Friday, February 4, 2011

Mismanagement by Phoenix Parks Dept. Causing Destruction of Habitat at Rio Salado

Letter to the Phoenix Parks Dept. -

I frequently visit the Rio Salado habitat at Central avenue, to enjoy the wheelchair accessible trails and abundant wildlife. But recently I've seen that maintenance workers are destroying valuable bird habitat areas - they are clearing away underbrush! Rio Salado isn't a city park that needs to be mowed and trimmed, its a wildlife habitat. Someone needs to instruct the workers to leave the underbrush alone. Their time would be better spent tearing out the invasive plants - like the bufflegrass. I saw a number of places along the trails where workers had cleared away the native plants and left the invasive plants!!! Who is in charge of maintaining the plants at Rio Salado? Aren't there any set guidelines about preserving habitat areas? I also saw some previously full and lush trees that have now been PRUNED! This has got to stop. Please forward this to the necessary division of the Phoenix Parks Dept..

Thank you,

Peggy Thomas


Ms. Thomas,

Thank you for your email regarding the pruning of bushes and trees at the Rio Salado Habitat. I wanted to let you know that our staff attend regular training on habitat maintenance in reference to the particular types of species that live and migrate through Rio Salado. We also have put together a Master Calendar to help remind staff of these different species, their needs, and the maintenance limitations that accompany them. We do however, have to balance the needs of many different species as well as safety issues for our patrons and city code requirements. Sometimes there are conflicts, and we have to make difficult decisions. That said, it is certainly also possible that staff may make mistakes in their dedication to their positions, so please know that I will follow up on your concerns, review the areas that you have mentioned, and then follow up with staff as needed.

I want to again thank you for sharing your concerns with us. It is always helpful to have people who care enough about our mission to take the time to let us know when there are potential issues, and who share in our commitment to the success of the project. Below is my information, and please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if you have any additional questions.


Chris Parks, MC
Special Operations Supervisor
Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department
Office: 602-534-8222

1 comment:

Do you have an event, bird walk, meeting, or nature walk that belongs on this calendar? Please send info to

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