Fri, May 24

Commentary: Host of issues provide long-term benefits to Cornville, Verde Valley

Judy Miller

Judy Miller

Two announcements last week, along with renewal of a trails coalition, have big implications for the Cornville community.

They are proposed federal legislation that could ultimately expand Windmill Park (VV News, 6/22/18); a county road proposal that could alleviate traffic congestion (VV News, 6/24/18); and reactivation of the Verde Front Trails Working Group. Now is a good time for residents to pay attention and express opinions.

H.R. 6146 Cottonwood Exchange Act: Cornville has long supported expansion of the popular Windmill County Park; and legislation just introduced by Congressman Paul Gosar would do just that. By trading county land adjacent to Cottonwood for a federal parcel in the heart of Cornville, Yavapai County will meet community goals and the Forest Service will protect an important botanical area.

The county’s further commitment to design and build a safe pedestrian bridge across Oak Creek, expand Windmill Park, and continue a regional connector trail are more benefits. The exchange of 80 acres in Cornville (with careful protection of archaeological and riparian resources) for 369 acres of natural land adjacent to Cottonwood (for permanent protection of the threatened Arizona cliffrose) is a win/win proposal that positively serves local, regional and national interests. Share views with County Supervisor Thurman at or Rep. Paul Gosar at

Yavapai County Road Study: Ever since Beaverhead Flat Road was paved, the Cornville community has seen a huge increase in traffic on Cornville Road.

Now, Yavapai County has announced an important study to consider extending Beaverhead Flat Road across the Verde River to State Route 260.

Think of the benefits. Redistribution of traffic would alleviate congestion and speeding through Cornville by providing an option for Sedona-Cottonwood traffic. The proposed route is logical, improves Verde Valley traffic flow, and benefits the Yavapai Apache Nation.

Remember: “Cornville … a quiet place … not the place to start a race.” For information, visit and share your views with County Supervisor Garrison at

Verde Front Trails Working Group: For years, Verde Valley agencies have talked about trails, envisioned connectors between communities and made plans. The work is tedious and involves the cooperation of many entities to make things happen.

A welcome result for Cornville is the Verde Santa Fe trail system, with completion of trailheads by Yavapai County and Forest Service on Zalesky and Tissaw Roads.

More must be done to extend the trail through Cornville, across Oak Creek and beyond. Part of the system follows the historic Cohnville Stage Route. The reactivated working group meets quarterly. To show interest in trails and related planning, contact Group Coordinator Terri Nelson at

Cornville Community Association (CCA): Much has happened in the past 10 years to make Cornville an interesting and desirable place to live. Consider the impacts of the wine industry; official designation of Page Springs Road as a Scenic/Historic Route; founding of the Cornville Historical Society; restoration of the Old Post Office; and county road improvements.

Farmers markets, horseshoe games, chili cook-offs, wine-tastings, potlucks and picnics hosted by the CCA are testaments to our local sense of community. For the next decade, CCA offers great opportunities to reactivate community spirit and turn vision into reality. Learn more and join CCA at

Think about Cornville’s long-term vision for a safe walking bridge across Oak Creek, an expanded Windmill Park, and an important connector trail through the community.

County Supervisors Tom Thurman and Randy Garrison are working hard on our behalf. Now is the time to listen up, get involved, and give them our support.

Judy Miller is a U.S. Forest Service retiree, 20-year Cornville resident, member of Cornville Community Association (former Director & Planning Chair); member of Cornville Historical Society (former President); and 2016 Verde Valley Citizen of the Year. Contact