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Rules for Public Use

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Hours of the Preserve

5:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Trail & habitat areas open dawn to dusk

Functions of the Preserve

This unique site combines three functions:

  • An educational/recreational space of the Town of Gilbert;
  • A water reclamation facility;
  • And a habitat area for wildlife

Rules for Public Use

There is wildlife on the property. Our goal is to keep wildlife wild, and ensure visitors opportunities to visit the space without impact to the wildlife. Therefore:

  • Stay on the trails and in public areas, such as wildlife viewing blinds. Maintain a respectful distance from any wildlife or nests. Site has ADA accessible trails.
  • Keep animals "wild"- don't feed wildlife or leave any kind of food unattended.
  • Semi-domestic ducks (mallards) may be fed at the Water Ranch Lake ONLY, and are restricted to bird seed, cracked corn, or whole grain cereal. (Items such as popcorn, snack crackers, bread, etc. are harmful for fowl to eat.)
  • Don't litter. Use appropriate containers for trash and recyclable materials, and use ashtrays as needed.
  • Dogs are Welcome! Keep dogs on a maximum of a six foot leash at all times to ensure dogs cannot approach wildlife, for the safety of all.
  • Clean up after your dog - free mutt mitts provided.
  • Keep horses strictly to trails as marked and prevent their damage of vegetation.
  • Do not release domestic or wild animals onto the property.
  • Do not damage or remove plants, including flowers.
  • Do not harm or capture wildlife, including insects on the property.
  • Report your observations of injured wildlife to the Town Naturalist or Town Ranger, at the numbers below.
  • Children should be supervised by adults at all times, must follow these same rules, and should be encouraged to demonstrate respect for plants and animals.

Additional Guidelines

  • Fires permitted only as contained in the grills and fire-rings provided on site.
  • No unauthorized motorized vehicles are allowed on the trails. Per SRP, no driving on the canal to unload supplies. Camping supplies need to be carried to campsite.
  • The following are NOT permitted at the Riparian campsites: Parking by campsite, walking through dry ponds, campers (only tents are allowed). Overnight parking permitted in Riparian parking lot only.
  • Abide by staff parking designations at all times posted.
  • Bikes permitted on trails and sidewalks throughout the site - Please yield to pedestrians.
  • Horses are not allowed on sidewalks or near ramadas or play area or any other areas where marked as prohibited. Horse owners are required to clean up droppings - please plan accordingly.
  • No illegal substances, alcohol, or glass containers permitted on site or parking lot. Carrying a firearm in this park is limited to persons who possess a concealed weapons permit.
  • Ramadas, grassy areas, dino dig site, and campgrounds may be reserved for use. Please respect others that have reserved and paid for use of these facilities.
  • Use of the site by groups of 20 or more, OR for research, OR community service purposes requires approval through our application process, found online or requested at 480-503-6200.
  • Use of the site for commercial filming or photography, or any other commercial use requires permitting. Please call 480-503-6200 for more information.
  • Be aware that retention basins (ponds) contain reclaimed water. Although disinfected, they are intended for wildlife only. Keep children, dogs, and horses out of the retention basins whether they are wet or dry.
  • Please turn lost items in at the library lost and found.

Fishing Guidelines

Follow regulations published by Arizona Game and Fish Department and Gilbert Parks and Recreation.

  • Water Ranch Lake is a catch-and-release only for bass and sunfish. All bass and sunfish must be immediately released unharmed.
  • Anglers are able to catch-and-keep trout, catfish and all other species. Bag limit is two catfish, two trout.
  • Use only single barbless hooks when fishing, however bait can still be used.
  • Fish only in Water Ranch Lake (five-acre freshwater lake next to library).
  • Do not fish in nearby retention basins which contain reclaimed water.
  • Fishing from the floating boardwalk is prohibited. No boats, canoes, or kayaks allowed. Fly-fishing float tubes allowed.
  • No fishing where posted at boardwalk and fish nurseries.
  • Clean up all hooks and fishing line.

Violators of above rules are subject to fines.

Report violations to the Ranger at the number below,
or as appropriate to the Gilbert Police: 911 for emergencies and 480-503-6500.

Park Ranger: 480-503-6263
Naturalist: 480-797-2019
Gilbert Parks and Recreation: 480-503-6200