Continuing the Work of Prescott’s Brave Women … Preserving the Spaces that Define Us

By Amber Fields

The Granite Dells. They’re one of the things that really define Prescott; a wild and free landscape like our city’s grandmothers found when they came here a century ago.

What will our town become if there are hundreds of homes, miles of new roads, and a huge resort in the heart of the Dells? That’s a question that keeps me up at night. It’s why I volunteer full-time for Save the Dells.

I grew up playing in the Granite Dells. I remember the feeling of those crisp, early mornings exploring the little creeks winding through the cliffs. It’s just magic when daylight first kisses the land—like a conductor signaling the songbirds into a symphony.

If this area is developed, Prescott will lose part of its heart and soul, and it makes me wonder: what might we lose next?

As a kid, I discovered secret passageways among the boulders. I learned how much more there is to the world than meets the eye. I remember wandering among the creekside forests, finding secluded beaches, deep pools of water, and soaring cottonwoods. I learned to identify signs of recent floods, and I experienced the seasonal personalities of each special stretch of those creeks.

The Dells are where I first developed an awe of nature and realized how crucial access to those special places is for my well-being. It was there that I first understood how essential protected open space is for my family’s happiness.

Fast-forward thirty years. I now treasure taking my nieces to the Dells and seeing them discover these wonders for themselves. I look forward to our bike rides on the Peavine and Iron King Trails. With the wind in our hair and the sun on our faces, we feel so lucky to have grown up in Prescott, our hometown, where we are blessed with a place like nowhere else on Earth.

My family came to Prescott just after World War II, and we’re here to stay. There’s a half-dozen Prescott natives working behind the scenes on the Save the Dells committee and even more among our group of volunteers.

As we give our time to Save the Dells, we’re proud to bring Prescott together to protect what makes our town unique. We’re working hard to protect the Dells for future generations of families to enjoy, just like we did.

We aren’t alone. We’re part of a long line of Prescott women who have worked to protect what we love, beginning with Sharlot Hall and followed by Prescott’s matriarch, Elisabeth Ruffner. It’s in our blood to protect the best of the places that define us.

Recently, watching a surreal sunset in the Dells, I prayed that this community will come together to save the heart of the Dells. And you know what? That tough little girl that I once was keeps telling me that we can.