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Gila River Festival 2022

The Gila River Festival is an annual celebration of the Gila River and its importance to southwest New Mexico. It draws locals and visitors from afar to our area to learn and understand more about this unique river and its watershed.

I was fortunate to attend the Hydrology and Field Ecology trips this year. Both were amazing opportunities to spend time with leaders who have vast knowledge about this complex and remarkable landscape. Here’s a brief look at our days in the field.


hydrology matters

Dylan Duverge’ led us through the basics of river mechanics at the Old Iron Bridge. We were able to discuss the incredible changes that took place in the short time in the context of the flooding event that took place in August 2022.

  • gila river flooding
  • gila river flooding comparison from 2021 and 2022
  • gila river flooding at old iron bridge
  • gila river festival field trip group at the old iron bridge
  • scour pond and flattened vegetation from the august 2022 gila river flood
  • scour pond from gila river flood viewed from old iron bridge
  • gila river festival hydrology field trip group
  • man shows water sample to field trip participants
  • woman collecting gila river water sample
  • man kneeling on riverbank
  • people on a riverbank collecting data
  • two people looking at a water sample and diagnostic card
  • people looking at a water sample collection container
  • woman reads temperature on water sample container
  • flood debris around trees on the gila river
  • group on a riverbank with scientific equipment
  • water quality sample kit spread on the ground
  • man reads thermometer on water sample container
  • two men sit on a riverbank
  • people discussing a water quality sample
  • people on a riverbank talking
  • man with whiteboard talking to group outdoors
  • a man holds up a water quality diagnostic card
  • pH strip and guide in woman's hands
  • a man with a whiteboard on a riverbank

Images are subject to the Terms and Conditions of Val in Real Life LLC.


Plant Ecology of the Gila Headwaters

Patrice Mutchnick of Heart of the Gila gave us an overview of plant life and river dynamics and how they shape each other.

  • outdoorsy woman drawing in sand
  • woman drawing in sand
  • woman standing at river's edge gesturing
  • gila river confluence
  • woman standing at the edge of a river confluence
  • gila river flows under bridge
  • east fork of the gila river
  • woman kneeling on ground by flowers
  • east fork of the gila river
  • woman kneeling on looking at flowers
  • east fork of the gila river
  • woman holding monarch butterfly
  • two women on riverbank with monarch butterfly
  • tagged monarch butterfly in persons's hands
  • two people handling a monarch butterfly
  • two women tagging a monarch butterfly
  • woman releasing a monarch butterfly on the gila river
  • Monarch butterfly being tagged for release.
  • woman sitting by river with butterfly box
  • hikers negotiating a river crossing
  • people standing in the gila river
  • hikers walking through the gila river
  • hikers standing in the gila river
  • hikers standing in the gila river
  • woman talking to group on riverbank

Images are subject to the Terms and Conditions of Val in Real Life LLC.


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