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Watson Woods Riparian Preserve Paint Out

  • Watson Woods Riparian Preserve 1626 Sundog Ranch Road Prescott, AZ, 86301 United States (map)

This paint out is one of four paint outs occurring over a long weekend in the Prescott/Jerome/Sedona area. Other locations include Mingus Mountain, Jerome, and Crescent Moon Day Use Site. Exact meetup spot for all locations to be announced.

Several miles northeast of downtown Prescott, Arizona there is a rare and threatened forest type and it is being protected and restored by Prescott Creeks members and community volunteers!

The 126-acre Watson Woods Riparian Preserve is the remaining portion of what was once a 1,000-acre riparian (streamside) forest of cottonwood and willow trees. Following trends around the southwestern United States, the riparian habitat at Watson Woods had been lost or severely degradedas a result of decades of livestock grazing, illegal dumping, firewood cutting, and most notably, sand and gravel extraction during the mid-20th century. In spite of long-term abuses to this area, it has been healing itself. Over the past 40 years, most of the vegetation and wildlife now found at Watson Woods has returned on its own. Cottonwoods and willows that create a cathedral-like atmosphere over Granite Creek and the edge of a perennial pond provide habitat for a wide variety of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Since the establishment of the Preserve in 1995, the City of Prescott has grown to the north and east, and Watson Woods Riparian Preserve has become a sort of oasis for wildlife and humans alike.