrant communities throughout the region that impacts the Verde River system. We have engaged over 25 local, Verde Valley businesses in the Verde Conservation Partners program and continue to bring in new partners to support river conservation. Part of this program includes awarding small grants to local governments and organizations. We will continue to refine and grow this program to engage more “river-friendly” businesses and cities following sustainable practices.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is the organization collecting feedback?

    We regularly collect feedback through: electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person).

  • How is the organization using feedback?

    We use feedback to: to inform the development of new programs/projects, to identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, to strengthen relationships with the people we serve.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    We share feedback with: our staff, our board.

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to: it is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection.

Financials

Friends of the Verde River
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Friends of the Verde River

Board of directors
as of 1/28/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Delbert "Chip" Norton

Tony Gioia

Harry Sweet

Peggy Chaiken

Marsha Foutz

Jeni O'Callaghan

Susan Culp

Brent Bitz

Thomasene Cardona

Jennifer Diffley

Shelley DiGiacomo

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Keywords

River, Watershed, Environment, Verde, Stewardship