In this aerial view from July 4th, 2010 Tres Rios Overbank Wetlands (south and west of the fenced in "Regulating Wetlands") are under construction. Roll your mouse
over the image to see the annotated version. Photo: Aeromoe
Tres Rios Wetlands is a constructed wetlands project created late in the first decade of the 21st Century. The name Tres Rios (Three Rivers) was derived from the fact that three
rivers are in the immediate vicinity: the Salt River, the Gila River, and the Agua Fria River. The wetlands are located in Maricopa County Arizona a few miles south of the town
of Tolleson. The nearest major intersection is 91st Avenue and Broadway Road, about a mile to the north. Interstate 10 is just under 5 miles to the north of Tres Rios. The town of
Goodyear is about 6 miles to the northwest.
My first exposure to Tres Rios was not long after I took up birding as an interest and photography subject. I found Tres Rios during an internet search
of Maricopa County "hot spots" and I made my first visit on June 15, 2013. Since that first visit I have logged about a dozen further visits for birding and walking.
In addition to the Overbank Wetlands project, there were three known projects that preceeded it. A site known as the "Research Site" is mentioned on the
official website. Another was the "Hayfield Site" and a third was called "Cobble Ponds." All three are long closed though obvious remnants of the latter two remain.
Hayfield Site is not accessible to the public anymore but the remnants of Cobble Ponds are visible to the south as viewed from the berm/higher ground south of
the Overbank Wetlands project. The "pier" structures are visible in person (and on Google Earth) and I've often wondered what these were. I only discovered
what the Cobble Ponds were in early 2014 while reading Michael J. Rupp's "Birds Eye" Guide to 101 Birding Sites Phoenix guidebook. On page 11 of that guide is the entry for the "91st Ave. Cobble Ponds."
In their heyday, both these areas were very popular birding locations and usually productive during a visit.
Maricopa Audubon Society Cactus Wren-Dition article website: Here
Here is the official Tres Rios Wetlands website: Here
The following photos illustrate some of the history of the Cobble Ponds, Hayfield Site, Regulating Wetlands and the waste-water treatment plant at a closer scale than the previous set of images.