Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Monday, September 18, 2023



Partners in "Yarnell Loves Pets"

I’ve recently gotten interested in a couple of conservation projects in Prescott, about 35 miles from home.  The photographic work is a departure for me, and a great opportunity to think a little differently.

I’m grateful for the inspiration to “use my powers for good” from Russell Graves, a speaker at the North American Nature Photography Association last spring.  After that conference I started looking for causes to support with both drone and “ground” images.

Highway 89 Through the Granite Dells, Prescott AZ

There’s talk about widening a scenic stretch of Highway 89 in Prescott.  The project would involve blasting these majestic rocks, and I believe that’s a really bad idea.  In addition to photographs, I’ve had a few ideas to contribute, including some perspective on Highway 89, which stretches from the Mexican to Canadian Border (with a few interruptions) providing access to seven National Parks and fourteen National Monuments.  For most of its nearly 2,000 miles, it is a two-lane road. National Geographic named it the #1 Drivers’ Drive in the world. It’s about beauty, not speed.

Willow Lake near Highway 89 in Prescott AZ

A drone perspective conveys what a treasure this area is and must continue to be.

View from atop Glassford Hill into Prescott Valley AZ

There’s also a movement to designate Granite Dells Regional Park and Preserve, including Glassford Hill, an open area adjacent to Prescott Valley.  One of the largest enemies of that plan is a proposed road called the Sundog Connector running through the (now) open space.  I put the drone up to document the area around Glassford Hill to show the natural beauty of the area, and some destruction that’s already happened around its periphery. More information is available on the Sundog DISConnect Facebook page.

Meals on Wheels client and her beloved dog

Petey's Playground's Kim Lytle with an adoptable kitten

The third project is right here at home.  The Yarnell Regional Community Center’s main mission is Meals on Wheels, serving homebound clients in our rural area.  We’ve been supporting clients and their pets with the help of a grant from Meals on Wheels America and PetSmart Charities.  The program, deemed “Yarnell Loves Pets,” helps with anything from veterinary bills to pet food.  I’m honored to be a member of the group telling the story of this program, in hopes of raising awareness and, we hope, new funding to make it sustainable.

Some of these projects are too new to yet have a web presence, but I’ll edit this post to include URLs when they’re available.

 These departures have been invigorating. 

Sunset lights up falling rain, Mogollon Rim Country AZ

The other departure?  A camping birthday party on Arizona’s Mogollon Rim.  There wasn’t too much photography (wait, what?), but there was cake, and one unbelievable sunset.

Up next, the annual Fall Color pilgrimage to Northern Arizona and Southern Utah.