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Projects - Reports and Event Photo Albums



Many event participants enjoy reviewing the results and photos and sharing this with family and friends. Participants can experience the thrill of "Googling" their name and possibly finding several hits. Non-participants can see what they missed (avoided?) and prospective volunteers can get an idea of what VOAz events are like and make an assessment as to the wisdom of associating with this organization.

Active Projects

BANWR Restoration
Working with the Friends of Buenos Aire National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Arizona we are undertaking fence removal work to enhance its value as wildlife habitat.

Highline Trail Rehabilitation
VOAz entered into an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service in the Spring of 2011 on a major initiative to restore the fifty mile Highline National Recreation Trail, with a primary focus on the 30 miles east of the Washington Park trailhead, which has had the least attention over recent decades. Through this partnership, VOAz has taken the lead in raising funds and completing the work. A primary goal is to more fully realize the tremendous recreation and local economic assets the Highline Trail represents. The work started in the Spring of 2012 with reconstruction of the 8.5 mile loop of Highline-Horton Creek and Derrick Trails. As of July 2015 20 miles of trail, including the loop, has been restored. Our goal is to complete the initial stage of work in 2016


Jug Trail Extension at Salome Creek
VOAz consolidated many wildcat exit trails from the popular slot canyon on Salome Creek into a single trail and now performs bi-annual maintenance work.


Montezuma Castle Conservation Work
VOAz conducts a variety of restorations and enhancement projects at the Well, including maintenance of the archaic/historic irrigation channel.


Phoenix Mtn. Pres. Trails & Habitat Restoration
VOAz has conducted many events for this division of the Phoenix Parks system including trail realignment out of Dreamy Draw (VOAz Loop Trail project) and Buffelgrass eradication (Central AZ Invasive Plant Removal project). This new project was formed to accommodate future volunteer work with the scheduling of the Fall 2010 REI Service Project.


SoMo Pima Canyon Trail & Land Rehab
The portion of the Pima Canyon area at the east end of South Mountain Preserve and Park (SoMo) is the focus of this project. The area is bounded by Beverly Canyon Trail, Pima Canyon Road where the Trailhead is located, and the preserve boundaries to the northeast. The existing trails add up to about seven miles in a small geographic area. There are trails everywhere. Some follow old roads, some were built and signed by Preserve staff, and others were created by visitors over many years. The goal of this project is to improve existing trails and remove unstable and unneeded trails based on a comprehensive plan that will be available for public review and comment. This work is supported by Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department JOC#127109.

In addition to making it a more satisfying place for people, we hope it will be likewise for other creatures such as the hawk perched at the top of the peak - photo left.


Complete and Inactive Projects

Agua Fria Watercourse Trail
This one-off project resulted in the construction in 2006 of a short loop trail in the bottom of the Agua Fria River in Peoria. It was built as a kick-off event for a community coalition that sought to convert a significant reach of the river into and Indian Bend-like greenway with recreation facilities and walkways. The trail passed under I-10 and afforded a view of a significant encampment of people we presume would be labeled "homeless" in our society. It is most likely that this trail is no longer there.

There is no report information or photography for this project.

Altar Valley Restoration
This project aims to stabilize grazing lands at the upper end of Altar Valley, which is located west of Tucson and drains toward Mexico. The Altar Valley Conservation Alliance is a partnership of area ranchers and public and private conservation oriented agencies. The mission is to "leave the next generation with an economically and biologically productive watershed."


Arizona Trail
VOAz's first event was on the Arizona Trail at the Utah boarder. Since that date, VOAz has completed many events on the Arizona Trail. This includes work at Pickpost Mountain, nearby Whitford Canyon, Cottonwood Canyon and Four Peaks near Roosevelt Lake, Sunflower, the Highline Segment east of Pine (the subject of a separate report); General Springs Cabin at the ROM (the subject of a separate report); Mormon Lake, and Anderson Mesa near Flagstaff. In 2009, VOAz accepted Stewardship responsibility for a portion of the Blue Ridge Segment in the Coconino National Forest. VOAz partnered with the Arizona Trail Association and REI for many of these events.


Arizona Trail, Black Hills Segment Reroute
This hybrid (paid crew and volunteers working together) project was completed under a contract with the Arizona Trail Association. VOAz completed over 3.5 miles of a total reroute of 10.1 miles. The cost to the ATA was $1.00 per foot.

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Black Canyon Trail
In 2003, VOAz volunteers constructed a short segment of the major new trail on BLM land as a National Public Lands Day event. It was not yet physically connected to the rest of this trail, for which construction was just getting under way. A photo by Gail Landry was submitted to the national competition and received an award. But, then event was just a means for a publicity stunt. Today this reach of trail, or what may be left of it, is an orphan. The BLM planner decide to take an alternate route.

There is no report information or photography for this project.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum Preservation
From 2002 to 2004 VOAz volunteers completed several habitat and facilities improvement projects at the Arboretum. The most ambitious of these was the reconstruction of a deck and the addition of a redwood trellis at Avery Lake under the management of Ed Blanchard.

Report and Photos


Brown Ranch Habitat Restoration
In 2001, VOAz volunteers responded to an urgent request from the City of Scottsdale to assist with a desert tree planting at the north end of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. This was part of an experimental revegitation project.

There is no report information or photography for this project.

Canyon Creek Invasive Plant Removal
Canyon Creek is located just below the Mogollon Rim and a bit east of the Young Road. This beautiful, deep canyon is the site of a major fish hatchery and Canyon Creek is very popular among trout fisherman. VOAz has made a multi-year commitment to Tonto NF to help them realize their goals in Canyon Creek and reduce the presence of invasive species.


Canyon Point Campground Exclosure Fence
In August of 2004, volunteers constructed a large (about nine feet high) buck and pole fence across the front of Canyon Point Campground in Hgwy. 270 above the Rim. The fence cannot be jumped by elk seeking to forage on young willow.

No report information or photography from this event are available.

Caroline Bartol Preserve Nature Trail
In 2007, VOAz designed and built new trail in this small preserve belonging to the Desert Foothills Land Trust. The preserve is in the center of Cave Creek next to the public library.

Ne report information or photography from this project are available.

Cave Creek Trails
Cave Creek has little land for trails, so their trails development consists of multi-use natural surface paths along roadways--equestrians are their primary user group- and, links to surround county parks and preserves.


Central Arizona Invasive Plant Removal
VOAz works with various land managers to remove noxious weeds (Buffel grass, Fountain Grass, Malta Starthistle, Bull Thistle, Saltcedar) from sites in central Arizona.


Dead Horse Ranch State Park
In 2004, VOAz helped to plan and then built a paved, wheelchair friendly trail in a pesticide-free area of the Verde River flood plain at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. This makes it an attractive place for chemically sensitive people to walk beneath the giant cottonwood trees. This work required excavation of a five foot wide bed for the trail, mixing cement and ABC aggregate, filling the trail bed with the wet mixture using wheel barrows for transport, compacting by mechanical means, and aiding the curing process. Dirty but rewarding work, once completed.
A realignment of the Raptor trail was completed in 2011.


Dolan Springs Community Trail Network
On February 28 & March 1, 2009, twenty seven volunteers from VOAz and the community of Dolan Springs held a kick-off trail building and training event for a new trail project. Over 2,700 feet of trail was built in a beautiful area of Joshua Tree dotted desert on the edge of town. Ten community volunteers received a short course on the fundamentals of crew leadership so that they may help lead future community based work events.
Photo Album

There is no detailed report information for this project.

Fossil Creek Habitat Restoration
Pre-dam removal crayfish eradication in 2002. There is no report information or photography for this event.

Gatlin Archeological Site
In 2005, the archeologist at the Hohokum site in Gila Bend ask VOAz to assist in an unusual site preservation strategy. Refuse trash mounds at the site were loaded with artifacts. The discourage (further) pilfering, soul was brought in and spread over the top of the mounds.

There is no report information or photography for this project.

General Springs Canyon Habitat Restoration
VOAz completed several trail repair and habitat interventions to reduce erosion adjacent to a native fish breeding area.

Grand Canyon NP Conservation Work
VOAz conducted its first event at Grand Canyon National Park in 2008. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world, the 277 mile canyon, which reaches a depth of one mile, was one of the first US National Parks created by Theodore Roosevelt. VOAz has completed noxious plant removal, seed harvesting, planting. litter procurement, and trail tasks at the South Rim and the North Rim.


Granite Mountain Trail (261)
Prescott National Forest has asked VOAz to complete maintenance and rock step construction to improve the trail experience and drainage for the most popular in Granite Mountain Wilderness on the North Side of of Prescott.


Hart Prairie Preserve Conservation/Restoration
Since 2001, VOAz volunteers have enjoyed this spectacular setting and cabin comforts while undertaking a wide variety of preservation and restoration tasks.


Hassayampa River Preserve Habitat protection
In 2000, a small group of VOAz worked on restoring perimeter fence at this Nature Conservancy Preserve near Wickenburg. Flooding and the debris it transport down the river regularly dismantle these fences. No report information or photography are available.

Highline Segment of the Arizona Trail
The Arizona Trail and the Highline Trail overlap for about 18 miles from Pine Trailhead east to Washington Park. VOAz worked on the middle portion of this segment heading out from Geronimo Trailhead about two miles to the East and one mile to the west.


Hubbell Trading Post Riparian Restoration
From 2003 to 2006, VOAz worked on the final phases of a restoration project at this National Monument. A deeply incised intermittent stream was restored to a more natural sinuosity, which permitted successful reintroduction of native vegetation along a recharged flood plain.


Jewel of the Creek Preserve Trails & Restoration
From 2003 to 2007, VOAz completed a new, sustainable trail network in one of the few remaining riparian zones in the Valley. Rutted wildcat trails were closed and the landscape rehabilitated. Numerous water harvest structures were built to retain runoff and protect the creek.


Lower San Pedro River Habitat Restoration
In VOAz's first habitat restoration program and one of its very first projects we partnered with the Arizona Chapter of The Nature Conservancy to support the reintroduction of native Sacaton (a bunch grass) at two sites and a variety of other restoration and facility maintenance tasks.

No report information or photography is available for this project.

Northern AZ Invasive Plant Removal
Coconino NF has requested VOAz assistance in reducung noxious weed infestation in the Peaks area. Fires in the late Spring of 2010 forced postponement of our first work event.


Orme School Service Caravan
In 2005 and 2006, VOAz provided two service outings in the Flagstraf are for students of the Orme school.

No report information or photography is available for this project.

Overlook Trail
In 2002 and 2003, VOAz helped Sonoran Conservancy volunteers in Fountain Hills to begin their trail planning and construction program. While designing and building a trail overlooking the town, we trained local volunteers who then continued their program.
Report and photography are not available.

P.A. Seitts Preserve Trails and Conservation
The goals of this project were to enhance the preserve, protect sensitive archeological sites along Cave Creek, and build a network of sustainable trails that provide recreation access to non-motorized trail users, including links to the Cave Creek Regional Park immediately to the west.


Peace Garden Trail
In 2001, VOAz was asked to design and build a small trail at the Sedona Center for Creative Living as a part of a Buddhist themed "Peace Garden" adjoining an meeting and retreat facility on Schnebley Hill Road near the center of Sedona. Over the subsequent two years a walking trail was laid in and a rock garden installed next to the garden pagoda.
Photos not currently available.

Pinnacle Peak Trail
This was VOAz's first urban trail project. Volunteers worked many weekends and weekdays to to stabilize a trail at the Scottsdale park. The rapidly decomposing granite around the peak made this extremely difficult. The trail is supported in some areas by rocks from the locale, which are themselves decomposing. (The proper solution would have been to bring in compatible but good rock; but, that would have cost the developer who built the adjacent mega-bucs golf community some bucs.) After delivering more than 1,000 hours of volunteer work, the City brought in an out-of-state commercial contractor who trashed our work using a mini-excavator. At least that is what we saw--they never bother to talk to VOAz about this. This was ostensibly to make it more equestrian friendly. One key volunteer at the park--it requires constant maintenance--is a VOAz crew leader. He and others report that they have never seen a four legged horse on this trail.

There is no report information or photography for this project.

Range Restoration at Double Check Ranch
Terrace and check dams were built by VOAz volunteers to retard runoff as a measure to reduce erosion on a private ranch that had introduced managed grazing practices. At subsequent site visits the small rock structures had retain sufficient moisture to allow grasses to regenerate. These bands of grass following the hillside contours helped to further slow runoff and this facitate recovery of vegetation.
There is no report information or photography for this project.

Reach 11 Barrier Free Trail
VOAz is repairing a three quarter mile asphalt trail for the City of Phoenix. Located off Tatum Blvd. between Union Hills Rd and Mauo Blvd. This trail features a dense mesquite, palo verde, and acacia Bosque that is a favorite for trail users, birders, and wildlife. The work includes repairs to the supporting berm and drainage crossings and the tread surface.


Rodeo-Chedeski Burn Area Restroration
The massive Rodeo-Chedeski Fire in 2002 led to a massive reclamation effort. VOAz was one of many organiztrions that particpated in this work.
No photos currently available.

Salida View Trail #95
This new trail near Prescott (& Lynx Lake) replaced a trail passing through a sensitive archeological site.


Save the Aspen
Several factors are contributing to the decline of Aspen stands in the Flagstaff area. One factor is excessive browsing of saplings by the excessive number of Elk. As the reintroduction of Grizzles and wolves and significant escalation of hunter takings are apparently politically unacceptable, efforts have been made to build high exlosure fences. VOAz worked with the Forest Service to repair and construct exclosures at several sites near Flagstaff. VOAz was not able to raise the funding need to continue the project.
Photo report is pending.

Schultz Fire Land & Trails Rehabilitation
In the Summer of 2011, VOAz entered into an agreement with Coconino NF, Flagstaff RD to conduct a series of tasks related to restoration and rehabilitation of the landscape and trails impacted by the Schultz Fire of 2010. Other tasks may be included under this agreement. In addition to helping the Forest with the work needed to stabilize the landscape and stabilize and re-open trails, this project provides another venue for VOAz volunteers during the hot season.


Sevenmile Trail
Under an agreement with the White Mountain Apache Tribe, VOAz is helping to complete the first 2 plus miles of the Sevenmile Trail development plan.


Sierra Blanca Preserve Habitat Preservation
July of 2001, The Nature Conservancy of Arizona asked VOAz to complete and repair a perimeter fence around this new preserve in the White Mountains of Eastern Arizona. Based out of the magnificent lodge pictured at the top of this page, Volunteers came for varying lengths of time over the ten days it took to complete the work.


SoMo Trail & Land Rehab
The Park Supervisor at South Mountain Park asked VOAz to plan and build an new alignment for a reach or perimeter trail accessible from 35th Avenue. This was to be the first of several "projects" within South Mountain Park to be undertaken by VOAz. All of the events associated with these projects are described here.


Sonoita Creek Trail
A new birding trail below Lake Patagonia has several challenging transitions from the original flood plain to the deeply incised creek channel. VOAz worked to lower the trail gradients and stabilize banks. The available rock was of insufficient size, and some of the rock work was subsequently washed away.


The Phoenix Trails
VOAz was selected by the City of Phoenix as a Professional Trail Construction and Rehabilitation Contractor for a period of three years, which may be extended to five years. Under the general contractual arrangement VOAz will complete specific projects of varying duration for negotiated prices in Phoenix Parks and Preserves.


Tres Rios Ranch Habitat Restoration
With funding from the Water and Conservation Fund a rancher near Wickenburg replace traditional cattle tanks with concrete water troughs fed by solar power pumps. The old tanks were cleaned of sludge, fenced and replanted with native species to serve as wildlife habitant. The ponds are recharged with rainwater and fencing keep cattle out. VOAz built check-dams to retard erosion (head cutting) and silt transport in to the ponds.
No report details or photography.

Tuzigoot National Monument
Five hundred feet of a service road/trail leading from the primary archeological site leading down to a marsh was modified to allow it to drain properly. Extensive rock armoring was used to build rock run outs on steep drainage lines and dispersal pads. This work was supported by a contract between VOAz and Montezuma Castle National Monument of the National Park Service.

See the project report for Dead Horse Ranch State Park for a link to the photo album that includes photos from this work.

Verde Springs Preserve Habitat Restoration
The Nature Conservancy of Arizona has asked VOAz to help with several tasks on this small preserve at the headwaters of the Verde River, which sets within a large Wildlife Area of the Arizona Department of Game and Fish.

VOAz Loop Trail
VOAz has worked on several reaches of a trail that wraps an unnamed peak and is most directly reached through Dreamy Draw. Much of the original trail is steep and severely eroded. Most of the work has involved heavy-duty realignment.


VOAz Segment of The Arizona Trail
VOAz as accepted Stewardship responsibilities for the Turkey Mountain Segment 29b, Happy Jack Passage of the Arizona Trail. The trail is "complete" although much of it lies on an old forest road. Maintenance and possible reroutes on this reach will be carried out during the months when people are eager to escape the Valley.


West Pinto Trail
Years of no maintenance have left this trail all but impassible in some reaches. The goal of this project is to reopen and reestablish the corridor and repair the tread over the 8.8 miles of lightly used trail in the eastern Superstition Wilderness. The trail runs from Miles Trailhead (3700') to Rogers Trough Trailhead (4700') and follows (for a distance) the West Fork of Pinto Creek.


young Volunteers for Outdoor Arizona
Launched in 2008 with funding from REI, this program provides outdoor volunteering education and work opportunities to young people. Events are typically custom scheduled for groups from area schools and other organizations on weekdays or weekends.




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