The Department purchased the 21-acre Headstream and McVey property to become part of the Yuma East Wetlands, the 1,400 acre restoration project along the Colorado River. The Yuma east Wetlands is located within the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area. The Department entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area (Yuma Crossing) to operate and maintain the property for wetlands and riparian restoration in accordance with the Yuma East Wetlands Restoration Plan. Yuma Crossing will restore the property in accordance with the Plan:
1. Converting fallow agricultural land into sheet-irrigated cottonwood/willow habitat.
2. Restoring flows through degrading marshes of dense cattail and bulrush.
3. Revegetating the riparian areas with cottonwood/willows, mesquite and other native species.
The Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area Corporation, a partnership among government agencies, nonprofit groups and civic organizations, is instrumental in projects aimed at revitalizing the National Heritage Area. The partners include Quechan Indian Nation, City of Yuma, federal agencies and local farmers.
The historic Colorado river channel and wetlands.
The entire Yuma East Wetlands restoration area consists of 1400 acres and is confined to levees north and south of the Colorado River, to the west by the Ocean-to-Ocean Bridge, and to the east by the Gila River confluence with the Colorado River. Within the area you will find cottonwood, willow, and other native riparian vegetation alongside backwater and marsh habitat.
Recreational opportunities include an outdoor classroom and hiking, wildlife viewing, and angling.
Gateway Park at 1st Street in downtown Yuma.
A walking trail begins at the eastern edge of Gateway Park, at Gila Street and 1st Street in downtown Yuma.
A 2.5-mile walking trail takes visitors through areas of restored cottonwood, willow and mesquite habitat and along the Colorado River and restored back channel.
Mesquite, cottonwood and willows, alkali sacaton , blue palo verde, emory’s baccharis , four-wing.
The marsh and back water channel attracts many species of waterfowl, with two times greater bird abundance than before the project. Species include brown pelicans , white-faced ibises , great egrets, snowy egrets, least bitterns, killdeer, Yuma clapper rails, black-necked stilts and greater yellowlegs.
American beaver, bobcat, botta's pocket gopher, cactus mouse, desert cottontail, round-tailed ground squirrel, grey fox.
The Headstream and McVey property is managed for wetland and riparian restoration in accordance with the Yuma East Wetlands Restoration Plan. The area is being converted from fallow agricultural land into sheet-irrigated cottonwood/willow habitat with the restoration of flows through degrading marshes of dense cattail and bulrush and the revegetation of riparian areas with cottonwood/willows, mesquite and other native species.