Member Since: 06/01/2010
Contact: Andy Hart
655 Anderson Street
Winnemucca, NV 89445
Educational Partners: Bureau of Land Management, AmeriCorps, Churchill County School District, Humboldt County School District, Lander Country School District, Nevada Department of Wildlife, US Forest Service, 4-H, American Red Cross, Winnemucca Community Garden, Great Basin College, Nevada National Guard Family Programs, Frontier Community Action Agency, and Frontier Communities Coalition.
- Big Picture
Water Canyon is an oasis in the high desert. Through the Canyon runs Water Canyon Creek which is loud in the spring from the melting snow from the Sonoma Mountains and quiets to a trickle in the fall after a long, dry summer. The lush plant community surrounding the creek is considered a riparian zone. The riparian zone consists of aspens, cottonwood, willow, roses, native grasses and many more. The riparian zone is also home to many animals including bobcat, mountain lion, mule deer, badgers, black-tailed jackrabbits, rattlesnakes and many more.
There is a rich history that is contained in Water Canyon. The Northern Paiute Indians considered the water in the Canyon sacred. They used the water for drinking and bathing along with using it for healing and spiritual rituals. They used the area for fishing, hunting and gathering plants for food and medicine. In 1877, there were built three dams in Water Canyon to store water in reservoirs. The reservoirs were to provide the water for Winnemucca's first water works system that ran till the 1960's. There are still remnants of the iron pipes that were used to transport the water to town. The area also has been considered Winnemucca's playground since the 1870's. “The Grove,” a tall stand of aspen, has been a popular picnic location for generations. There was also a ski lodge from 1920 till the 1960's when it burned down.
Currently the Water Canyon area provides great recreation and educational opportunities to Winnemucca and the local surrounding communities through an interpretive trail and established camp sites with composting, public restrooms, fire pits and public grills. Water Canyon is a great place for families and individuals to hike and camp in. It also provides an educational tool for local school districts to show students a very different eco-system besides desert and help to explain the unique water cycle we have in the Great Basin. The Great Basin is considered the largest contiguous watershed or closed basin of North America where all the precipitation that falls in the basin stays in the basin and does not drain to the ocean. This type of water cycle is an excellent tool to help students see and understand the importance and impact that humans have on our water sources.
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