Elizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park
Finalist for the Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards
We are pleased to announce that the Elizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park won the Crescordia Award for Environmental Education and Communication and the Award of Distinction for Art in Public Places awards at the Arizona Forward Gala! We are so excited to receive this recognition for the value this park brings to environmental learning and public art. The Elizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park is a special place in the community. The habitat gardens, pond, watchable wildlife platform, murals, sundial, sculptures by Geoffrey Gross, and examples of gardening and stone masonry make the park a beautiful place to enjoy. Visitors may learn from programs by the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center, the outdoor classroom, the interpretive gardens with QR code signs, the examples of sustainable gardening, the composting and water sustainability systems, and the storybook path from the Flagstaff Literacy Center. Many hands keep this park a special and beautiful place that is treasured by the Flagstaff community and beyond.
Visit Arizona Forward for more details.
Renaming of Sawmill County Park to Elizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park
Coconino County Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce the re-naming of Sawmill Multicultural Art and Nature County Park in honor of a former member of the Board of Supervisors and long-time member of the local community, Elizabeth “Liz” Archuleta.
The community celebrated the Renaming Ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 13 as Coconino County dedicated Elizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park.
Celebrate Reading with the Storybook Path at Elizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park
Coconino County Parks & Recreation and The Literacy Center partnered on a storybook path, at Elizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park. The path features the book Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by local author Monica Brown, and the book’s pages are set on pedestals at intervals along the path. Visitors of all ages, but especially younger visitors, have the opportunity to read the book, which includes both English and Spanish. Visitors may also hear audio versions English, Spanish, and Navajo by scanning a QR code on their phone.
Incorporating an amenity that combines being outdoors in nature and learning is especially appealing to Coconino County Parks and Recreation as the department plans for and provides a variety of recreational, cultural, historic, and educational opportunities throughout the county, in developed and future parks as well as natural areas. As evidenced by the department’s new Master Plan, which was adopted in spring 2020, residents of Flagstaff consider more educational programs for kids a key opportunity for parks and recreation. Storybook paths, also called storybook trails, have been growing in popularity across the country, and are often the result of a partnership between local parks and recreation agencies and libraries or non-profits.
OverviewElizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park, formerly Sawmill Multicultural Art & Nature County Park, was built on a "brownfield" where one of Flagstaff's first sawmills operated from 1908 to 1993. The logging and lumber industry shaped the structure of Flagstaff by attracting Mexican, African American, Swedish, Polish, and Italian families to work at the mills.
The park offers recreational and educational opportunities. Meander around the backyard wildlife habitat gardens and see how a contaminated industrial site can be transformed into an environmental and aesthetic amenity. Its public art celebrates the diversity of the surrounding community.
The mission of the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, is to provide education outreach services that build environmental awareness and an ethic of responsible stewardship of our natural and cultural resources.
Willow Bend Environmental Education Center
Willow Bend Environmental Education Center was founded in 1978 by Jim David, a schoolteacher, and Jim Alam, a supervisor with the Coconino Natural Resource Conservation District (CNRCD). Since then it has served as Coconino County’s only year-round full time environmental education center.
Friends of Willow Bend GardensThe Friends of Willow Bend Gardens is an all-volunteer organization whose primary purpose is to support the Willow Bend Environmental Education Center by restoring the habitat demonstration gardens used in its programs.
You can read more about their work in 2018 restoring the habitat gardens at Willow Bend Environmental Education Center with their 2018 Accomplishments and Plans for 2019 (link to PDF, 2.2 MB).
Interested in volunteering? Check out Willow Bend Environmental Education Center's Facebook page for upcoming events.
Experience Watchable Wildlife OpportunitiesElizabeth "Liz" C. Archuleta County Park is one of 30 wildlife viewing sites within 30 miles of Flagstaff.
Visit Arizona Watchable Wildlife Experience to plan your visit and to find other watchable wildlife sites in northern Arizona.
- 2 acres
- Backyard habitat demonstration gardens
- Performance stage
- Art wall for community painting
- Sculpture walk
- Ponderosa Ramada
- Willow Bend Environmental Education Center green building
- Picnic tables
- Restrooms and drinking fountain
- Adjacent to FUTS trails system
- Lawn area
- Limited parking
- Storybook path
Reservation InformationFor more information on making reservations for the Ponderosa Ramada or if you have questions, please email our Special Events Coordinator, at parksrec(at)coconino.az.gov
Reservations are limited to Saturday and Sunday only in May, September, and October.
Park maps & information to host a Special Event