Riparian Preserve

"Celebrate World Wetlands Day with a guided tour of the Riparian Preserve."

HD SOUTH will offer a series of informative programs for people of all ages this month. Programs are led by artists, historians, storytellers, botanists and scientists; experts in their field who share their knowledge and skills with our community.

Home of the Gilbert Historical Museum and located in the heart of the heritage district, the building opened as Gilbert Elementary School in 1913. It is the oldest building in Gilbert and is the only one on the National Register of Historical Places. 

Gilbert Museum is a repository of artifacts chronicling the town’s rich history, featuring newly remodeled exhibits and interactive displays. 

Many of the educational programs are free, while some come with a small charge to cover materials. Information: Unless otherwise noted, registration is required for the one-time events at




7-8 p.m. Thursdays. Join Marilynn Igleski, certified yoga instructor, helps participants relax while conditioning muscles. Open to all levels of yoga experience. Please bring your own yoga mat. Open to ages 14 and up. Free for members, $5 for non-members. 


Story time

9:30-10 a.m. Tuesdays.  AZCEND and HD SOUTH present this free program. Attendees can then tour the museum for free.



Guided tour of Riparian 


10 a.m.- noon Feb.1 Celebrate World Wetlands Day with a guided tour of the Riparian Preserve.  Park Naturalist, Jennie Rambo, will lead participants through the beautiful preserve to spot winter waterfowl, learn more about the wetland areas, and enjoy the stunning preserve and all it has to offer.  She will also discuss how wetlands are crucial for species survival. Ages 10 and up. Wear comfortable shoes. Participants should meet at the Riparian Preserve parking lot off Guadalupe Road. Registration is required.  

Members $5, Non-members $10


Hiking for wellness and


6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 4 Thomas Hulen, HDSOUTH program coordinator and hiker extraordinaire will share his experience and knowledge of hiking in Arizona with an emphasis on hiking in one of the Phoenix metropolitan area’s mountain parks. He will discuss equipment, safety, and other topics that will make hiking pleasurable, safe, and healthy.  Registration is required.



French genealogy

6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 5 Gordon Mulleneaux of the Mesa Family History Center will assist participants how to weave through the complexities of their French family history. Learn common genealogy terms in English along with their French equivalent. He will share insights into the resources available for those wishing to research their familles.



Paint a Centennial rock

10 a.m.-noon Feb. 8 Tabitha Dumas, museum volunteer and board member, will lead this workshop where participants will paint a rock to celebrate Gilbert’s 100-year anniversary. Each rock will be placed throughout the town for the community to find.  Rocks can then be returned to the museum for a special gift. All the returned rocks will be added to our commemorative Centennial Rock Garden. 



Stress management and self-care

6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 11  Julie Jacobs, MA, LPC will discuss ways to identify symptoms of stress with an emphasis on the importance of self-care.  Participants will also learn strategies to help cope with stress as well as keys to identifying stressful situations. 


Batter up! 


Arizona baseball

6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 11 John Darrin Tenney is an historian and writer who will conduct this informative program.  He is an authority on baseball history and author of the book, “Baseball in Territorial Arizona—A History 1863-1912”.  Through contemporary newspaper accounts culled from 27 territorial Arizona newspapers, John has identified 36 organized baseball clubs that played for sport, recreation and entertainment during Arizona’s formative years.  He travels across Arizona, lecturing to interested audiences on the finer points of baseball history.  



Year Of The Rat; Chinese New Year

10 a.m.- noon Feb. 15 Celebrate Chinese New Year with the students from Hope Chinese School who will demonstrate storytelling, dance, song, and traditional Chinese food preparation.    



At work in


6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 18 Photographer and author Marilyn Szabo has been capturing striking imagery fueled by her love of history and photography for over 25 years.  During this informative program, Marilyn will present her extensive photographic history of work and commerce in Arizona.  



Using art to cope with chronic illness

1-2:30 p.m. Feb. 22 US Navy Veteran, Lucy Wong, will talk about the power that can be found in creativity when it comes to coping with chronic illness.  For over 30 years, Lucy has used art to cope with her own chronic illness, and she will share her experiences. Lucy will also discuss and help spread awareness for “World Rare Disease Day” through education and information.  



Chinese contribution to the railroad

6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 25  In partnership with the Gilbert Sister Cities organization, Jennifer Yang and other members will discuss how Chinese immigrants helped build the railroads that led to the development of the United States.  Discussion will include points regarding the history of the railroad in Gilbert, the Chinese immigrants that settled here and their impact on our expanding community.



Night At The Museum – Gilbert Turns 100!

6-11 p.m. Feb. 29 Celebrate Gilbert’s Centennial in Roaring 20’s style!  The evening will include a silent auction, live auction, dinner, and 20’s themed entertainment. Tickets are required and may be purchased on our website.