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Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
December 31, 2020
by Joe Michalides

Attendees in alphabetical order are: Carl, Carol, Chris, Chuck, Jade, Lin, Michael, Michelle, Sandra, Sylvia, Tamar, and Ted.

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a great local place for short hikes. I walk my dog there once in a while. With all of the shade you can hike here even when it’s hot. They had the Christmas light decorations set up.

Twelve people signed up for this easy "D" hike in Gilbert. Many lived in the area, and there were several new people who have hiked this before, but not with the Trailblazers. Needless to say I was delighted with the turnout.

We started the hike at the east end of the library parking lot by the ramada. The lot was pretty empty so parking wasn’t an issue. We walked east to the bridge over the library lake past the observatory and bathrooms to the east side of the park. Then south to the water distribution control station where the seven lift gates let water flow to each of the seven ponds. From there we walked east to the Eastern Canal then south along the canal to another path going west back into the park. Once back at the water control station, we headed south again to the southern border under the high tension wires, west along that path to another path heading north. In this way we traverse all of the trails along all of the ponds until we ended back at the parking lot.

Map of the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch.

The Riparian map showing the 7 water reclamation ponds and the permanent lake behind the library on the southeast corner of Guadalupe and Greenfield. Not all of the ponds have water. They fill up several ponds, wait for them to sink into the earth, then plow them up and repeat.

Water control lift gates. [photo by Joe]
Sunrise at the Riparian Preserve. [photo by Ted]
Joe gives us expert advice. [photo by Ted]
Autumn color.  But hey, it’s winter!  [photo by Ted]
Orange berries for New Year’s. [photo by Ted]
How many birds? [photo by Ted]
Come sit a spell. [photo by Ted]
Ted, Carol, Michael and Jade walking the canal [photo by Lin]

Some of the many birds that can be seen at the Riparian Preserve: [all photos by Lin].

bird bird
→   More pictures, by Lin
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updated January 2, 2021