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Calendar of Events
<January 2014>
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6-mile Hike - Estrella
Estrella Mountain Park
Are you doing the 100 miles in 100 days challenge? Need more miles to reach your goal? This hike will leave from the Coldwater Trailhead for a 6.0 mile hike into the scenic Estrella Mountains. Your trusted hiking guide, Sandy, will lead you on this trek. Please have appropriate hiking attire, water and snacks! Meet at the Nature Center, then re-locate to the trailhead.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 9:00 AM    
Speaker: Sandy Kehs
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 vehicle entry fee or annual pass
 
Contact: amyroberts@mail.mariopa.gov
Location: Estrella Mountain Regional Park
 
Address:
14805 W. Vineyard Ave
Goodyear, AZ  
85338
Archery 101 (Two class times available) - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Interested in archery? Curious about how to shoot a bow? Come to Usery Park and find out! You will discover how fun archery really is! Participants will experience a fun and safe introduction to recreational and international-style target archery. Equipment will be provided. This class is open to anyone ages 8 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring water, hats, and closed-toe shoes. Meet at the Archery Range. Note: This same class is also offered at 10:30 AM. No registration – just show up and have some fun!

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 9:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Hohokam Houses - the Ruins of Spur Cross
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
January 4 Saturday 9:00 am Ruins of Spur Cross (moderate) Join us for this 2.5 mile hike that will introduce you to the rich archaeological history of the area. See evidence of prehistoric Hohokam dwellings and learn about their culture as we trek on up to one of their mesa-top compounds.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM    Duration: 2.5 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
 
Wag ‘n’ Walk Adoption Hike - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Don’t have a dog? No problem! Maricopa County’s Animal Care & Control and Parks and Recreation Departments have united to bring you this program. You can “test drive” potential canine hiking partners to see how they behave on leash and get along with other dogs, while learning about trail etiquette and safety. Owned, friendly, leashed dogs that are at least six months old and current on their vaccinations are welcome to join this one-mile trek on our scenic, groomed, Merkle Trail. Please bring water, closed-toe shoes, and an open heart for a possible new best friend, or two. This program will be held on the first Saturday of each month, from November through April. Location: Area 6.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 9:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Desert Denizen's - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
In this episode, special guest, Bryan Hughes is presenting “Rattlesnakes: The Myths, the Fears, the Truth, in American Culture.” Meet in the Nature Center for this compelling presentation! Contact Ranger Mark for more information at: markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov Watch the park’s website for more information, updates or changes, prior to the event.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 10:00 AM    
Speaker: Special Guest, Bryan Hughes!
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 per vehicle Park Entry Fee
 
Contact: markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov
Location: Nature Center
 
Address:
37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway - 32nd St. / North from Carefree Highway
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
Program CANCELLED - 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: 1/4/2014
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM    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
Saturday Bird Walk - Usery Park***CANCELLED***
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 national 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. If needed, we have binoculars to borrow. Location: Nature Center.***CANCELLED***

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
All About Owls - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
What makes owls so different from other birds? Which owls live in our area? How do they survive and thrive in our desert? If you would like to know the answers to these questions, or any questions you may have about owls, then this one-hour presentation is for you! Bring your sandwich to the “Brown-Bag It” series inside our Nature Center as Ranger B shares some amazing facts about these rockin’ raptors. Location: Nature Center.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 12:00 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Feeding Frenzy! - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
Have you ever seen a scorpion eat? Do snakes really “unhinge” their jaws? We will answer these questions and more as we feed our collection of cool critters in the Nature Center. Contact Ranger Mark for more information at: markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov Watch the park’s website for more information, updates or changes, prior to the event.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 12:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
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 - 32nd St. / North from Carefree Highway
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
Reptile Feeding - San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Have you ever seen a reptile eat? Join the staff after your morning hike and see how our cold-blooded residents eat their meals for yourself! Frozen rodent entrees will be served to the critters. Come learn about the important roles these creatures play in our dynamic food web. Feeding takes place inside the Nature Center.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
Speaker: Ranger Tish
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 vehicle park entry fee
 
More Info: http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan/
Contact: Ranger Tish TishiaStewart@mail.maricopa.gov
Location: San Tan Mountain Regional Park - Visitor Center
 
Address:
6533 W Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ  
85242
"Animal Signs" - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
“STOP”. “CAUTION”. “DEER CROSSING”. Are these the signs we’re talking about? Of course not. That would be too easy! Besides, critters can’t read! Whether they mean to, or not, animals leave behind signs that we can observe. Meet in the Nature Center to discuss how to observe these signs and we’ll follow that with a short trek into the field where we will apply what we have learned. Bring water and your camera! Contact Ranger Mark for more information at: markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov Watch the park’s website for more information, updates or changes, prior to the event.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 2:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
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 - 32nd St. / North from Carefree Highway
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
New to Arizona? - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Are you new to Arizona? Are you curious about cactus and scared of snakes? If so, join us for an introductory experience to the Sonoran Desert. After a question-and-answer session, we will take an enjoyable quarter-mile walk on our scenic Desert Hawk Trail. Please bring water and closed-toe shoes. Location: Nature Center.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 2:00 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Venomous Creatures - San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Join us for a presentation about the venomous creatures you may find around the Valley! Enjoy the beauty of these wonderful and misunderstood animals while learning about fascinating facts and the important roles each creature plays in the desert ecosystem. As Marie Curie, French Physicist and two-time Nobel Prize recipient said “Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.” Meet inside the Nature Center.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
Speaker: Ranger Tish
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee
 
More Info: http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan/
Contact: Ranger Tish TishiaStewart@mail.maricopa.gov
Location: San Tan Mountain Regional Park Nature Center
 
Address:
6533 West Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ  
85242
Geocaching 101 - Spur Cross
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
January 4 Saturday 3:00 pm Geocaching 101 (easy) Geocaching is a family-friendly activity in which participants use a GPS device to locate hidden containers, called "geocaches." No fee is required to play. All you need is home internet access and a GPS(hand held, phone app, even a car GPS). Docent Tom McGuire and Ranger Kevin Smith will show the basics. After the demonstration, we will direct you to a few geocaches that are hidden in and near the Conservation Area. If you have one (or more) of these GPS devices, bring it/them. Experienced "cachers" are also invited. We'll help you start with a few sample caches.

Date: 1/4/2014
Time: 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM    Duration: 2 hours
Speaker: Docent Tom McGuire & 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