In between the Patagonia and Santa Rita Mountains of southeastern Arizona lies The Nature Conservancy’s Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve, home to biological diversity associated with some of the richest of the remaining riparian (streamside) habitat in the region. As the first project for The Nature Conservancy in Arizona, Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve contains the first two miles of permanent flow of Sonoita Creek and the floodplains adjacent to the stream. The watershed is mostly undeveloped, and the natural processes of flooding are mostly intact and functioning. A significant number of rare and sensitive plant species are found in the Sonoita Creek watershed, such as the Huachuca water umbel, Santa Cruz striped agave, Santa Cruz beehive cactus, Arizona black walnut, and netleaf hackberry.

Today the Preserve is visited by thousands of people every year seeking to see and experience some facet of its rich natural diversity. It is recognized nationally as an Important Birding Area, with over 250 species of birds documented throughout the year relying on the preserve’s unique habitat for breeding or migratory stopovers. Volunteers are always welcome to help staff the visitor center or assist with trail maintenance and other projects.

by ian, published February 26, 2018