Upcoming Hikes
They are being planned for spring.  Watch this space.

Past Events

Manager of Patagonia Lake State Park, Colt Alford, will share the changes at PLSP on Dec 2  at 10am at Cady Hall

All are welcome to this Free Presentation

Did you know?
• Arizona State Parks won the Gold Medal National award for excellence in the field of park and recreation management this year
• Sonoita Creek Natural Area comprises nearly 10,000 acres of land intended to protect the watershed and provide low impact recreational activities such as hiking and bird-watching
• Local volunteers are helping to maintain trails and fencing, lead bird walks, do stream assessment, and help protect the stream

Have you heard?
• There will be rental cabins at the Park?
• There are changes in the price for admission and season passes?







RSRA poster











March 18, 2017 at Cady Hall, 10am – 12pm
Water History Workshop

As the old adage goes – ‘the more we know about the past, the better we’ll be prepared for the future’…

Join us at Cady Hall on Saturday the 18th of March between 10 am – 12 pm for a morning spent documenting memories of Patagonia’s Water History.

The ‘Patagonia’s Water Futures’ initiative is a multi-year effort seeking to understand water-related issues in Patagonia and offer solutions to the problems identified. This inaugural workshop, as the first in its series, will invite local citizens to present and document a chronology – stretching from prehistory to living memory – of changes in our local watershed alongside members of the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute. This will be an opportunity for the Institute to align its research with what matter to the citizens of Patagonia.

If you would like to submit a story, photo or article related to local water history in preparation for the workshop – please email these to or drop them to the Borderlands Restoration office behind the Visitors’ Center. All contributors will receive a gift certificate from Friends of Sonoita Creek and be entered into a prize draw for the chance to win a copy of T. Sheridan and D. Hadley’s book on the Land Use History of the San Rafael Valley.

To learn more about the Borderlands Restoration Leadership Institute, visit:

Senator Andrea Dalessandra, Friends president Anne Townsend, Ranger Pat Rhoads and Carolyn Shafer (photographer for this photo) toured the Natural Area below the dam at Patagonia Lake State Park on Sunday, April 10.  We applaud Senator Dalessandro for visiting this threatened area.







March 5, 2016 Annual Meeting, Cady Hall, Patagonia, AZ
Dr.Laura M. Norman spoke on our water issues and documented the history of some of the recent changes in our watershed.

Field Workshop, March 15,16, 2015
Learn the basics of the Rapid Stream/Riparian Assessment with a hands-on training and discussion with Dr.Stacey and assistants. Three days is required for most people to become fairly competent. Sunday & Monday will be full days, right now Tuesday is optional. Limited enrollment. For more information, call 520-4550-5016. On-line users’ guide here.

March 14, 2015 Annual Meeting, Cady Hall, Patagonia, AZ
1:00 Business, 2:00 Dr. Peter Stacey will present the method of rapid stream-riparian assessment that allows citizens and managers to efficiently understand the health of a stream. The assessment system is designed for arid environments in the western US. He will include observations made on Sonoita Creek in 2014.

March 29, 2014 Annual Meeting – Keynote speaker Matt Killeen, The Nature Conservancy, Sonoita Creek Preserve.

March 23, 2014 Annual Meeting – David Seieibert, Conservation Director of Borderlands Habitat Restoration Initiative [BHRI], talked to us about his organization, its goals and plans.  BHRI is the first limited-profit business registered in Arizona, aimed toward the state-defined “social good” of ecological restoration through collaborative conservation, with a strong community involvement component.

March 24, 2012 Annual Meeting – Tom Meixner, a U of A hydrologist, spoke about water in riparian areas and what we can do to protect the health of Harshaw Creek and Sonoita Creek.

October 10, 2010 Annual Meeting –  A butterfly walk led by Jim Brock, author of Butterflies of the Southwest and an afternoon presentation he called “A  Photo Butterfly Walk.” 

November 28, 2009 Annual Meeting – Arizona State Parks invited us to celebrate the life of environmentalist and forester Aldo Leopold, during a special Aldo Leopold Centennial Event. Aldo Leopold, an ecologist, forester, and environmentalist, was influential in the development of modern environmental ethics.  David Brown as Aldo Leopold told of his philosophy and accomplishments. 

December 6, 2008 Annual Meeting – Ben Lomeli, a professional hydrologist and teacher, talked about the changes that are occurring in the availability of water in SonoitaCreek and the Santa Cruz River. His slides showed the watershed of Sonoita Creekand tables documenting the amount of water flowing into the Santa Cruz river fromSonoita Creek over time. Following his presentation he answered audience questions. 

December 8, 2007 Annual Meeting – Phil Halpenny presented a 200-year overview of the history of Sonoita Creek beginning with original documents of the ownership of the land. He explained the hydrology of the creek and the changes that have occurred in the past 200 years.

December 10, 2005 Second Annual Meeting – Doug Hamilton, University of Arizona Retired Professor spoke on the Apache Indians and their historical impact in the Sonoita Creek area.