The little town that can - Arivaca
Surrounded by mountain ranges Arivaca is a birding hotspot with the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge in the center of town. Arivaca Lake is six miles down Ruby Road, enroute to the ghost town of Ruby. Arivaca Creek and Mustang Trail provide hiking with abundant birds and wildlife.
At an elevation of 3,800', and positioned to capture weather rolling in from the South and West the climate is cooler and wetter than Tucson with highs ranging up to 100 and lows into the teens. Rainfall ranges from 12-20 inches per year, most of which occurs during the spectacular summer monsoons.
With approximately 700 residents, Arivaca is home to a diverse and talented population that includes numerous descendants of area pioneer families. Many creative artistic ventures have evolved as well as numerous building and design explorations ranging from block making to bamboo and alpaca cultivation, to cob building.
Those who have visited and had the pleasure of meeting some of the people who call Arivaca home, quickly understand why this town stand as a real model of the best in the tradition of Western frontier towns that have survived by relying on their own history of self-reliance, caring for each other and innovation.
In that spirit, in 2011 community members created Arivaca Alive, with a mission to develop programs and activities to increase the number of visitors to the community to support local businesses. Exposing visitors to the residents as part of a larger rebranding effort was an equally important goal. The group initiated First Saturdays in Arivaca with themed monthly events. In 2013 the group began a campaign branding Arivaca as a weekend destination built around the eco tourism attractions in the area including: birding, hiking, boating, gardening, and ghost town hunting. The organization sought to expand its reach to publicize other activities in the community throughout the year including: Fall Harvest Festival, Dia de los Muertos, Holiday Parade, Arivaca Home & Art Tour, Arivaca Film Festival, Chili Cook-off, Cinco de Mayo and Fourth of July Parade.
The Greater Green Valley Community Foundation (GGVCF) has been a long time supporter of this historic community. In fall of 2015 the Foundation, through its Non Profit Learning Institute (NPLI), convened a series of meeting with community leaders to assist them to plan for the future of Arivaca. Faced with an aging generation of community leaders and with a shortage of jobs to attract younger people and families, the town has struggled recently to find the resources and people to build the future.
The people of Arivaca are once again, as they have so often done in their proud history, rising up to protect and preserve a way of life that defines the real meaning of community. Together with local NPO leaders in Arivaca, the NPLI convened 3 meetings in the latter part of 2015 to formulate a collaborative community wide strategic plan for the future of Arivaca.
Plans are moving forth rapidly in 2016 to make this plan a reality. Please contact GGVCF if you want to know more or want to be a part of this historic community development process.
Arivaca Community Development meetings with GGVCF and NPLI
2015: October 16 and November 16.
2016: January 22 agreed at January meeting to meet every other month.
Meetings set for 9-11 am at the Arivaca Action Center the 3rd Friday; March 18, May 20, July 15th, September 16th and November 18th.
For more information contact GGVCF:
Email: [email protected]