Tue, Apr

Before Camp Verde Community Library opened its new 17,000square-foot facility last November, Library Director Kathy Hellman led a tour of the facility and pondered the possibility that musicians might one day play in there — not in a room somewhere, closed off from the public, but among the books.

“Can’t you just see it?” Hellman said as she looked down from the second floor balcony.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Harvest Inc.’s 35,000-square-foot marijuana grow facility in Camp Verde is not its existence, but the acknowledgement by the company’s top executive that the community has a right to be concerned.

“The town will continue to be protective, and they should be,” Harvest CEO Steve White said, adding that in his view the permitting process to establish the facility took longer than he expected it would. “I think that’s representative of government officials and employees doing the best things in the interest of their residents. The town has been fair and professional, but the leadership and employees were initially concerned about this use.

Imagine going to the doctor: Arriving, very possibly with an illness or injury that is causing unease or even pain, only to sit in a waiting room, counting the minutes.

Now, imagine that, instead of having to sit in that room with other people, risking exposure to those who may themselves be ill, you are given your own room to wait in — assured all the while that a health care provider is being alerted if you’ve waited too long.

Your trash is not useless or even close to useless — at least, not in Camp Verde during its Earth Day Arts Fest.

On Saturday, April 22, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Rezzonico Park, the Town of Camp Verde hosts the inaugural event, inviting community members to interact with the natural world through a variety of activities — the most imaginative of which is an “upcycled” artwork contest.

Dripping wet and smiling after navigating five to 10 miles of Verde River rapids near Camp Verde March 18, this year’s Verde River Runoff racers were helped out of the water by a group of teenage volunteers.

It’s the third year in a row that Valley Academy for Career and Technology Education’s Fire Science students have participated in the River Runoff. The group, comprised of four Mingus Union High School students, three Camp Verde High School students and two Sedona Red Rock High School students, are all working toward 15 college credit hours and industry certification through VACTE.

A year-and-a-half down the road, commuters along State Route 260 will enjoy nine new miles of divided highway and run less risk of a disastrous wreck, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

Construction has begun on the project, with the bulk of activity happening overnight within a mile west of Interstate 17. The project will occur in two westward-progressing phases: Phase one will extend from I-17 to Cherry Road. Phase two will extend from Cherry Road to Thousand Trails Road.

For 16 years, Camp Verde has annually celebrated one thing: Before the wine got added to its name, the Spring Heritage Pecan and Wine Festival help locals and visitors go nuts over the pecan, one of the town’s assets.

A brief history lesson for those who don’t know: In the late 1920s, landowner’s daughter Eva Haydon planted a row of pecan trees along what would become a section of Montezuma Castle Highway known as Pecan Lane. In 2000, the Pecan Lane Rural Historic Landscape became a site on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Verde Valley boasts an abundance of trail enthusiasts — a fact the Prescott National Forest Verde Ranger District hopes to use to its advantage as it prepares to begin a volunteer trail maintenance crew in Camp Verde.

“Initially, the efforts will focus on trail maintenance, but as we move forward with a very comprehensive trails analysis this year the opportunities for construction activities are likely to increase,” Thomas A. Palmer, East Zone Recreation Program Manager for the Prescott National Forest Verde Ranger District, said, adding that he hopes to attract a diverse group of trails enthusiasts.

According to Tony Papa, Forest Trails Coordinator for the Prescott National Forest Verde Ranger District and lead contact for the effort, many trails on National Forest land are established and maintained by volunteers.

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