Sedona Wetlands Preserve

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7500 W. SR 89A, Sedona, Az 86336, between mile markers 365 and 366

 Professional #1

The Wetlands process

National Georgraphic logo hyperlinkThe Sedona Wetlands Preserve occupies approximately 27 acres in Effluent Management Area 2 located south of the Sedona Wastewater Treatment facility. The wetlands comprise six basins with a total water surface area of 12.2 acres or 9.6 million gallons. The water is supplied by effluent from the treatment facility, treated to A+ effluent quality standards, the highest under Arizona regulations. Treatment processes include biological treatment, clarification, filtration, and ultra-violet disinfection.  Learn more about the Water Cycle.

Water cycled diagramThe reconfigured wetland basins are designed to increase the amount of effluent evaporation through added open water area; support evapotranspiration through planting native plants and trees; and  increase infiltration through additional basin surface area.

The basin depth zones range from very shallow to approximately 4 feet deep to accommodate a wide range of habitat. View a cross section showing plantings and wetlands here. 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.

In addition to effluent management goals, the wetlands also provide habitat for numerous wetland species and serve as a public park with educational and recreational opportunities including bird watching and pedestrian trail walking.

Wildlife viewing tips

Summer tanager and American avocet photosThe Northern Arizona Audubon Society offers seasonal birding field trips to the wetlands at no charge. Visit the Audubon website for the calendar of events

For the best viewing, follow the tips below:

  • Wildlife like edges. Look closely along the water’s edge.
  • Mornings and evenings usually offer the best viewing.
  • Look for movement. Look for something that is “out of place” like a color or shape.  that is unusual.     
  • Be quiet and use aids like binoculars.    
  • Look for wildlife tracks, droppings, calls, feathers and nests.
  • Avoid brightly colored clothing. 

Etiquette. Observe from a distance to avoid disturbing wildlife. Never chase or pick up wildlife, even if an animal's parents are not visible. Leave feathers, egg shells, nests and even dead animals where you find them. Limit the time you spend closely viewing any animal.


List of birds seen at the wetlands.  Courtesy of Northern Arizona Audubon Society.


Wetlands rules at a glance
Parks and Recreation rules and regulations

Idea submittal and evaluation process

See a slideshow of the process.  Get the printable Sedona Wetlands Preserve Idea Submittal and Evaluation Process pdf file.

Additional resources

Sedona Wetlands Preserve Photo Album

Mosquito treatment protocols (PDF)

Protect yourself from West Nile virus - visit AzDHS's info page

Ramada Rental

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