As a resident of South Phoenix, I was quite unaware of the Rio Salado Project and assumed that it was another clean up.  Today's guest speaker was Karen Williams, who discussed the Phoenix Rio Salado Project that has already begun it's construction in the spring of 2000 and will soon be open to the public in the year 2004.  The Rio Salado Project is a major project that is long in planning and is already underway, to restore the Salt River to it's natural state.  Construction of a habitat restoration project in the Salt River or Rio Salado, in the heart of Phoenix will transform the dry, rusty riverbed into a variety of amenities including recreation opportunities, improved flood management, riparian vegetation and wildlife habitat. 

    Karen Williams who resides in South Phoenix says, "members of local organizations, Phoenix residents and city staff have recognized this opportunity of the restorations project to be one that is unique in the history of the city".  Today, more so than ever the city has experienced both change and need of investment.  According to Williams, "the project itself will cover a five-mile bank-to-bank stretch from the I-10 Bridge to 19th Avenue".  The project will consist of streams, ponds and wetlands, stands of cottonwood, willow trees, mesquite groves, desert grasslands and shrubs.  

    For those who do not know where the Rio Salado or Salt River sits, the riverbed runs through the heart of Phoenix, through the Maricopa Freeway.  It was to my understanding the purpose of the Rio Salado project is to revitalize and enhance the community's look.  Located in such a diverse community, the Rio Salado project will enable the residents and people from all over the Phoenix valley to come and enjoy the experiences that have been created.  The overall, discussion with Karen Williams was a great opportunity to learn more about this great project that is underway and hopefully brings light and revitalization to the community and residents of South Phoenix.

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