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Historic ranch fundraising for restoration

Posted at 6:38 PM, Mar 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-11 20:38:40-05

GREEN VALLEY (KGUN9-TV) - The historic Hacienda De La Canoa, or Canoa Ranch, has been home to many Southern Arizona families, including former Tucson Mayor Levi Manning and Representative Raul Grijalva. 

Pima County took over the property and has been working to restore it to its former glory.

The next phase of restoration includes bringing back a pond that was once the backdrop for a famous scene with Shirley Jones in Oklahoma! the musical and adding 65 hackberry trees to the entrance.

"That used to be lined on both sides with cottonwoods and so we want to restore that historical view," said Special Staff Assistant Valerie Samoy. 

Samoy said the restoration is about much more than just the view. The ranch serves as a nature conservation and a place to preserve history. 

"A lot of your families that live in Southern Arizona, their ancestors lived and worked here. They're descendants of the working families of this ranch," said Samoy.

The ranch was built by former Tucson Mayor Levi Manning. 

Members of the Manning family will attend a fundraising gala on Saturday, March 19. In addition to helping raise money for the next phase of restoration, the family is also bringing artifacts from their time at the ranch.

"Many of the artifacts and items that used to be here at the ranch and the big Manning mansion were sold to people who wanted to buy them for props to do Western films," said Samoy, adding that a member of the Manning family tracked down the items and bought them to put them back at Canoa Ranch. 

The Commemorative Tree Fundraising Gala is 4:00-8:00p.m.  Saturday, March 19.

Tickets purchased before the event are $20 or $30 at the door. Ticket price includes hors d'oeuvres and refreshments, a first look at the Manning collection, and first chance to select a commemorative tree.

Each tree can be purchased for $500, which includes a plaque in honor of a family, person or organization.