Dense riparian forest consisting of cottonwood, ash, willow and chokecherry. Perennial stream flow above ground in shaded sections. Beginning of sheep and cattle grazing.

Early 1900s
Continuation of stock grazing in and along Granite Creek. Industrial uses begin in riparian flood plain. Dam building for irrigation.

Mid-20th Century
Sand and gravel mining, timber treatment and sewage disposal.

Arizona Department of Economic Planning and Development recommended establishing an “Educational and Recreational Area at the south end of Watson Lake.”

Prescott College Students organize creek clean-up and tree planting for Watson Woods.Spring Ridge Academy Volunteers-WW Reveg 2000.psd_-200x140

Prescott Creeks reorganized to develop formal protection for Watson Woods.

Prescott Creeks signed a 25-year lease with City of Prescott to manage Watson Woods as a riparian nature preserve.

Watson Woods Riparian Preserve Comprehensive Plan written with funding from the AZ Water Protection Fund. This plan guides management, inventory and monitoring, ecological restoration and educational programs for the Preserve.

Preserve infrastructure installed. Kiosk built with funding from US Fish & Wildlife Service funding. Preserve ground-water monitoring wells funded by AZ Game & Fish Dept. Heritage Fund.

Baseline inventory of flora and fauna began with additional funding and local partnerships. Simple ecological restoration projects initiated. Volunteers plant riparian trees. City of Prescott builds Prescott Lakes Park Way and the bridge across Watson Woods Preserve. Volunteers plant native trees and shrubs to mitigate damage caused by construction.

Ecological restoration plans developed with funding from AZ Water Protection Fund. Vegetation surveys completed with emphasis on noxious weeds. Groundwater research.

Functionally restore Granite Creek channel and floodplain riparian habitat. Build trails. Design and install IMG_8919 (Large)-200x133interpretive and educational signs.


Invasive species control, restoration planning, collaborative projects with partners – National Phenology Network, SW Monarch Study, Prescott Audubon Society, AZ Game & Fish Department, City of Prescott.

Floodplain and terrace revegetation, channel & wetland restoration, educational programming, infrastructure improvement, Preserve expansion, and long-term protection.