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For Immediate Release, March 31, 2009

Contact: Michelle Harrington, Center for Biological Diversity, (602) 628-9909

April River Days Opens With Tony Norris, Springfed Band

PRESCOTT, Ariz.— April River Days: A Week of Celebration and Action for the Verde opens this year on April 17 with a musical celebration of Arizona’s green heart, the threatened Verde River. This second annual April River Days event, coordinated by the Center for Biological Diversity , runs April 17 to 25 and will include a spectrum of fun to serious events to help the public get to know the Verde River as an ecological andaesthetic treasure in Prescott’s backyard. Events include field trips, water conservation activities, a symposium on Verde River water ecology, movies, children’s activities, low-cost river trips, and more. For the calendar of events, please click here.

Renowned Arizona singer and storyteller Tony Norris will perform with the Springfed Band beginning at 7:00 p.m. at the Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Prescott. Soul Creek, a special confluence of local musicians, rounds out the program with songs celebrating the beauty and importance of flowing water. Tickets are $7 at the door, and the evening is co-sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity and Folk Sessions.

“We’re very excited to have Tony Norris and the Springfed Band kick off this year’s April River Days celebration,” said Michelle Harrington, rivers conservation manager at the Center for Biological Diversity. “ Soul Creek, a band formed especially for this opening night event, will be recognized by the audience as some of the best-loved faces from Prescott’s folk scene. Their renditions of soul stirring, water-inspired music will be a lovely tribute to the Verde River.”

Flagstaff based Tony Norris is a regular at storytelling festivals, cowboy poetry gatherings, schools, campfires, and corporate conferences. With his big Martin guitar in hand and healthy doses of humor, he invites listeners to leave the everyday world behind and journey into the Old West. As described by Katie Lee , legendary folksinger, songwriter, and author , “ Tony has a voice that sings like a real live river telling stories wherever it goes — gently like a ripple, or rowdy like a rapid — and always from his generous, forgiving heart.”

A writeup of Flagstaff’s Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival gives a colorful description of the Springfed Band. “Out of the old rock, the Springfed Band flows… Where lost love is lamented and brave dawgs are celebrated. Where greybeard survivors of the 60s folk scare, gaelic dancers and conservatory violinists meet over good corn whisky, green grape cobbler and dance tunes in D.” In the Springfed Band, Norris is joined by Megan Buchanan, Elena Gonzales, and special guest, local picking favorite Warren Miller.

The Center for Biological Diversity has hosted a wide variety of events to educate local citizens about threats to the Verde River that include groundwater pumping, off-road vehicle damage, pollution from sludge dumping, and human population growth. “ April River days emphasizes what is at stake as local municipalities forge ahead with their pipeline projects without a plan to protect the Verde,” said Harrington. “The city of Prescott claims that moving the well for their Big Chino pipeline further up the wash from the river is the only mitigation plan they need. This will only delay impacts. It won’t prevent them. The city has yet to produce a comprehensive, scientifically verifiable mitigation plan for which the citizens have repeated and reasonably asked.”

The Granite Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation is located at 882 Sunset Avenue in Prescott. For more information on April River Days, visit or contact Edie Dillon at (928) 277-9155 or Michelle Harrington at

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

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