The Santa Fe Ranch mission includes a focus on agriculture and nature. We have carried out a number of projects that focus on that mission.
At Las Lagunas we have worked with a number of partners and funders to improve the native habitat and to create a series of interfaces between humans and the natural environment- we believe that we must be and teach other to become, the stewards of nature, that our world requires us to be involved in the health of the planet!
Each year we grow a heritage garden with the help of the Science Club kids and the SCTP workers and in the fall the members of our Anza Club serve these fruits and vegetables to the community. With the invaluable leadership of Don Clemans we have built a bridge over the wetlands, a magnificent bird blind, and many other facilities whose purpose is to bring people into reverent contact with nature. In the coming years, we hope to expand Las Lagunas to include all of the wetlands adjoining it- neighbor Dino Panasoupulos has agreed to donate a parcel of land behind the large warehouse next door and I am seeking to get a similar parcel from another neighbor.
Our mission at the Santa Fe Ranch is somewhat different. Whereby we encourage people to explore Las Lagunas, one of our main missions at the Ranch is to preserve a large piece of land, 3,400 acres, in a relatively pristine condition- to this end we limit access to the ranch and have created specific easily defined areas where people can go- we have a nature trail, a bird sanctuary, a hiking trail, a butterfly and hummingbird garden and various farm related exhibits.
We have been hugely assisted by the Natural Resources Conservation District and Service in this process- through them we have received hundreds of thousands of dollars both before and since the ranch was converted into a non profit currently, the NRCS has approved and funded a $70,000 project to stabilize the river bank along the irrigated pasture next to South River Rd.
In 2013, the Ranch sold its cattle operations to Anchor F cattle Company, Dean’s cattle operation. The cow herd must remain on the Santa Fe and be accessible for Ranch projects such as the U of A Animal Sciences learning visits and FFA programs in the area high schools The Ranch has hosted Earth Day art exhibits and other related activities. Dean is responsible for this project.