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For Immediate Release, October 24, 2008

Contact: Edie Dillon, Center for Biological Diversity, (928) 277-9155

Watershed Wednesdays Celebrate Verde River
Through Performance, Music, and Poetry

PRESCOTT, Ariz.— The Raven Café on November 12th will be the scene of an interactive performance incorporating poetry and activism for an important environmental cause. “Let It Flow: The Magnetic Poetry Approach to Letting Your Elected Officials Know What You Think,” is a local take on the popular refrigerator-magnet poetry series. This form of poetry involves the artful arrangement of words printed on those little white magnetic rectangles on a refrigerator to create short, eloquent poems. The Center for Biological Diversity’s Save the Verde campaign staff created this event to demonstrate how easy it can be to write letters to elected officials expressing concern over threats to the health of the Verde River.

For this show, Center staff created a mock-up of a magnetic poetry set with descriptive words specific to the Verde River, our local desert jewel. Audience members will choose words to express their poetic appreciation for the river and then follow an easy letter-writing format. The letters to elected officials will emphasize key aspects of Verde protection, including the importance of river habitat and the harm to the upper Verde that will result from water being pumped out of the Big Chino aquifer without an adequate, scientifically based habitat conservation and mitigation plan. Scientists generally agree that the Big Chino Subbasin supplies more than 80 percent of the base flow for the Upper Verde River, which depends almost entirely on that water during the dry seasons.

The “Let it Flow” magnetic-poetry and letter-writing event is one of a monthly series of Verde-focused evenings to be held at the Raven. The Center is organizing the events to educate local citizens about the threats to the Verde River that include groundwater pumping, off-road vehicle damage, pollution from sludge dumping and global warming. The December 10th Watershed Wednesday will include an open-mic poetry reading featuring both well-known and newer local poets. In January, members of the Sacred Earth Endurance Co-op will present a visual and musical account of the annual Hopi water run. The run, recently opened to non-Hopi people, follows the path that water takes from rain on the mesas to the springs below. Participating runners embody the reality that water is life.

Watershed Wednesdays take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at The Raven Café, 142 N. Cortez St., Prescott. For more information about Watershed Wednesday or Verde River issues, call Edie Dillon at (928) 277-9155.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national nonprofit conservation organization with 200,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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