Ancient oaks leafy treetop

Local leaders including the Gila River Indian Community, West Valley mayors, Maricopa County officials and state agency representatives met last month in support of the Lower Gila River Collaborative (LGRC). 

“We have been working with partners for several years on this vision. It’s wonderful to see it continue and grow,” said Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck, who serves on the LGRC Leadership Council. 

The LGRC Leadership Council includes mayors and council members of Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear and Phoenix and representatives of the Arizona Game and Fish Department and Arizona State Forestry and Fire Management. 

The lower Gila River stretches from West Phoenix through the West Valley to the historic Gillespie Dam Bridge in Arlington. The river provides opportunities for bird watching, fishing and kayaking. 

The LGRC is a growing cooperative effort to restore natural resources along the lower Gila River, improve access to nature-based recreation and promote the river as an amenity in the West Valley of the Phoenix metro area. 

One of the biggest challenges the partners are taking on is the invasive salt cedar, a Mediterranean tree species that drastically alters the flow and function of the river. 

For more information, including an event calendar, volunteer opportunities and upcoming meetings, visit