During the spring and summer of 1987 Amaterra began caretaking and restoration of Canelo Hills Sanctuary as a service project for the owner -the Arizona Nature Conservancy. Amaterra’s overall goals were to provide site security, restoration and repair of the historically important buildings, greet and assist visitors, assist in research, and protect the valuable ecosystem. Karen Seger served as project director and liaison between Amaterra and the Nature Conservancy. Under Karen’s leadership Amaterra members were able to provide year round seven day per week caretaking of the property and the maintenance of a an interpretive visitor center for the public. All Amaterra members directly involved with the work of Canelo became members of the Nature Conservancy. Members kept detailed weather records and regularly assisted the Preserve Manager in stream flow measurements.
Amaterra completed all of its major goals during the twenty-eight months ending September 1989. In order to continue the work, after this date, several members organized a group named, “Friends of Canelo.” Although, at that time, Amaterra officially ceased its work at Canelo, “Friends of Canelo” continues the work to this day.
“On behalf of the Nature Conservancy, I would like to extend a thank you to Amaterra for the many contributions to the Conservancy’s Canelo Hills Cienega Preserve between 1987 and 1989… Much very important work occurred during Amaterra’s service time at Canelo including the stabilization and restoration of the historically significant buildings on the preserve. Much of the work, if not performed when it was, would have allowed conditions to deteriorate to such an extent that we might not have been able to continue with them…Thank you for your dedication to Canelo and I look forward to working with you in the future.”
Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve Manager, August 2, 1994