The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is an oasis in the Sonoran Desert where seven aquifer recharge basins are creating diverse habitats and attract a variety of wildlife. Approximately 298 species of birds have been identified at the preserve. Many insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals have found a home here as well.
The Preserve was created as an unique way to combine water resource management with wildlife habitat preservation, education, and outdoor recreation.
Spend your weekend walking, running, hiking, biking, riding or just casually strolling over 4.5 miles of trails through the park. Dogs are welcome!
You will see interpretive education panels on wildlife and vegetation positioned along the trails and there are also viewing blinds along the edge of several ponds to enhance your wildlife viewing experience.
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The preserve also boasts an urban fishing lake, covered picnic areas, dinosaur dig site, campsites, and the only valley astronomy observatory open to the public every Friday and Saturday evening from dusk until 9:30 p.m., subject to weather conditions.
The latest addition to the Preserve is the Gilbert Rotary Centennial. We already wrote about it, you can read all about the Observatory here.
The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch also offers a unique opportunity for learning and education for people of all ages.
Research topics may include:
- Vegetation inventories
- Soil characterization and monitoring
- Water percolation impacts on soil chemistry
- Butterfly research
- Bat research
- Tourism trends
- Specific species research such as burrowing owls
- Threatened species relocation
Whether you want to learn, research or just stroll stroll through the park – we’re sure you’ll enjoy it!
Download a visitor’s Preserve map in .pdf format.