stellers-jay0013wlPrescott is home to many non-profit organizations that focus on preserving open spaces, restoring habitat, protecting wildlife and educating the community on these issues. A few examples of these organizations are the Highlands Center for Natural History, the Prescott Audubon Society, the Granite Dells Preservation Foundation, the Open Space Alliance and the Prescott Creeks Preservation Association.

Each year, Prescott Creeks hosts the Granite Creek Clean-Up, which usually occurs right around Earth Day. Hundreds of volunteers scour the many tributaries that feed into Granite Creek and the surrounding habitat that Granite Creek passes through. Crews also work on pulling trash from the lakes during this event.

This annual event results in tons and tons of trash being removed from environmentally sensitive areas. Most of this trash belongs in a landfill – but some of the materials can be recycled, or upcycled. Enterprising artists have turned some of this salvaged trash into art, which will be auctioned off at an upcoming Prescott Creeks fundraising event.

On Sunday, Sept. 18, from 4 to 7 p.m., Prescott Creeks will be hosting “One Man’s Treasure” at the historic Granite Dells Resort. You can enjoy jazz music, drinks from Page Springs Winery, fabulous views of the Dells and an exciting auction to support the creeks in the Prescott area. Tickets are available online by visiting the Prescott Creeks website:

This year’s Granite Creek Cleanup resulted in 10 tons of trash being removed from the creeks and the lakes in the Prescott area. “One Man’s Treasure” is an attempt to bring attention to the amount of trash that ends up in our creeks and offers an alternative to throwing recyclable materials away. Funds raised will be used for the continuation and growth of the Granite Creek Cleanup.

One such piece of trash that has been recycled into art is a life-sized replica of a great-blue heron called “Harry the Heron,” which is on display at Jay’s Bird Barn until the “One Man’s Treasure” event takes place. In addition to Harry the Heron, you can view other pieces of upcycled art at the Krieger Marcusen Gallery in the St. Michael’s Alley, Cuppers Coffee House, Seams So Right in the Firehouse Plaza and the Prescott Artists Co-Op on Whiskey Row.

Hopefully this event will serve not only as a fundraiser, but also as a reminder of how important our creekside habitats (riparian areas) are to wildlife. Riparian areas usually provide an open source of water – not only for birds, but for other animals such as frogs, toads, salamanders, (yes, we have one native species of salamander here in Arizona), snakes and a variety of mammal species.

Of the many different habitats in our area, riparian areas support the largest diversity of plants and bird life and are critical corridors for migratory bird species. Protecting and preserving our watersheds should be vitally important to all of us.