The monument at the northeast entrance to Apache Junction on State Route 88 and Hackamore Road is a well-known landmark for locals and visitors alike. However, it's no secret that the area around the monument has suffered damage from wildfires over the years. Fortunately, a group of dedicated community members came together to revitalize the monument.
Sandie Russell is a deep-rooted resident of the Apache Junction community and representative of Modern Woodmen of America. Sandie recently approached District 5 Supervisor Jeff Serdy to locate a project Modern Woodmen of America could invest in that would help make improvements for the community. Supervisor Serdy, his District Administrator Connie Van Driel, Liz Langenbach, Director, Apache Junction Parks and Recreation, and Alan Sinclair, Owner, Siphon Draw Fire and Fuels, worked together to identify the monument leading into the City limits on SR88, which suffered vegetative damage during a devastating brush fire May 7, 2020. The monument has been a long-favored pullout and photo op for visitors along SR88.
Working with the Bureau of Land Management, Modern Woodmen identified native vegetation species and purchased them for the project. The City of Apache Junction donated four mature 35-foot saguaros that were salvaged from the Parks and Recreation administration building expansion at the Mulit-Generational Center. Siphon Draw Fire and Fuels provided planting and watering services for one year to ensure the plantings take root. Local residents Dan and Lisa Kelly also assisted with planting.
The monument itself also received much-needed attention, getting patched up and re-painted, ensuring that it remains a striking symbol of the City's entrance for years to come.
Supervisor Serdy commented, "I am glad to lead this collaborative effort between the County, City, Sandie Russell, and Alan Sinclair, to help restore the vegetation around one of the most iconic sights in Apache Junction. I particularly want to thank Sandie and Alan, two dedicated community members, for their efforts in bringing this popular monument back to life.
Pictured left to right are Liz Langenbach, Mayor Chip Wilson, Supervisor Jeff Serdy, Connie Van Driel, and Alan Sinclair.