December 22, 2010

Tres Rios Festival 2011 Set For Estrella Park March 5-6

The popular Tres Rios Nature and Earth Festival will return to the vast Estrella Mountain Regional Park in 2011 and will again offer a unique opportunity for nature lovers to visit a riparian corridor in the West Valley near where the Salt and Agua Fria rivers join the Gila River.

Scheduled for March 5-6, 2011, the "Three Rivers" Festival will emphasize local plants, animals, ecological relationships and available recreational opportunities. Festival attendees will be able to see live wildlife up close, go canoeing, try archery, fish, view local birdlife, hike and learn about recycling and green-living zones.

Last year, due to heavier than normal water flows down the Gila, the Festival was moved from Phoenix International Raceway to Estrella Mountain Park, one of the crown jewels of the Maricopa County Parks Department, at the last minute. Due to upstream rehabilitation work and the possibility of high water flows during the early months of 2011, it was felt by the Festival's steering committee that Estrella Park and all its wonderful outdoor features should again be the site of the Festival.

A true family event, the Tres Rios Nature and Earth Festival will feature a special area for children with hands-on activities centering around nature, recycling and the outdoors. A recycling fashion show, live entertainment, including the popular Backporch Bandits bluegrass group, and numerous other features will give the annual event a true festival flavor.

Estrella Mountain Regional Park is located near Goodyear, approximately 5 miles south of Interstate 10 on Estrella Boulevard. Festival hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Although the event is free, a $3 per vehicle entrance fee will be charged by the park. Small fees will also be charged for some children's rides.

For more information, visit on the Internet or call (623) 932-2260.

February 26, 2010

River Flows Force Tres Rios '10 Changes

Floodwaters down the Gila River have prompted a few changes in the upcoming seventh-annual Tres Rios Nature and Earth Festival March 6-7. It was announced previously that the celebration of the outdoors will be held at Estrella Mountain Regional Park, instead of the usual spot along the river near Phoenix International Raceway.
Due to safety concerns regarding increased flows, event organizers decided to not offer canoeing and kids fishing in the river and adjacent backwaters. Fishing, however, will still be available on a localized basis along with and guided hikes and archery.
The changes, however, will not dampen in any way the opportunities the Festival will offer to outdoor lovers wanting to celebrate all the natural world has to offer. Featured are wildlife watching, live music, nature exhibits, hiking.
Admission is free for the two-day event, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, however there will be a $2 entry fee per vehicle for entry into the park.

February 12, 2010

Rain Forces Location Change for Tres Rios '10

The location of the Tres Rios Nature and Earth Festival March 6-7 has been changed for 2010, thanks to Mother Nature and the man-made water flows down the Gila River west of Phoenix.

Estrella Mountain Regional Park, one of Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department's crown jewels, has agreed to host the seventh annual event due to heavy rainstorm-related runoff rendering the familiar location near Phoenix International Raceway unusable.

Located south of Goodyear, Estrella Mountain Park was the site of the Festival during the early years and park supervisor Carolyn Mayberry has been most gracious in accommodating the 2010 event, which will again feature free admission along with a $2 per vehicle parking fee, courtesy of the Park.

The relocation aside, longtime Festival fans, as well as first timers, will continue to enjoy all the Festival has to offer, including great music from the Back Porch Bandits, canoeing, hiking, bird watching, kids' fishing and nature areas, educational and entertaining booths, plus quality food and drink booths.

"We regret have to move the Festival at this late date, but our preferred site was not conducive to hosting a safe and comfortable venue for this great event," said Tom Hildebrandt of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, chairman of the Tres Rios steering committee.

Generous support from a variety of sponsors, including Arizona Public Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, City of Avondale, Mesquite Power, Wildlife For Tomorrow Foundation and Luke Air Force Base, is what makes the Festival happen.

From central Phoenix, Estrella Mountain Regional Park is reached by taking I-10 west to Estrella Parkway. Take the parkway south to Vineyard Ave., and then turn left to the park entrance on the right side.

For more information, call (623) 932-2260.

January 27, 2010

Volunteers Sought for Spring Cleaning Down on the River - Feb. 20

Come help preserve the heritage, wildlife and natural beauty of the Gila, Salt and Agua Fria Rivers. It’s "Spring Cleaning" time down on the Tres Rios River on Saturday, February 20. The City of Avondale, Arizona Game and Fish, City of Goodyear, The Maricopa County Attorneys Office and Wildlife for Tomorrow Foundation will host a clean up of the river banks in preparation for the Tres Rios Nature & Earth Festival*.

Volunteers need to bring gloves, sunscreen, sun glasses, hat, wear old work clothes and to dress for the weather, please bring plenty of water to drink! Clean up begins at 7 a.m. and should last until about 11 a.m. River clean up volunteers are asked to meet at the northern-most parking lot of the Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale, five miles south of I-10 on Avondale Boulevard (7602 S. Avondale Blvd., Avondale, AZ 85323).

For more information or to register your group, please call Avondale Recreation Services at 623-333-2416 or email . For directions go to:

*The Tres Rios Nature & Earth Festival celebrates the rivers, wildlife, outdoors, history and heritage of the area and Arizona. Event dates are March 6 & 7, festival hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.”

January 10, 2010

Tres Rios Festival A Big Hit With Kids

The Tres Rios Nature and Earth Festival is more than an opportunity for adults to celebrate the rich heritage of the Gila, Salt and Agua Fria rivers. It is an outdoor wonderland for the kids. A perfect opportunity to get them out of the house and into the outdoors.
And how can you miss with such great opportunities on tap during the two-day event set for March 6-7 along the Gila River south of a Avondale near Phoenix International Raceway. Think about paddling a canoe, hiking, watching birds, free fishing and a great Kid's Zone where they can take a short nature trail, view wildlife artifacts, make crafts and do other fun stuff.
And don't forget about some great food, so bring an appetite, and enjoy some real traditional bluegrass music performed by the popular Back Porch Bandits.
Courtney Bourland of Goodyear is one satisfied customer. Here is what she said in an unsolicited email:
"I just want to give a huge thank you to all the people that put on the Tres Rios Nature and Earth Festival! My sons, ages 5 and 8, had a blast. They fished, made walking sticks, molded animal footprints, went on a scavenger hunt, bird watched, etc. They even enjoyed looking at the booths and talking to the very informative people manning the booths. Thank you for making this event free and fun!"
Thank you, Courtney. Spread the word and we'll see all of you on March 6-7.

DeWayne Smith