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Learn Santa Cruz River history while drinking cocktails during virtual happy hour

Arizona Daily Star


You can take in the rich history of the Santa Cruz River while sampling “nature-themed” cocktails all from the comfort of your own couch this Tuesday, April 7.Santa Cruz River Star Image

That’s when the Watershed Management Group is hosting a “Drunk History of the Santa Cruz” virtual happy hour from 5:30-7 p.m. using the video conferencing app Zoom.

The group, whose projects include a 50-year plan to restart the flow of the Santa Cruz and Rillito rivers, first held this event on the back patio of North Fourth Avenue’s Che’s Lounge in 2018, but, like everything else, has had to transition online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are still adapting and (have been) practicing this week,” said Watershed project manager Trevor Hare.

Hare said the interactive talk will cover about 12,000 years of history, with stories of early American Indians, Mexicans and settlers and how they used local water resources.

In addition to the lecture, led by Hare and cultural ecologist Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar, Drunk History will include river trivia, and Spadefoot Nursery will teach participants how to make “nature-themed” cocktails, cocktails that incorporate native plants, with a celebratory toast at the end.

Cocktail recipes will be emailed in advance to everyone who registers for the event so people have time to gather the ingredients.

The fundraiser is being held to coincide with AZ Gives Day, which has served Watershed Management well in the past. Last year, the group raised $66,500 on AZ Gives Day. This year, despite coronavirus restrictions, they hope to raise $75,000.

There is no set price of admission for the event. Watershed Management will accept all levels of donations through azgives.org/watershedmg and you can register for Drunk History at watershedmg.org.

Participants will receive detailed instructions about how to use Zoom and join the party after registering.

Up to 500 people can join in, Hare said.

The money raised will go toward restoring neglected riparian areas, toward educational programming for children and to creating a new virtual training series about water harvesting, urban forestry and river restoration.

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