Within the Coronado National Forest there is a ranch that offers a glimpse into the past while providing all families an opportunity to spend a day in the northeastern flanks of the Huachuca Mountains just outside Sierra Vista. It is an historic site set in a picturesque grassland with oak and juniper trees and a panoramic mountain view. Families can tour the historic ranch house, bring a picnic lunch and pick a shady spot under a cottonwood tree for an enjoyable outing. There is a duck pond with a trail leading to it that fills from the overflow of a pond just behind the ranch house. This glimpse into the past is known as the Brown Canyon Ranch, ran by the Sierra Vista Ranger District of the US Forest Service.
It provided a perfect opportunity for an Eagle Project for Russell, one of our scouts in Troop 464. As usually happens in nature, where there is water, Mother Nature has a habit of filling the pond with vegetation that quickly turns a duck pond into a reedy swamp.
Russell decided to help out the US Forest Service by creating a project to clean out the reeds and restore the pond to a condition where when the rains come, as they always do in Southern Arizona in the way of “Monsoons”, the pond could once again bring in the ducks. As we also learned the pond was home to a small endangered frog.
With permission from the ranger in charge of the ranch for the project in hand, Russell got started on the steps necessary to make it happen. After careful preparation and planning with help recruited, the project took place on a Saturday in early August.
When it was said and done after a few hours of work the pond was ready for the next invasion by the Anatidae family.