New Sign at Steam Pump Ranch Honors Heritage

The Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area has announced on behalf of its partners—the Town of Oro Valley and the Oro Valley Historical Society—the installation of a new outdoor, interpretive sign at Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley.

The new sign provides important historical and natural context to help orient visitors to Steam Pump Ranch and the surrounding area. The sign shares information about ranching, desert farming, indigenous cultures, water, and more. It also lists more than 10 nearby sites found within the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area to encourage further exploration.

“Our goals for this sign were to orient people within the larger landscape of the National Heritage Area while connecting them to specific experiences in and around Steam Pump Ranch— especially those related to ranching, since the site was established in the late 1800s and provided water to ranchers and travelers passing through the region. We hope this leads to increased visitation and appreciation of Oro Valley’s heritage sites while also inspiring stewardship for these treasures,” said SCVNHA Executive Director Lesley Kontowicz.

Devon Sloan, a member of the Oro Valley Historical Society which provided content for the sign, said, “The sign really helps bring to life the rich history in Oro Valley for all our visitors, and we are so grateful to have been a part of this project.”

“We are honored to have a place like Steam Pump Ranch in Oro Valley. The historical significance it carries allows us to tell the story of those that have come before us and helped shape our community,” said Rosalyn Epting, Town of Oro Valley Parks & Recreation director. “And this partnership plays a pivotal role in telling the story of Steam Pump Ranch and the Santa Cruz Valley to a larger audience.”

The 4′ x 3′ sign, designed for outdoor longevity, will serve to educate visitors to Steam Pump Ranch for years to come.

Pictured above – More than a dozen people gathered to celebrate the new interpretive signage at Steam Pump Ranch, including the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area Executive Director Lesley Kontowicz, Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield, Oro Valley Historical Society President Denzil Walker, Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Director Rosalyn Epting, and other supporters of the project
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