On Tuesday, January 15, in the in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, The Nature Conservancy in Arizona gathered friends for dinner to unveil the 'Restoring Arizona's Forests' exhibit in their new gallery space located at 7056 East Main Street. Main Street was closed to create an enchanted forest for the festivities. A farm table to seat 125 guests was the center piece and all around it, decor by White House which included branch chandeliers and pine boughs. Arcadia Farms worked with local growers to prepare a meal of butternut squash soup, roasted beet salad, Anson Mills polenta, Double Check Ranch slow roasted short ribs and Duncan Farms roasted organic root vegetables. Drinks included Pillsbury wines and Four Peaks beer, all Arizona produced. After the packed tent feasted on fresh foods, The Conservancy surprised everyone with news about the gallery, opening the doors for the first time. With the closest ponderosa pine forest two hours away, The Nature Conservancy hopes this exhibit will raise awareness about the poor condition of Arizona's forests and the Conservancy's new model for restoring forest health. The new model works with private companies to thin trees to make wood products. The Conservancy is also working with partners to train a skilled workforce and develop an innovative approach to use technology to greatly accelerate the rate of thinning.
Photography by Scott Foust