PHOENIX (FOX 10) - Today we're taking a look at Tres Rios. It's home to more than 150 species of birds, and it's right here in Phoenix. Visiting Tres Rios is like stepping back in time.
Tres Rios is a constructed wetland in the heart of the Valley. It's 700 acres of lush green areas in and around the Salt River make you feel as if you're far from the desert. The manmade facility has many uses including the treatment of reclaimed water from the Waste Water Treatment Plant.
"This place is for habitat restoration and as polishing and conditioning for our waste treatment plant effluent and from there it goes to the Salt River where it's beneficially used, downstream," said Patty Kennedy, deputy director of wastewater engineering for the City of Phoenix.
80 million gallons of water flow through the area daily.
"It's all part of the treatment process, so there's deepwater basins and then it goes into shallow areas once it leaves a regulated area, it goes into the overbank area," Kennedy said. "And there's ponds and areas where the water is pooling, which allows again for the wildlife. It gives them a place to use the water."
Those enjoying all of this water the most might be the birds. This area is considered one of the top bird watching destinations.
"[There are] over 150 species of birds," Kennedy said. "So this area is world-known in the bird watching community."
There's also raccoons, bobcats, and coyotes who call the area home.
Tres Rios is also used as a recreational site. Its easy flat walking paths make it a great spot for the entire family to enjoy.
"Biking that you can do, there's trails so there's hiking. There's three-and-a-half miles of trails through the area, so one way is 7 total miles of trails."
Tres Rios is located near 91st Avenue and Broadway. It's free and open to the public.