By Sedona Ortega
There has been a lot of recent controversy over the Granite Dells. The Granite Dells are a popular Prescott landmark where many locals and tourists hike, bike, boat, and enjoy nature. Located in northern Prescott, the Granite Dells have many beautiful rock formations and surround Watson Lake. This natural, open space is currently home to many different plant and animal species.
The Arizona Eco Development (AED) is looking to build a new development in the beloved Granite Dells. They see the Dells as a place that could be highly profited on. With new businesses and even houses, they will be able to bring more people into the Prescott area. The AED is looking to build 8 miles of new roads, 350+ new homes, and 200 hotel units in the Granite Dells. They are also looking to obstruct the Peavine and Iron King Trails with five new roads to cross them.
Save the Dells is a new organization. It emerged from people’s love for the Dells and their motivation to save them! As stated on the Save the Dells website, “Save the Dells is a grassroots group of Prescott area residents committed to preserving the iconic Granite Dells landscape as permanently protected public open space for the benefit of wildlife, for our quality of life, and for a sustainable economy. Join us in saving this spectacular crown jewel of Prescott from major development threats!” This organization is working very hard for their cause and trying to educate more of the community about ways that they can help to save the dells.
Sawyer Fields is twelve years old and is very inspired to do what he can to save the dells. Recently, he started something called “Sawyer’s Challenge”. Sawyer makes $15 monthly allowance and is donating $100 of his own savings to save the dells and is encouraging friends, family, and others to match his donation or donate as much as they can to help the cause. “My challenge is to get people to donate to save the dells for my generation. I challenge you to help save the dells and take a step in the right direction.”
A brief story was written up about “Sawyer’s Challenge” and published in the Prescott Daily Courier. One local responded through a letter to the editor, and referred to Sawyer as someone who “should be everyone’s hero.” Sawyer said, “The dells are a place to go and relax, play, and enjoy nature’s beauty. It is important to me because I love to go there with my family and friends. I like the dells and don’t want them to be destroyed.”
If you would like to save the dells, here are some things you can do:
- Write or call your local offices (city-council and Prescott Planning and Zoning) and tell a personal story about why the dells are important to you.
- Get involved with Save the Dells and look for upcoming events.
- Tell your friends and family to get others involved as well.
- Join Sawyer’s Challenge and donate to save Granite Dells!
Sawyer said, “The dells are a beautiful place and I will do whatever it takes to make sure it stays the way it is!” So if you agree with Sawyer, get involved and do what you can to save Granite Dells!
For more information, go to www.savethedells.org. Also, check out the City of Prescott website or more specifically, http://www.prescott-az.gov/business-development/planning/projects/ to learn more about the proposed development.