Sedona Wetlands Preserve


7500 W State Route 89A, Sedona, Az 86336 (In between mile markers 365 & 366)

Professional #1

National Georgraphic tab

Understanding the Process

The Sedona Wetlands Preserve occupies approximately 27 acres in Effluent Management Area 2, which is located south of the Sedona Waste Water Reclamation Plant.  The wetlands consist of six basins, with a total water surface area of approximately 12.2 acres or 9.6 million gallons.  The water within these basins is supplied by effluent from the Sedona WWRP which is treated to meet A+ Effluent Quality Standards. This is the highest treatment standard under current Arizona regulations. Processes consist of biological treatment, clarification, filtration, and ultra-violet (UV) disinfection.  Learn more about the Water Cycle occurring.

The reconfigured wetland basins are designed to achieve the following effluent management goals:

  • Water cycle DiagramIncrease the amount of effluent evaporation through significantly more open water area.
  • Continue evapotranspiration rates through planting wetland and other native plants and trees.
  • Increase infiltration through additional basin surface area.

The basins have various depth zones from very shallow to approximately 4 feet deep to accommodate a wide range of habitat. See a cross section of the plantings and wetlands here.  Wetland and upland plants are located within shallow water areas and above the water line to provide habitat, attract wildlife, and control erosion. Several islands are constructed within the basins to provide safe habitat and breeding areas for birds and other wildlife.

In addition to effluent management goals, the wetlands will also achieve the following benefits:

  • Provide habitat for numerous wetland species
  • Provide a public amenity with educational and recreational opportunities, including the study of wetland species, bird watching, and pedestrian trails.

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager

Wildlife Viewing Tips

The Northern Arizona Audubon Society offers seasonal birding field trips to the wetlands. These field trips are led by knowledgeable local birders and are open to everyone at no charge. For further information on dates and times, please go to their website to see the calendar of events.. 

Wildlife at the Sedona Wetlands Preserve are free to come and go as they choose. Wildlife you saw last time and the location where you saw them may have changed when you return.  For the most productive viewing, follow the tips below:

  • Wildlife like edges. Look closely along the water’s edge.
  • Put the sun behind you so it is not in your eyes or reflecting off the water.
  • Consider the time of day. Mornings and evenings usually offer the best viewing.
  • Look for movement. Moving animals are easier to spot.
  • Look for something that is “out of place” like a color or shape that is unusual.
  • Move slowly, be patient, be quiet and use aids like binoculars.
  • Be alert for signs of wildlife like tracks, droppings, calls, feathers and nests.
  • Wear natural colored clothing avoiding bright white or red that might startle the animals. 

Additional Wildlife Viewing Etiquette can also be followed to increase your viewing experience. 

American Avocet 

 American Avocet


Birding List- alphabetical

Birding List- phylogenetic


Wetlands Rules at a Glance
Parks and Recreation Rules and Regulations

Idea Submittal and Evaluation Process

A guide for requesting City approval and/or support to implement program and event ideas.
Slideshow of the process
Printable Sedona Wetlands Preserve Idea Submittal and Evaluation Process (pdf)


Sedona Wetlands Preserve Photo Album

Mosquito Treatment Plan.

 west nile