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Calendar of Events
<December 2012>
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Bird Hikes - Estrella Mountain Regional Park - CANCELLED
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: 12/15/2012
Time: 8:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
 
Location: Estrella Mountain Regional Park
 
Address:
14805 West Vineyard Avenue
Goodyear, AZ  
85338
*CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN* Archery 101 - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
*CANCELLED DUE TO RAIN* Interested in archery? Now is your chance to "check it out"! Participants who sign up for this program will experience a fun and safe basic introduction to recreational and international-style target archery. Equipment is provided. This archery program is open to anyone ages 8 and older. Children must be accompanied by an adult! Please bring water and wear closed-toe shoes. ***Advanced registration is required.*** Limited to 10 participants per session. Please contact us at 623-465-0431 to register. Space is limited, so please call to cancel, if need be. Thank you!

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM    Duration: 2 hours
Speaker: Ranger Mark
Registration Required: Yes    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: Ranger Mark - markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov
Location: Stop at Park Entrance for Directions
 
Address:
37019 N. Lava Lane
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
Dixie Mine Hidden Petroglyph Hike - meet OUTSIDE of Park - McDowell
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
This is a rare opportunity to hike to an area with ancient Hohokam petroglyphs. The Dixie Mine area has some fascinating history, and stunning hidden petroglyphs. This area is one of the best kept secrets in the Park. This 5 1/2 mile roundtrip hike has a few steep inclines, but the trail is well-maintained, and the reward is worth it. Bring more water than you think you'll need, and meet at the Golden Eagle trailhead in Fountain Hills. We will park just before the Guard Gate at the end of Golden Eagle Blvd, and walk into the park. Call the Park for more detailed directions to the Trailhead.

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM    Duration: 3.5 hrs
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $2.00 per person park entry (walk-in fee).
 
Contact: Amy Burnett, Interpretive Ranger 480-471-0173
Location: Dixie Mine Trailhead
 
Address:
Northern end of Golden Eagle Blvd. at end of road
Fountain Hills, AZ  
85268
Elephant Mountain Fortress Hike - Spur Cross**CANCELLED**
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
December 15 Saturday 9:00 am Elephant Mountain Fortress Hike (strenuous) Join us for a 7 mile / 5 hour roundtrip trek into the backcountry to one of the premier archaeological sites in the conservation area. Participants need to be in good condition and familiar with what hiking on primitive trails for this distance entails. Participants must bring at least one liter of water. We recommend you have a hat, & dress in layers. No dogs on this hike please. (THE HIKE HAS BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO HEAVY RAINS, SLIPPERY ROCKS, AND POSSIBLE CREEK FLOODING. The next Elephant Mountain Hike will be on Sunday, January 20 at 9am.)

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM    Duration: 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
 
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: 12/15/2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
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: 12/15/2012
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
***CANCELED*** Archery 202 - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
***CANCELLED*** For those who completed our “Archery 101” class, this class will take you to the next level! Participants will learn about field target archery, learn how to improve their accuracy, and enjoy some friendly competition. Equipment will be provided. Participants must be graduates of our "Archery 101" class (Introduction to Archery) and be able to present their Archer’s card to the Range Master. This class is open to ages 8 and up. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Please bring water, hats, and closed-toe shoes. ******Advanced registration is required. Limited to 20 participants. Please contact Ranger Sarah at 623-465-0431x202 to register. Ranger will return call to confirm. *****

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM    Duration: 2 hours
Registration Required: Yes    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: Ranger Sarah sarahsteele@mail.maricopa.gov
 
Address:
37019 N. Lava Lane85331
"Geology of Arizona" - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
SATURDAY - Arizona is a diverse state, geologically, that has experienced volcanism and mountain building. Seas have come and gone. It’s been carved by grand rivers, such as the Colorado, that gave us the Grand Canyon. The San Francisco Peaks volcanic field has Arizona’s highest mountain. The Colorado Plateau with its “layer cake” strata is truly an anomaly compared to the rest of the state, making geology a real challenge. ***Special Guest Speaker, Joe Ford.*** Joe is a native of Missouri. He holds several degrees in education and a Masters Degree in Natural Science from the University of Oklahoma. He has been an educator on the junior high, high school and college levels. After 42 years in the teaching field he retired to Sun City, Arizona. He is a board member in the Sonoran Audubon Society and a member of the Sun City Rockhounds, among many of his other interests.

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 1:00 PM    
Speaker: ***Special Guest Speaker, Joe Ford.***
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: Ranger Mark - markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov
Location: Meet at the Nature Center in the Classroom
 
Address:
37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331
Bald Eagles of Lake Pleasant - Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Lake Pleasant is one of the over fifty Bald Eagle nesting areas in Arizona. Bald Eagles have made their home at the lake for many years and last year had two active nest sites. Come learn some interesting things about the Bald Eagles that live in Arizona and at Lake Pleasant.

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
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 Visitor Center 623-780-9857
 
Address:
Take Hwy 74 to Castle Hot Springs Rd., turn right into park, follow signs to visitor center.
Peoria, AZ  
Cool Cactus Walk - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
What are the names of the cacti that grow in our desert? How do they survive (and thrive!) in such a harsh environment? Discover amazing facts about these incredible plants when you join our Interpretive Ranger for a scenic stroll along the quarter-mile Desert Hawk Trail. Please bring water and closed-toe shoes. Location: Nature Center.

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 1:30 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Tails on Trails - Dog Fitness Hike (Beginners 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, 1-mile hike along the level Merkle Trail is great for beginner 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. After completing this hike, you and your dog will be ready for our “Experienced Level” Dog Fitness Hike! Location: Area 6.

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 1:30 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Close Encounters of the Reptilian Kind – Indoor Program- McDowell Park
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Ever touched a snake? Join Ranger Amy for an up close and personal look at what makes these cold-blooded creatures so fascinating. Touch J.J. the gopher snake and meet 'Elvis' the uh...King...Snake. Bring the family, your camera, and your curiosity. This all-ages program will be indoors at our Air-conditioned Nature Center.

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
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
Program Rescheduled - Birds and Raptors of Arizona, LIVE - Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
This program has been rescheduled. It will be offered at the same time on Saturday, December 22, 2012. 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: 12/15/2012
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  
San Tan Wonderland - Presented by the Friends of San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Santa is making a trip to San Tan Mountain Regional Park before he gets ready for his big day. Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to see him and his special friends. Enjoy a night full of fun and adventure as you walk along our magical luminary trail in a desert wonderland, listen to a special story told from an elf's perspective, be mesmerized by the lights on the windmill at the Buddy Pond, see how you stack up in our reindeer games challenge, create your own holiday ornaments and other crafts at Santa's Workshop, get your picture taken with Santa at his village, and so much more. Presented by the Friends of the San Tan Mountains Regional Park.

Date: 12/15/2012
Time: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM    
Speaker: Special Guest - Santa and his FRIENDS
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 vehicle park entry fee
 
More Info: http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan/
Contact: (480) 655-5554 ext. 202
Location: San Tan Mountain Regional Park - Visitor Center
 

Queen Creek, AZ  
85242