Members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District joined with exhibitors and vendors at the Tres Rios Nature and Earth Festival held Oct. 27 at the Base Meridian Wildlife Area.
It was the first time the festival had been held in the fall. Normally, the festival is a two-day event in the spring. Organizers combined the one-day festival with a river clean up in the area.
“I thought it was a great turnout,” said Ann Palaruan, with the LA District’s Regulatory Division in the Arizona/Nevada Area Office in Phoenix. “We had plenty of folks turn up and come talk with us about the Corps programs and about the Tres Rios project.”
The overall Tres Rios project involved the construction of a flow-regulating wetlands and restoration work along the banks of the river. The Corps of Engineers, City of Phoenix and contractors involved in the project have won several awards. Among the most recent are the 2012 Valley Forward Crescordia Award in the Site Development and Landscape: Public Sector category and the Chief of Engineers Award of Excellence for Environmental Design.
“We’re pretty proud of the work we do,” said Vic Bartkus, with the LA District’s Asset Management Division, “and we’re proud to come and talk with people who want to know more about the Corps. At today’s festival, though, it was all about the environment. And you really couldn’t ask for a better day to do it.”
Under a mostly clear sky with temperatures only reaching into the 80s, several hundred festival attendees had the opportunity to enjoy canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding in the Gila River. Other activities included fishing and hiking. Exhibitors had information about activities in the area and about how attendees could get out and enjoy the nature in their own backyard.
“I love coming out here,” Palaruan said. “It’s great to get out of the office and talk with people about our projects. And, it’s even better to be able to come out and see how much positive impact our projects can have on communities.”
The LA District plans to participate in the festival in the spring.