For thousands of years the Rio Salado, also known as the Salt River, and its larger mainstem, the Gila River, served as important perennial source of life and growth for indigenous people residing in central Arizona, including the Akimel and Piipaash. Modern-day indigenous nations, the Gila River Indian Community and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, descended from the ancestral peoples who originally inhabited this land and drew life from the river.
Today, the Salt and Gila are an ephemeral river corridor connecting diverse urban communities across an expansive and growing Maricopa County. While the two rivers are now typically defined by intermittent flow as a function of water conservation and distribution in an arid urban climate, they can also have powerful flows during the Arizona monsoon season providing a diverse and unique ecosystem for the region.
To support and preserve this treasured river corridor, the Rio Reimagined initiative is centered on three general objectives: