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Welcome to the Santa Cruz Valley

The Santa Cruz Valley is blessed with a rich historic legacy in a unique natural environment. Here, Native American, Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and American heritages and traditions intersect with the natural landscape, and remain very much a part of our region’s vitality.

The Santa Cruz Valley is a unique and diverse watershed in the southwestern United States, encompassing a mosaic of cultures and history. Through collaborative partnerships of diverse stakeholder groups, the Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance seeks to celebrate the unique treasures of this nationally distinctive region.

  Santa Cruz River Valley watershed.

Living together in this region are Native Americans who trace their roots back to prehistoric times, the descendents of Spanish ancestors who colonized the valley in the late 1600’s, Mexican families who settled the area before the 1854 Gadsden Purchase made it part of the United States, and current generations of the nineteenth century American pioneers who ventured into this borderland seeking new beginnings.

Their living traditions and the abundance of well-preserved historic and archaeological resources associated with this rich multicultural history–along with spectacular natural, scenic, and outdoor recreation resources–represent a significant and unique part of the identity of the United States. These characteristics make the Santa Cruz Valley an ideal region to be added to the 37 existing National Heritage Areas in the United States.  Read more about National Heritage Areas.