History in the Desert opens at Brown’s Ranch Trailhead Nov. 18

A new exhibit opening Saturday, Nov. 18, at the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead in Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers insights into the Arizona Historical Society’s role in preserving the state’s history and telling its unique story.

The exhibit, called History in the Desert, is the result of a partnership between the historical society and the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, according to a press release. It includes artifacts and photographs from the Arizona Historical Society collections showing historic ranching, mining, farming and other elements of Arizona history.

The exhibit also exposes visitors to the Arizona Historical Society’s every day role as an educational and cultural connector by providing information about programs like National History Day — a competitive student history competition that welcomes hundreds of participants from around Arizona each year.

A view of the Gateway to the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve in north Scottsdale. (Photo credit: Chris Brown)

The public is invited to an opening reception that begins at 9 a.m. at the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead, 30301 N. Alma School Parkway, in Scottsdale. Free refreshments will be served and McDowell Sonoran Conservancy stewards and Arizona Historical Society staff will be on hand to answer questions.

Earlier this year Sonoran Silver: Preserving Sonoran Desert Treasures opened at the AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park in Tempe, the historical society’s museum in central Arizona. That exhibit honors the 25th anniversary of the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy by telling its history and celebrating its role in helping create and maintain the largest urban preserve in the United States.

“Sonoran Silver brought some of the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve to our museum,” said Tawn Downs, director of the AZ Heritage Center, in a prepared statement. “Now History in the Desert brings a little of our museum to the preserve. We are thrilled that our partnership with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is teaching more people in Arizona about the important work both our organizations are doing.”

History in the Desert will run through May 2018, and will be open whenever McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Pathfinder staff is present, generally 7 – 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and 7 – 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

To support the exhibit, the AZ Heritage Center, 1300 N. College Ave. in Tempe, will feature a series of related lectures and workshops including Sonoran Desert Wildlife, Desert Photography, Ethnobotany in the Sonoran Desert, Central Arizona Geology, and more.

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