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  • Sustainability and Conservation project to receive prestigious preservation award

    Jun 05, 2017 | Read More News
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    File: footprint found at Sunset Road and bridge project siteFile: Sunset Road Public Archaeology ProgramPima County’s Office of Sustainability and Conservation (OSC) next week will receive one of the most prestigious honors the State of Arizona can bestow on an agency, the Governor’s Award in Public Archaeology. The ceremony will take place as part of this year’s Arizona Historic Preservation Conference set for June 14-16 at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Rd in Oro Valley. 

    Sustainability and Conservation won for its work on the Sunset Road Public Archaeology Program, which offered public tours of a 2,500- to 3,000-year-old agricultural system found near the confluence of the Santa Cruz and Rillito Rivers. The site notably features the footprints of a family and a dog as they tended their corn crop one day between 1,000 and 500 BCE. The project was sponsored by the Pima County Department of Transportation in advance of construction of the new Sunset Road and bridge.

    Ian Milliken, a program coordinator with the office’s Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation Division will accept the award on behalf of the county.

    “In the American Southwest, it is rare that an archaeological site investigation yields more than an artifact assemblage that the public can recognize – something that looks familiar, something that speaks to them. The Sunset Road Footprints provided a unique opportunity for public values to transcend scientific values for archaeology, and 2,500-3,000-year-old human footprints captured the interest of local, national and international communities.”

    In addition to being an honoree at the conference, the Office of Sustainability and Conservation will serve as host of the event along with the State Historic Preservation Office. The annual gathering brings together preservationists from across Arizona and the region to exchange ideas, share perspectives and solutions to preservation issues and to foster cooperation within the diverse preservation community.

    The conference also will allow Pima County a chance to show off its vast cultural and natural assets that were shaped by our Native American, Spanish Colonial, Mexican and American predecessors as well as the borderlands heritage and traditions that continue to contribute to the region’s vitality.

     “We want the preservation community, and the public at large, to understand that Pima County is committed to preserving our important places and living traditions,” said Linda Mayro, Director of the Pima County Office of Sustainability and Conservation. “It’s in our nature to embrace and protect cultural resources and engage the whole community in historic preservation, land conservation and stewardship, and heritage education.”

    A number of Pima County staffers will present workshops detailing their projects and research during the conference, covering a wide range of topics, from resource management and heritage conservation to education and outreach. Presenters will include Ian Milliken and Courtney Rose from Sustainability and Conservation; Simon Herbert and Richard Hornby from Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation; and Betty Villegas, former director of the Pima County Housing Center.

    Registration for the conference is open to the public and runs through June 16.


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