Wetlands vegetation and wildlife in the midst of urban desert in Gilbert, Arizona
A riparian zone is the area between land and a river or stream. It provides a unique habitat for vegetation and wildlife. It is not a habitat one normally expects to find in the the midst of an urban centre in a desert. But the 110-acre Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch at 2757 E. Guadeloupe Road in Gilbert, Arizona is just that.
The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a water recycling facility for Gilbert. Waste water is treated and piped into basins to replenish the underground water supply. The system also creates a habitat for vegetation and plant life you might not expect to see in the desert.
The Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory at the Riparian Preserve is open every Friday and Saturday evening at nightfall September through June. The East Valley Astronomy Club manages the observatory and schedules events.
I’ve visited the Riparian Preserve several times and always found it to be an uncrowded, peaceful place. When I walked through the trails, it was easy to forget that city sprawled around the preserve.
This post is linked with Travel Mondays