The Chronicles Of Grant County 

big ditch park flowers in bloom mary alice murphyPoppies in various shades of orange are in bloom at the Big Ditch Park in Silver City. (The photograph was provided courtesy of Mary Alice Murphy.) 

The Town of Silver City transformed much of the site of its former Main Street into the Big Ditch Park. The transformation into a passive recreational area took a number of years. From pioneer days when non-locals arrived in Grant County, this section of land was repeatedly the scene of floods. Many were modest in size; some were substantial events where water flooded throughout the Downtown area and basically took out Main Street. Floods in 1895 and 1903 were especially devastating to the people, homes and Silver City.

Lands along the San Vicente Arroyo were incorporated into the Big Ditch Park. Many of these had originally contained stores, houses, and other buildings. A number of the structures on these lots were destroyed by flood waters as Main Street disappeared as a functioning roadway in this section of Silver City.

In 1977, news reports indicated that local folks in Silver City began an organized effort to create a park within the floodplain traversing the Downtown area. Support was sought from both state and Federal governmental sources.

The Town of Silver City dedicated and officially opened the Big Ditch Park on November 8, 1980. Through the years, a variety of fairs and festivals have been held in the Big Ditch Park. These have ranged from fairs featuring arts and crafts to festivals highlighting the Hispanic heritage of Grant County.

The blooms of flowers and flowering plants add vivid color to the park. From the Spring to the Fall, nature provides scenery that encourages people to stroll along the walkways within the Big Ditch Park. Trees provide shade. Benches are provided for people to sit a spell while enjoying the surroundings. Footbridges allow residents and visitors alike to cross the Big Ditch as they go from street to street in the Downtown of Silver City. Entrances to the park are found at the end of several roadways, including Market Street, Kelly Street, Sixth Street, and Seventh Street.

When tourists come to Grant County, many stop by the Big Ditch Park. Newspapers and digital news sites highlighting travel to Silver City have prominently featured this park. News articles have been published in such cities as Austin, El Paso, Phoenix, Seattle, and Tucson. Even during the Pandemic of 2020, newspapers in California, Louisiana, New Jersey, Virginia, and Wisconsin highlighted travel to Silver City in May of this year. The key photo used to illustrate the Town was a photograph of the Big Ditch Park.

big ditch park blooms flickr a j brittain may 16 2018 75Vegetation lines the natural areas of the Big Ditch Park in Silver City. (The photograph was provided courtesy of A J Brittain through Flickr, May of 2018.)

 Do you have questions about communities in Grant County?

A street name? A building?

Your questions may be used in a future news column.

Contact Richard McDonough at

© 2020 Richard McDonough

Click to search the Beat Click to search the Beat

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

  • The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option at the top of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Go to Top