Bird watching, canoe riding, paddle boarding and crocodile wrestling … well, no crocodile wrestling. But at the Tres Rios Nature and Earth Festival, a free one-day festival, these and other events are scheduled. The Oct. 27 festival is geared toward educating participants about the environment.
“Tres Rios refers to the confluence of the Gila, Salt and Agua Fria rivers. The festival focuses upon and celebrates the extensive and diverse wildlife, habitats and history surrounding the rivers,” said Gabriel McKenna Groves, 56th Contracting Squadron Infrastructure Flight chief.
The festival is the result of the combined efforts of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Environmental education programs and activities, local communities and partners, said Oscar Mabry, 56th CES Materiel Management chief.
Luke’s goal is to help efforts to conserve, preserve and restore the environment, according to Groves.
“The base does this by promoting recycling, community environmental stewardship and maintaining an award-winning pollution prevention program,” he said. “Additional base programs focus on water-resource protection and innovative alternative energy solutions.”
The confluence of rivers closed for a year and a half as part of the Tres Rios Environmental Restoration project. During that time it was reconstructed, diverting water into channels. This river diversion was coordinated to help preserve the area and reduce the force of flooding in the wet months.
In addition, Salt Cedar trees were removed and replaced with various plants such as cottonwood, willow, seep willow and other native plants. Animals such as hawks, osprey, peregrine falcons, desert tortoise and beavers also thrive in the area.
The festival is held in cooperation with the Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation and local communities.
A river clean-up will kick off the event 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., and the festival opens at 10 a.m. and runs until 2 p.m. Admission is free.
Other event spotlights include wildlife displays, fishing clinics, hiking tours and entertainment.
For more information, visit Tresriosnaturefestival.com.