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Emerald Necklace tour shows off Redlands’ jewel of a ditch

The 200th anniversary of a stone-lined ditch and a piece of the area’s mission history were a few of the jewels on Redlands Conservancy’s Emerald Necklace Grand Tour held Saturday, March 9.
Visitors view the historic Mill Creek Zanja that runs through The Zanja Trail and Greenway Park in Redlands, Ca., March 9, 2019. The Redlands Conservancy held the Emerald Necklace Grand Tour. (John Valenzuela/ Contributing Photographer)
The historic Mill Creek Zanja that runs through Sylvan Park during The Redlands Conservancy’s Emerald Necklace Grand Tour in Redlands, Ca., March 9, 2019. (John Valenzuela/ Contributing Photographer)
Sound The gallery will resume in seconds Cyclists leave Mission Asistencia to embark on the Emerald Necklace Grand Tour, hold by The Redlands Conservancy in Redlands, Ca., March 9, 2019. (John Valenzuela/ Contributing Photographer)
The historic Mill Creek Zanja that runs through Sylvan Park during The Redlands Conservancy’s Emerald Necklace Grand Tour in Redlands, Ca., March 9, 2019. (John Valenzuela/ Contributing Photographer)
The historic Mill Creek Zanja that runs through The Zanja Trail and Greenway Park in Redlands, Ca., March 9, 2019. The Redlands Conservancy held the Emerald Necklace Grand Tour. (John Valenzuela/ Contributing Photographer)
Visitors stop for a chew and view during The Redlands Conservancy’s Emerald Necklace Grand Tour in Redlands, Ca., March 9, 2019. (John Valenzuela/ Contributing Photographer)
Redlands Mayor Paul Foster and Redlands Conservancy’s Kathy Behrens address guests during The Redlands Conservancy’s Emerald Necklace Grand Tour in Redlands, Ca., March 9, 2019. (John Valenzuela/ Contributing Photographer)
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The annual trek started in 2013 to showcase the area’s agricultural, natural, historical and cultural gems, and this year cyclists, drivers and bus riders saw a city faceted with a ranch, cut-stone curbs, views from Sunset Drive and more.
A stop at the soon-to-open Zanja Park featured the Mill Creek Zanja , which was built in 1819. On March 5, the City Council proclaimed 2019 “The Year of the Zanja” to celebrate its anniversary.


Related links

Redlands’ historic Asistencia gets eighth owner — in 200 years
Redlands’ Zanja Trail’s first phase could be ready in late spring
Tom Atchley talks about history of Mill Creek Zanja at Redlands Conservancy’s Picnic on the Zanja party
Take Redlands Conservancy’s Emerald Necklace Grand Tour in March



The ditch brought water from Mill Creek to what is now Loma Linda and “over the many years it generated the water that became the resource that made Redlands,” Sherli Leonard, the conservancy’s executive director, said when accepting the proclamation.
The park, near the corner of Laramie Avenue and Lincoln Street, will likely be dedicated on March 23, Leonard said.
The tour also gave the public its first opportunity to visit the Asistencia, originally established by San Gabriel Mission in 1819, since the conservancy acquired it in the fall.

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