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Native American Heritage Preserve - Pathway and Garden

The Native American Pathway and Garden OPEN Dawn to Dusk

The Center's 15.28 acre property in Camp Verde contains a prehistoric pit house village below ground. The initial investigation identified eight to ten pit house structures. Subsequent surveys have revealed that there are twenty archaeological features, mostly pit houses but extramural hearths (fire pits outside a dwelling) as well. They are arranged in a arching pattern along the east and north end of the property. One pit house was excavated. The Center decided to leave the majority of the property undeveloped and designated as a Native American Heritage Preserve with an educational pathway and traditional use garden.

The Center received a grant from the National Park Service River, Trails and Conservation Program in 2016 that provided expert assistance in determining the location of the pathway. The pathway is part of the Verde River "String of Pearls" system that that is currently being developed to run along the river.

For Directions to the park click HERE.

Educational Exhibits

The primary purpose of the pathway is to provide an educational opportunity for members, residents, visitors, and children to learn about the people who lived on this property as early as 540 A.D. The plaques were fully-funded due to the generosity of our members. There is a QR Code located on each interpretive sign linked to this website to provide additional information.

Exhibit sponsored by Ruthmary Lovitt

The Pit House
Exhibit sponsored by Mary Byrd in memory of Harris Byrd
Bench sponsored by Nils and Janet Anderson
This plaque describes the construction methods of the pit house that was excavated. The Center will be seeking a grant to construct a replica pit house on this spot.

Exhibit sponsored by George and Carole Dvorak
Bench sponsored by Bridget Highfill
This plaque describes the structure of this pit house village - how the dwellings were arranged as well as a description of the artifacts found that tell the story of trade with neighboring people.

Plaque sponsored by Joe and Sonya Landholm
Bench sponsored by Mary Byrd in memory of Harris Byrd
The excavation of the pit house at location 1 included various animal bones. This finding together with historical information, will present the wildlife that these people would have experienced.

Exhibit sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Dennison Shaw, Jr.
Bench sponsored by Mike and Barbara Cadwell
The Paul Dyck Collection was from a site in nearby Rimrock, less than two miles from this site. This collection includes a variety of snares, nets, and bows and arrows that would have been used in their hunting techniques.

Yavapai-Apache Wickiup
Exhibit sponsored by George and Pat Witteman
Bench sponsored by Todd and Heidi Bostwick

Most Yavapai and Apache Indians lived in wickiups. Wickiups are small round or cone-shaped houses made of a willow frame covered with brush.

Outdoor Classroom
Area sponsored by George and Pat Witteman
This area along the trail will include a number of benches and a platform to be used for occasional lectures and classes.

Area sponsored by Donalyn Mikles
The Center has an agreement with the Ancestral Garden Association to develop a garden of traditional Native American plants.      Garden benches sponsored by Susan and Avrum Cohen, Jim and Elaine Worthington, and Stan and Sue Loft.

Prehistoric Farming 
Plaque sponsored by Dean and Kathi Olson
Bench sponsored by Avrum and Susan Cohen
This part of the garden will feature corn, squash, beans and cotton typically grown in this type of village.

Prehistoric Tools
Plaque sponsored by Larry Watkins
Bench sponsored by Stan and Sue Loft
With donations from Desert Botanical Garden, this part of the garden feature varieties of agave that would have been collected and roasted.

Pathway Horticulture
Plaques sponsored by George and Pat Witteman
There will be several signs identifying the various native plants along the pathway.
Pathway benches sponsored by Lee and Jean Silver and Michael Pollard and Mary Wiseman