Sedona Wetlands Preserve
The City of Sedona owns approximately 400 acres of land west of the city that is dedicated to the treatment and disposal of the City’s effluent. The Sedona Wetlands Preserve is a constructed wetlands that occupies approximately 27 acres of this site and is located south of the Waste Water Reclamation Plant.
The wetlands consist of six basins, with a total water surface area of approximately 12.2 acres or 9.6 million gallons. The water within these basins is supplied by effluent from the treatment plant and meets A+ Effluent Quality Standards. This is the highest treatment standard under current Arizona regulations. Processes consist of biological treatment, clarification, filtration, and ultra-violet (UV) disinfection.
The reconfigured wetland basins are designed to achieve the following effluent management goals:
- Increase the amount of effluent evaporation through significantly more open water area.
- Continue evapotranspiration rates through planting wetland and other native plants and trees.
- Increase infiltration through additional basin surface area.
The basins have various depth zones from very shallow to approximately 4 feet deep to accommodate a wide range of habitat. Wetland and upland plants are located within shallow water areas and above the water line to provide habitat, attract wildlife, and control erosion. Several islands are constructed within the basins to provide safe habitat and breeding areas for birds and other wildlife.
The Preserve is part of the City of Sedona’s Parks and Recreation system and, as such, provides a range of facilities. There is a sizable graveled parking area, restrooms and shaded ramadas together with picnic benches.
In addition, the Preserve provides a series of trails that loop around the individual ponds. The trail nearest to the parking lot is handicapped accessible.
The preserve provides some of the Verde Valley’s best habitat for waterfowl and various riparian species. While seasonally dependent, some of the more interesting birds found there are Cinnamon Teal, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Wilson’s Phalarope, Eared Grebe, American Pipit, Northern Harrier, Savannah Sparrow, Lesser Nighthawk, Marsh Wren, Common Yellowthroat, and 6 different swallows. In addition, various species of Gulls, Sandpiper and Sparrow are regularly seen.
Northern Arizona Audubon strongly encourages visitors to follow the rules posted at this facility. Because it is located adjacent to a wastewater treatment facility, it is particularly important not to leave the Preserve and trespass on the adjacent roads. The large retention pond north of the Preserve is screened by a fence and also is out of bounds.
Bird Species List
Click here to view the list of bird species actually seen at the Wetlands.
The preserve is located at
7500 W State Route 89A, Sedona, Az 86336 (In between mile markers 365 & 366)
. This is approximately four miles west of Sedona as measured from the intersection of Upper Red Rock Loop Road.
Take an unmarked right hand turn when you see the treatment facility. Then take an immediate left on to a graveled road that leads to the parking lot.
Ed. Note: All these bird photos were taken at the Sedona Wetlands Preserve.
Click here to see Sedona Wetlands in the news!