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Calendar of Events
<January 2013>
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Bird Hikes - Estrella Mountain Regional Park
Estrella Mountain Park
Join knowledgeable folks from the Sonoran Audubon Society for an easy hike along the Gila River discovering the bird life of Estrella Park. Between the river habitat, the mesquite bosque, nearby farm fields, and the turf area, over 150 different species have been observed. We are likely to see up to 40 species, including: Herons, Egrets, Kingfishers, Ospreys, Hawks, Ibis, and Stilts. When you think about it, everyone is a birdwatcher-you can do it wherever or whoever you are-but it's more fun if you know what they are. Meet Saturday at the Nature Center. Bring your own binoculars and books if you have them, a limited number will be available if you don't. This hike series will be ending in April. Helpful Information: Rain cancels event.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 8:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
 
Location: Estrella Mountain Regional Park
 
Address:
14805 West Vineyard Avenue
Goodyear, AZ  
85338
Birding Adventure - San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Hit the trails early to catch the masters of the sky in action. This guided 2 mile hike will take you deep into the heart of prime birding territory. Enjoy learning birding skills from our local expert. Whether you’re after Roadrunners or Ravens, Humming or Hawks, San Tan holds the key to an unforgettable birding adventure.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM    Duration: 1 hour
Speaker: Guest Speaker
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 vehicle park entry fee
 
More Info: http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan/
Contact: (480) 655-5554
Location: San Tan Mountain Regional Park - Visitor Center
 
Address:
6533 W. Phillips Rd.
Queen Creek, AZ  
85142
Horses, Gold and Critters Oh My!- Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
Get your boots on and come on out to Cave Creek Trailrides! Get a hands on “Old West” experience within our 3 Exploration Stations, where you will gain knowledge and connect as a group! Station 1 provides a great introduction to the world of horses from anatomy and feeding to cost of ownership and tack! At Station 2 you’ll receive basic riding instruction and be introduced to your own horse for a scenic trail ride through Cave Creek Regional Park. Last, at Station 3 the Ranger will introduce you to the unique critters that call the Sonoran Desert home and you will also get the chance to try your hand at gold panning while learning about the rich mining history of the area. This program is geared towards girl scouts (grades 4-5) earning a Horse Rider or Fan Badge. Advanced registration is required. For more information please contact Deb Bitton at 623-742-6700 or deb@cavecreektrailrides.com

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM    Duration: 4 hours
Speaker: Deb Bitton and Ranger Mark
Registration Required: Yes    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee + program fee
 
More Info: http://www.cavecreektrailrides.com
Contact: Deb Bitton at 623-742-6700 or deb@cavecreektrailrides.com
Location: Meet at the Horse Trailrides
 
Address:
37019 N. Lava Lane
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
Archery 202 - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
For those who completed our “Archery 101” class, this class will take you to the next level! Participants will learn about field target archery, discover how to improve their accuracy, and enjoy some friendly competition. Equipment will be provided. Participants must be graduates of our “Archery 101” class. This class is open to ages 8 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Advanced registration is required. Please call the park at 480-984-0032 to register. Limited to 20 participants. Please bring water, hats, and closed-toe shoes. Meet at the Archery Range.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM    
Registration Required: Yes    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Desert Photography Walk - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Want to learn how to take beautiful photos in a desert environment? Whatever your level, this one-mile walk along the Merkle Trail will give you lots of useful tips and techniques! Our instructor, Steven Lewis, has years of experience as a photographer. The Merkle Trail is barrier-free and offers universal access. The hard-smooth surface of this trail will accommodate wheelchairs. Please bring water, hats, and your camera. Location: Area 6

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Man of the Mountain Hike - San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Imagine living underneath the shelter of a Palo Verde tree as you mine for gold in the heat of the desert. While this may not be the typical lifestyle many of us would choose, learn about the enchanting true story of a man that did just that and the remarkable impact he had on those he came in contact with. Join our Interpretive Ranger for this awe-inspiring 2-mile voyage along the Goldmine Trail to uncover the mysterious life of the Man of the Mountain and to find out who is buried in the graves at San Tan Mountain Regional Park.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM    Duration: 1 hour
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 vehicle park entry fee
 
More Info: http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan/
Contact: (480) 655-5554
Location: San Tan Mountain Regional Park - Visitor Center
 
Address:
6533 W Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ  
85242
Polliwogin’ Storytime - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
Storytime is geared towards our youngest nature enthusiasts (ages 2 – 6)! Join us for a themed program set around a children's book. Activities will follow and may include live animals, songs, crafts, a short hike and/or games. Please wear sturdy shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. Meet at the Nature Center.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM    Duration: 1 hour
Speaker: Rose Storck
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: Ranger Mark - markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov
Location: Meet at the Nature Center
 
Address:
37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
Saturday Bird Walk - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
How do you tell one brown bird from the next, and what are the first three items to look for as the little rascal flits off? Are you already a novice but interested in keeping a yearly, state or country bird list? Bird expert, Sandy Hornbaker, will talk about bird habitat, behavior, range, etc. as we go in search of the native birds in this area. Please bring binoculars, water, and closed-toe shoes. Location: Nature Center.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
The Desert Grocery Store – North Trail- McDowell Park
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
The Sonoran Desert is a virtual grocery store and pharmacy… if you know where to look. See (and sample) some of what people used to eat before grocery stores came to Phoenix, and find out which ones are still consumed. Try a chocolate chip cookie made with mesquite flour, or a cracker with agave nectar, along this easy, 2 mile stroll. Meet at the North Trail Trailhead.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 PM    
Speaker: Ranger Amy
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: amyburnett@mail.maricopa.gov 480-471-0173x201
Location: McDowell Mountain Regional Park
 
Address:
16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ  
85255
Mammals of the Sonoran Desert - Estrella Mountain Regional Park
Estrella Mountain Park
There are a lot of misunderstandings as to what constitutes a mammal. In this presentation you will learn about the origins and subtle, but not always visible characteristics of the 1460 (and counting) plus creatures that are classified as mammals. Meet in the Estrella Mountain Park Nature Center Classroom at 11:00 am.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 11:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
 
Contact: 623-932-3811
Location: Estrella Mountain Regional Park - Nature Center Classroom
 
Address:
14805 West Vineyard Avenue
Goodyear, AZ  
85338
Snake Feeding - San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
It’s dinner time at San Tan and our snakes have an appetite that can only be described as “striking.” Watch as the Snakes and Gila Monster, inside the visitor center, stretch their jaws and swallow their prey whole. Feel free to ask the ranger questions and learn some “rattling” new facts about reptiles. (Please note that this event will feature snakes eating pre-killed mice and may not be suitable for all ages.)

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 vehicle park entry fee
 
More Info: http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan/
Contact: (480) 655-5554
Location: San Tan Mountain Regional Park - Visitor Center
 
Address:
6533 W. Phillips Rd.
Queen Creek, AZ  
85142
Birding By Ear- indoor program- McDowell Park
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Ever heard a bird fly by and thought..."oh, if I -only- knew bird songs"? Well, now is your chance. Learn bird calls and laugh at...I mean, along with, Ranger Amy, lifelong birdwatcher and self-proclaimed bird nerd and bird call imitator. We'll focus only on birds you're likely to see in your desert backyard. In addition to the presentation, we'll discuss free and/or inexpensive multi-media tools you can use to help you identify 'mystery birds' in the field. Meet at the Visitor Center. This non-hiking program takes place in our Nature Center.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
Speaker: Ranger Amy Burnett
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: amyburnett@mail.maricopa.gov 480-471-0173 x201
Location: Visitor Center -- McDowell Mountain Regional Park
 
Address:
16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ  
85255
Animal "Signs" - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
Animal "Signs" are everywhere, if you know what to look for. Have you ever been curious to know who made those "tracks" in the dirt? Or have you ever wondered who dug that "hole"? Join Ranger Mark as we investigate Animal "Signs". We will begin our adventure inside the Nature Center learning about the different clues they leave behind. Then we will take a hike to apply what we have learned. As a fun activity you can make a plaster cast of animal tracks to take home. Please bring water, wear sturdy shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. No dogs please. Meet at the Nature Center.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM    
Speaker: Ranger Mark
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: Ranger Mark - markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov
Location: Meet at the Nature Center
 
Address:
37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
Campground Nature Walk - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Join park host, Sandy Hornbaker, for a late afternoon sojourn through our campground and nature trail on a quest to spot desert wildlife and plants. Wildlife sightings are not guaranteed, but bring binoculars, your afternoon tea, and a little patience. Be prepared to walk one to two miles. Please bring water, hats, and closed-toe shoes. Location: Campsite 21 in the Buckhorn Campground.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 4:00 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Sunset Over Spur Cross
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
January 12 Saturday 4:00 pm Sunset Over Spur Cross (easy) Come with us on a casual stroll along the Metate Trail as the sun sets over the hills of the conservation area. The twilight is a prime time to watch for wildlife and take pictures so bring some binoculars and a camera.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM    Duration: 2 hours
Speaker: Kevin Smith, Interpretive Ranger
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $3 per person
 
Contact: Kevin Smith, Park Ranger at 480-488--6623 or e-mail kevinsmith@mail.maricopa.gov
 
Stargazing at White Tank Mountain Park
White Tank Mountains Regional Park
Come and view an informative and entertaining slide presentation and then look at the night sky through telescopes that will be set up for closer viewing of the celestial bodies. Meet at Area 4 about 7:15. Program starts at 7:30 pm. Feel free to bring a lawn chair or something to sit on. Program lasts about 2.0 hours.

Date: 1/12/2013
Time: 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM    Duration: 2 hours
Speaker: Dr. Tony LaConte
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle - Park entry fee