Located in El Paso’s Upper Valley, Keystone Heritage Park represents a city-owned non-profit 52-ac (21-ha) nature preserve. It contains an ancient archaeological site, a natural wetland, the Chihuahuan Desert Experience's future site, and the El Paso Botanical Garden. The park is open to the public throughout the year with public and special tours available.
The Corps of Engineers first discovered the archaeological site during the construction of flood control dams in the late 70s. Runoff from a thunderstorm swept away the mound of a shallow arroyo and revealed a cutout of an ancient pitch house. Initial research showed that the house was part of the village, which was over 4000 years old. Rumor has it that it may be one of the oldest and largest settlements of its kind in the USA.
Keystone Wetlands is a shelter for many birds: over 200 bird species have been spotted there, and around 22 species are considered rare. These archaic wetlands are protected by Federal Law and depict ones that once lined the Rio Grande. The park is leased to a volunteer Board of Directors to develop and preserve the park.
The Botanical Garden at Keystone is an outcome of generous donations and diligent volunteer work by individuals, Eagle Scouts, youth, and businesses on both sides of our border. The garden encompasses a Xeric demonstration garden, an ethnobotanical garden, a moonlight garden, a children’s garden, an amphitheater, and more. This site is available for reunions, corporate gatherings, and weddings.