Just a decade ago, Las Lagunas was overgrown with scrub and brambles, and barbed wire. It had become the local dump and her marsh waters were overgrown with cattails. In 2009, a team led by Arlyn Johnson of the Santa Fe Ranch Foundation began two years of technical expertise planning meetings facilitated by the National Park Service. During these two years a dedicated team from the community met with scientists, hydrologist, biologists, environmentalists, birders, and more. We developed a mission statement and a plan of action.
In 2012, Tony Sedgwick was honored in Washington D.C. for outstanding Wetland Stewardship with the National Wetlands Awards; A prestigious award administered by the Environmental Law Institute. Through a grant with the National Fish and Wildlife Service we established the “Borderland Wetland Stewardship through Youth Leadership”. Area youth groups including the Nogales High School Science Club, and the Anza Ambassadors worked with elementary grades when they came to Las Lagunas de Anza for a field trip
and taught them principals of stewardship and conservation. We now have over 1000 students visiting the wetlands every year and through their experiences here; hiking, observing, recording, discovering and enjoying the marsh… they learn about the wonders of water in the desert and the plants, animals, birds and insects that thrive in her various habitats. They understand this precious resource and return home to tell the stories to their families and friends.