Nov. 24, 2021 – Thank you! 

This could never have been accomplished in so short a time without the involvement and generosity of so many people. You donated and you encouraged others to donate. 

A heartfelt thank-you goes out to Mike Ford and The Conservation Fund, who never gave up and worked tirelessly to create a deal that was agreeable for all the parties involved. We are also grateful to Mayor Winfield, Vice Mayor Barrett, the Town Council members, and the Town staff (particularly Town Manager Mary Jacobs and Town Attorney Jonathan Rothschild) who listened to the voices of our community and made this deal happen. 

It's critical now that everyone who so generously pledged funds convert their pledges to donations.  The final numbers include those pledges and we will fall short of the goal if they aren’t fulfilled.  

We are almost at the finish line, and we’ll have much to celebrate after The Conservation Fund completes the property purchase on December 30. So, once again – THANK YOU!

Mike Ford issued this statement today:

November 24, 2021


Purchase of the Former Vistoso Golf Course

It is my pleasure to announce we have reached our fundraising goal!  This monumental milestone will now allow us to acquire and protect the former Vistoso Golf Course property. The key to the fundraising success was attributable to the financial support and generosity from the entire community. In approximately 5 weeks, over 400 individuals contributed towards our goal and the overwhelming support is testimony to the importance of this effort. 

Thank you, residents, and friends of Oro Valley!

So, what happens now? 

Over the next 30-days we will complete our remaining due diligence in furtherance of closing on or before December 30th.  We do not anticipate any issues of substantive challenge and we will make a formal announcement when we officially close and record.

We will also be processing all current donations and pledges, including converting gifts of stock and other securities to cash, directing the collective proceeds to an escrow account. Those that have donated will receive formal acknowledgement from The Conservation Fund for tax purposes associated with your specific contribution.

Upon closing, the property will be protected in perpetuity. The Conservation Fund will become the interim owner and we will continue working with the Town of Oro Valley towards the eventual donation and transfer for long-term management and ownership -- subject to a conservation easement.

Please accept our sincere thanks for your collective trust and confidence. Your financial generosity, and the valuable input we have received throughout the process, will enable us to create a legacy for everyone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mike Ford
Nevada and Southwest Director
The Conservation Fund


Gifts are made directly to the Conservation Fund.
100% of all gifts support the Vistoso Project.

If you need additional information or would like assistance with your donation, please contact us at

* Preserve Vistoso and The Conservation Fund are nonprofit organizations under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Your donation is tax deductible to the extent provided by law.



ZOOM MEETING NOVEMBER 5, 2021:  Important update on the status and future of the project to acquire the former Vistoso golf property

View this session with Preserve Vistoso, Save Vistoso (Bill Sugars) and Mike Ford of the Conservation Fund which describes how this project developed and it's future. Remember, your generous support is needed to make this wonderful opportunity a reality.


View the Zoom meeting here.


Maybe you want more information about the importance of saving the Vistoso property as a nature preserve but haven’t had a chance to plan or schedule a zoom call. Or, maybe you just want an update on fundraising. Whatever the reason, you can join Craig MacKay, Vice President of Preserve Vistoso, on Mondays at 9:00 AM for a Zoom call. No reservations needed, just zoom in and join him. Here is the link:


If you are interested in an opportunity to apply your experience and have a voice in Preserve Vistoso’s mission, consider joining the Preserve Vistoso Board. Our all-volunteer board of directors serve two-year terms focused on actively engaging in the execution of the vision of our members.

If you are interested in joining the PV board, please fill out an application stating your interest and relevant experience by December 3rd.

At this time, we are looking for volunteers who strongly support Preserve Vistoso’s goals and can commit to at least eight volunteer hours a month. In particular, we’re looking for the following skills or experience:

  • Prior non-profit board experience

  • Background in legal, conservation, fundraising

  • Background in communications, public relations, marketing

  • Experience working with local governments

  • Interest in contributing to the community


Please send us an email at if you would like to discuss Board responsibilities or have any questions. We will interview candidates in December and announce the new Board members after our annual meeting in January.  

ARIZONA DAILY STAR:  "Change of Course Planned for Oro Valley Golf Links"

October 25 2021 - After several years spent stuck in the rough, an abandoned Oro Valley golf course could soon find new life as a nature Preserve. First, though, a group of community conservationists must raise $1.8 million in two months to buy the former Vistoso Golf Club.


Read the full article here:    Page 1          Page 2

ORO VALLEY PODCAST:  "How the Community Came Together to Preserve the Old Vistoso golf Property"

Gayle Mateer, President of Preserve Vistoso, talks about how the community came together to preserve the old golf course. It's a great story.


Listen to the story here 

KVOA TV:  "Former Rancho Vistoso Golf Course to Become a Nature Preserve"

On October 13,2021 KOLD aired a story about the conversion of the Vistoso property to a nature preserve and community trail.


Read the story here  

ORO VALLEY PODCAST:  Mike Ford of the Conservation Fund Talks About the Acquisition of the Vistoso Golf Course


This is a great interview with Mike Ford from The Conservation Fund. Mike talks about the structure of the deal and how the Oro Valley community can support this valuable acquisition. 

Hear the Podcast here.

THE CONSERVATION FUND: "Preserving the Former Vistoso Golf Course in Oro Valley, Arizona"  and "Preserving Open Space is Par for the Course in Or Valley"

Read Mike Ford's blog about TCF's efforts to create the nature preserve.


Read the first blog here

Read the second blog here 

KOLD TV:  "Former Rancho Vistoso Golf Course to Become a Nature Preserve"

On October 13,2021 KOLD aired a story about the conversion of the Vistoso property to a nature preserve and community trail.


Read the story here              View the broadcast here.

THE EXPLORER: Deal to Preserve Vistoso Golf Property Coming Together but Financial Donations Needed


After 18 months of collaborative efforts between The Conservation Fund, Preserve Vistoso and the Town of Oro Valley, most of the defunct Vistoso Golf Course will be purchased for $1.8 million from Romspen Vistoso LLC, a Canadian non-bank mortgage lender.

Read the full story here.

The Mission of Preserve Vistoso is to support the preservation of the former Vistoso golf course property as a Nature Preserve and community trail

The former Vistoso golf property presents the beauty of the Sonoran Desert teeming with wildlife and artifacts of the Native Americans who lived and hunted there. The existing 6.2-mile, eight-foot-wide concrete path winds through the property providing visitors with views of the Catalina and Tortolita mountains, examples of varied desert vegetation, and the opportunity to view an abundance of wildlife. With easy access from multiple locations, visitors can stroll the property and connect with the natural world we tend take for granted.


A Sonoran Desert preserve

where nature and people thrive

Go to the "Our Vision"  page for more information about the wonderful natural environment that should be preserved as a nature preserve and a community trail.

The Vistoso property offers a rich variety of plants, mammals and birds as well as ancient petroglyphs along a paved six-mile path that could be available to all.


It should be established as a nature preserve and community trail.


Learn How a Michigan Golf Course was Converted to a Nature Preserve. 


A sprawling piece of land in Harbor Spring, Michigan was once home to a Norther Michigan golf course but has now become one of the region's newest public nature preserves.   Read More ...

As part of Preserve Vistoso's outreach to the community, volunteers set up a table at the Library and signed up several hundred new members. The support for establishing the former golf course as a nature preserve and community trail was overwhelming. 

Signs are popping up all over!
Members show their support for creating the nature preserve and community trail by displaying Join Preserve Vistoso signs.

Send an email to to display a sign on your fence.

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