The Verde River Greenway State Natural Area is a unit of Dead Horse Ranch State Park and protects almost 1000 acres of riparian and upland habitat. The area, when first designated, sheltered six river miles; today it has grown to encompass 35 river miles. The area protects valuable riparian habitat in an arid state, and has a great diversity of plant, animal, and insect life. The Verde River is a significant resource in the state of Arizona. It is one of the desert’s few free-flowing rivers sustaining a large wildlife population and lush riparian community. The River and its adjacent plant communities provide food and shelter for the wildlife traveling along its banks.