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Calendar of Events
<December 2012>
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Find the Ranger - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
This open-house style program features our ranger hiking along the Wind Cave Trail and stopping to talk to park visitors. Our ranger will be available to answer questions about the park, identify desert plants, or even explain which animals call Usery Park “home”. Carry ample water. 9am-11am.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Sonoran Desert 101 - Spur Cross
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
December 22 Saturday 9:00 am Sonoran Desert 101 (easy) Join interpretive ranger Kevin Smith on a hike through the beautiful upland vegetation in Spur Cross. Learn about the ecology of the Sonoran desert and spend an enjoyable 2 hours of hiking slowly and enjoying nature. We encourage you to bring binoculars if you have them.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM    Duration: 2 hours
Speaker: Park ranger Kevin Smith
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $3 per person
 
Contact: Kevin Smith, Park ranger at 480-488-6623 or e-mail kevinsmith@mail.maricopa.gov
 
Clay Mine Hike - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
Join us for an adventure as we explore our Clay Mine! This will be an easy 2 mile hike (round trip). Once inside, we'll discuss the history of this mine and learn how its contents were used to cure all ailments. We will supply the hard hats. You bring water, a flashlight, & sturdy shoes. Meet at the Nature Center parking lot and follow the signs to the mine. This is an "open house" format, so you may come and go at your convenience during the designated time slot. The mine will be closed promptly at 2pm.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM    Duration: 4 hrs.
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 parking lot
 
Address:
37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
Hiking the Pipeline Canyon Trail with Frank - Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
This hike starts at the North end of the Pipeline Canyon Trail. The trailhead is off of Cottonwood Lane. Wear good hiking shoes, sunscreen, and bring water bottle and snacks. There are restrooms and water at the trailhead. Come explore on this fun hike.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM    Duration: 3.5 hours (4 miles)
Speaker: Naturalist Frank Meyerholtz
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: Terry Gerber, Interpretive Ranger 602-372-7460 ext. 202
Location: Lake Pleasant Regional Park - Cottonwood Day Use Area
 
Address:
Take Hwy 74 to Castle Hot Springs Rd.(MP19), turn and go 5 miles, take "Cottonwood Lane" to trail
Peoria, AZ  
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: 12/22/2012
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Sonoran Desert 101 - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Join us for this introduction to some of the fascinating plants and animals of our Sonoran Desert as we enjoy a scenic stroll along the one-mile Merkle Trail. Please bring water and closed-toe shoes. Location: Area 6.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Venomous Creatures at White Tank Park
White Tank Mountains Regional Park
Come to the White Tank Nature Center for a talk about cold blooded creatures that inhabit our desert. This is not a hiking event but you are welcome to hike any one of our many trails after the talk. On display will be some venomous creatures and a few other creepy crawlies of the desert.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM    Duration: 1.5 hours
Speaker: Park Ranger
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $2.00 per person or $6.00 per vehicle - Park entry fee
 
Location: Nature Center
 
Movie Madness - San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Sit back, relax and enjoy a cinematic adventure on San Tan’s very own HUGE projector screen. Watch this amazing movie in the warmth of the nature center surrounded by a friendly collection of desert wildlife. Bring your snacks, blankets and pillows to watch this exciting movie in style.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM    Duration: 2 hours
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
Amazing Plants of our Desert - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
What are the names of the unique plants that grow in our desert? How do they survive (and thrive!) in such a harsh environment? Discover the special strategies of these incredible plants when you join our Interpretive Ranger, Ranger B, for this one-mile stroll along the scenic Merkle Trail. The hard-smooth surface of this trail will accommodate wheelchairs and strollers. Please bring water and closed-toe shoes. Location: Area 6.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 1:30 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Tails on Trails - Dog Fitness Hike (Experienced Level) - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Fit dogs are happier, healthier, and display fewer behavioral problems. Tails on Trails will provide the opportunity to meet other dog hikers, learn safe hiking practices and dog trail etiquette. The fun, 3-mile hike along the Blevins Trail is great for experienced hiker dogs. Please bring a short non-extendable leash, a small cleanup bag, and water for you and your dog. One dog per hiker, please. Note: A “Beginners Level” Dog Fitness Hike is also offered each month for those who feel they need the basics before advancing to this level. Location: Trail Staging Area.

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 1:30 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Birds and Raptors of Arizona, LIVE - Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Arizona Game & Fish Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center will exhibit a variety of live birds and talk about these incredible flyers. Lake Pleasant is home to several varieties and is also a release site for rehab-birds. Come see and learn about these fascinating birds, at the Lake Pleasant Visitor Center. You might even get the chance to see a bald eagle up close (if available).

Date: 12/22/2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM    Duration: 2 hours
Speaker: Fine volunteeers at Adobe Mtn. Wildlife Center
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: Terry Gerber 602-372-7460 ext. 202
Location: Lake Pleasant Regional Park Visitor Center - 623-780-9857
 
Address:
Take Hwy 74 to Castle Hot Springs Rd. (MP 19), turn right into park, follow signs to visitor center.
Peoria, AZ  
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: 12/22/2012
Time: 4:00 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car