Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Picture Canyon is Saved!
I am really pleased to announce that a local Flagstaff cultural resource called Picture Canyon has been permanently preserved for future generations and protected from vandalism and environmental degradation. For years picture canyon has fallen through the cracks and has been subject to paint ball damage, litter and protective limbo. The canyon is really Flagstaff's only local waterfall.
Adding to the value of the site are the ancient Sinaguan petroglyphs scribed in the stone adjacent to the unique water features. The last few years have seen a resurgence in a grassroots effort to not only clean up the vandalism, but removal of old tires, trash and the invasive Scotch Thistle. A core group of local volunteer have successfully lobbied the City of Flagstaff to purchase the 4800 acre area with the aid of an Arizona State Parks Department grant and a 2004 voter approved open space bond.
Even after living here in Flagstaff for 28 years, I had only heard of Picture Canyon. I found out about the canyon after reading an article in the Arizona Daily Sun. I met one of the organizers of the clean up efforts and quizzed him on the location of the area. For those who don't know, you take Old Route 66 behind the mall and take a left at the Wildcat water treatment plant. You continue down the road and it is on the right hand side. After parking on the top of the hill, you weave your way down the canyon through the boulders until you see the waterfalls. I first visited the canyon in March of 2011 and instantly fell in love with the unique features, practically in our back yard.
City Councilmember Celia Barotz who worked for more than two years on the purchase and preservation of Picture Canyon says: “This acquisition is a true testament to the vision and tenacity of the group of Flagstaff residents who years ago imagined that Picture Canyon could one day be permanently protected. I am thrilled that the City Council has authorized the use of 2004 open space bonds to complete this long-awaited purchase and will make this unique historical, cultural, archaeological, recreational and educational resource available for present and future generations to enjoy,” Arizona Daily Sun, Tuesday Oct. 30, 2012.
This makes me proud to be a Flagstaff resident. Things like this really renew my faith that a grassroots campaign can effectively enact real change. Congratulations Flagstaff, and well done.