Chandler's Riparian Preserve
Veteran's Oasis Park. The name doesn't tell you much but I can guarantee visitors to this wetland preserve in the southeast Valley will be pleasantly surprised.
It's similar in style and structure to the Gilbert Riparian Preserve, but without the crowds (or the feral cats) that you tend to see in Gilbert. The park offers 4.5 miles of nature trails in a wetland habitat. Most of the trails circumnavigate marshes that will have varying degrees of reclaimed water in them. This, of course, makes Veteran's Oasis Park and ideal spot to get up close and personal with water-loving birds. An assortment of ducks, Great Blue Herons, Double-crested Cormorants and Coots call the park home. There's also a healthy population of doves, finches, grackles and other non-water birds that you'll find in the trees around the ponds. Some of the ponds also have islands where nesting burrowing owls reside. Unfortunately, these islands are off limits and a little too far to catch a glimpse of the owls. The majority of the park is made up of a large lake where urban fishing is permitted. Adjacent to that is the Chandler Environmental Education Center where you can observe an assortment of creepy crawlies in glass containers. The center also offers all sorts of nature programs to inquire about.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.