Three weeks after opening its newest park, Gilbert Regional Park, Gilbert will celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of its crown jewels, the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch, on Oct. 12 from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
The seven-pond preserve—the ponds are actually water recharge basins for effluent—at 2757 E. Guadalupe Road in Gilbert serves as an aquifer for the town, but is adorned with trails and wildlife, plus an observatory.
Celebration activities start at the adjacent Southeast Regional Library, 775 N. Greenfield Road in Gilbert. The library will offer story time, crafts, face painting and a prize wheel among its offerings from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
The preserve’s activities will run from 3-8 p.m., with vendor and food booths on site. The anniversary ceremony will be held at 3:30 p.m. east of the library next to the lake.
Other activities include a dinosaur show at 3 p.m., a reptile show at 4 p.m. and solar and night sky viewing at the observatory. A fishing derby, set to run from 5-6:30 p.m., requires a fishing license and online preregistration to participate.
The celebration will finish with night hikes and s’mores from 6:30-8 p.m.