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‘Water Ranch’ ~ Gilbert, Arizona

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After the onset of cold winter weather in northern Arizona nipped us we beat feet directly to the central mountains of the Grand Canyon State and found our way to the Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction east of Phoenix on US 60. The Lost Dutchman State Park is in the Superstition Mountains: beautiful setting!

One of our travel ‘bibles’, if you will, for the state of Arizona is the Arizona Wildlife Viewing Guide updated recently and published by the Arizona Fish and Game Department. It has not steered us wrong. Every spot listed that we have visited has been so much more than just a wildlife or birding area. Check it out.

The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, Arizona is fantastic on a number of counts. A great concept: treated waste-water finding its way back into the ground water and aquifer recharge while providing wildlife habit and a green space and recreation for town folks and visitors alike. Wonderful. Back in the day, prior to Phoenix sprawl, Gilbert, Arizona was home to “Citrus, Cotton and Cattle”. “The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch has an urban fishing lake and seven shallow ponds where reclaimed water undergoes final purification by the workings of marsh plants, micoorganisms and solar energy. Part of the water infiltrates the soil to recharge the ground water, but before it does it is available as well to wildlife. Walking paths between the ponds have been discovered by strollers, bird watchers, equestrians, and folks walking their pets as a bit of verdant paradise amid the concrete of urbanscapes. The Gilbert planners whose vision produced this resource from ‘waste water’ and a quarter section of untaxed land should be commended.”

Eagles and Osprey too; only not for the Big Dawg today.

Posted by bigdawg on December 13, 2012

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