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Sat, May 21

President's Message: Keep the provocative and witty responses coming

Rancher Fritz Schuerman and Lillian, who was Baker, the first school teacher. (Photos courtesy Sedona Historian Society)

Rancher Fritz Schuerman and Lillian, who was Baker, the first school teacher. (Photos courtesy Sedona Historian Society)

It was a delight to receive many provocative and witty responses to the article in last month’s Villager about the various monikers for our village, and how they came to be. Keep them coming.

Having heard various colorful stories explaining the Big Park and Little Park descriptions, it was a relief to have Sedona historian Janeen Trevillyan, enlighten us with the real story: A “park” in the West is a "meadowland in the midst of timber.” In our case, a grassy, flat area surrounded by rock formations and hills that made for a natural corral of sorts.

When the pioneers arrived, this area was a “big park.” Little Horse Park was what we know today as the Chapel area. Big Park was a favored round-up spot where the local ranchers and cowboys would spend three weeks in the spring and fall rounding up free-ranging cattle. After a few days to allow the calves to "mother up," they were branded to match the mama's brand. Then the herds would be divided up and driven to their seasonal grazing ranges.


Ranchers digging a “tank” to provide water for the livestock. (Photos courtesy Sedona Historian Society)

In the old days, the ranchers actually dug out “tanks,” or depressions at the base of arroyos, to capture rain runoff to provide water in the “park” for the herd. Wonderful photos from that era can be found in the Sedona Heritage Museum archives.

In a nutshell, it’s where they parked the cows.

The hunt is on for a copy of a booklet titled “Village of Oakcreek History: A Concatenation of Events,” authored by Helen Hayden (published 1981). We were tipped off by a number of old-timers that Helen was the official historian for the Village of Oakcreek Association and her work is a credible accounting. If you have a copy or know someone who does, please let us know (

At the March meeting a new ad hoc committee was formed to outline a strategic plan for leadership development for the Council. There are openings for two more committee members - participation would be an interesting short-term community contribution for individuals who might have professional or avocational experience in nonprofit organization board service, team-building or executive team development.

The purpose of the committee is to create a viable and realistic two-year plan that addresses the need for cultivating executive leadership and visibility.


• Examine perceived strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing BPRCC and its ability to attract and develop executive leadership.

• Create a plan for executive leadership bench strength that includes a shared leadership executive team structure that maintains the current trajectory of leadership.

• As Phase One, submit recommendations that support the 2023 Nominating Committee by July 1, including identification of administrative responsibilities and executive competencies.

We anticipate six to eight meetings total might be involved. You need not be a Council representatives or member to serve on the committee. I’ll be happy to answer questions if you have interest.

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