Sunday, August 17, 2008
Gilbert Riparian Preserve
The sun sets over a pond at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve
It takes a lot of imagination and just as much ingenuity to use gallons of wastewater to create a desert oasis.
But that's just what the town of Gilbert has done with it's Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch.
The 110-acre water ranch, which consists of seven recharge ponds, a fishing lake, and several miles of walking trails, attracts more than 100,000 visitors a year. It draws visitors of the avian variety as well. More than 200 different species of birds have been spotted at the preserve. It is also home to swarms of cottontail rabbits and feral cats (which no doubt view the preserve as an all-you-can-eat buffet).
An egret wades in the water at the Gilbert
Much of the water in the recharge ponds is treated wastewater. The water, which is cleaned as it filters down through the soil, will eventually recharge the area groundwater.
Saguaros and prickly pear cacti
at the preserve
Gilbert also maintains two other riparian preserves.
An egret takes flight