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Calendar of Events
<December 2012>
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Healthy Hiking at Spur Cross
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
December 21 Friday 9:00 am Healthy Hiking (moderate) Join us for a 2.5 mile / 1.5 hour aerobic walk through a portion of the Conservation Area. Participants need not be tri-athletes, just ordinary folks who would like to begin or add diversity to their existing walking program.

Date: 12/21/2012
Time: 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM    Duration: 90 minutes
Speaker: Kevin Smith, park ranger
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $3 per person
 
Contact: Kevin Smith, Park Ranger at 480-488-6623 or e-mail kevinsmith@mail.maricopa.gov
 
"Just for Kids" - Little Desert Explorers - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
This 1-mile hike is designed for parents and grandparents with small children, ages 3 – 6 years. Using their senses, kids will discover lots of cool things about the plants and animals that call our desert “home.” We will explore the desert along the scenic Merkle Trail. The hard-smooth surface of this trail will accommodate wheelchairs and strollers. Please bring water, hats, and closed-toe shoes. Location: Area 6.

Date: 12/21/2012
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Exploring Desert Washes - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Have you ever walked inside a desert wash? What makes them so special and unique? How do washes contribute to the health of the desert itself? Join us for a look at the fascinating world of desert washes as we explore their importance to the desert ecosystem. This walk is 1.5 mile in length. Please bring water, hats, and closed-toe shoes. Location: Trail Staging Area.

Date: 12/21/2012
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Desert 101 - Nature Center
Estrella Mountain Park
Learn some tips on hiking, camping and the use of equipment while you are visiting the desert southwest. This a comprehensive look at making your excursions into the desert wilderness safe and worry free.

Date: 12/21/2012
Time: 11:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
 
Location: Estrella Mountain Regional Park
 
Address:
14805 West Vineyard Avenue
Goodyear, AZ  
85338
Rattlesnakes of America Talk - Lake Pleasant
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Join the Ranger at the visitor center for a fun talk on rattlesnakes of America. Learn all sorts of interesting things about these creepy critters across our great nation.

Date: 12/21/2012
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  
All About Rattlesnakes - Evening "Brown-Bag It" with Ranger B - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
How dangerous are rattlesnakes? What should you do if you encounter one? 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 rattlesnakes, 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 misunderstood reptiles. Location: Nature Center. Watch us feed our snakes after the program at 7pm. Then join our “Animal Flashlight Walk” at 7:30pm at no extra cost! Location: Nature Center.

Date: 12/21/2012
Time: 6:00 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Name the "Stones!" - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
FRIDAY -This is a hands on introduction to the identification of rocks. A general introduction of rocks types and importance of texture and composition in determining their origins will be presented. Specimens will be available to observe and handle and categorize in the closing review. ***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: 12/21/2012
Time: 6:30 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
Luminary Hike on the Black Rock Loop
White Tank Mountains Regional Park
The Black Rock Short Loop trail will be bedecked with luminaries from 7:00 pm till 9 pm. Come and stroll this ¼ mile flat loop then enjoy some time by the campfire. We will have marshmallows and hot chocolate and tea to warm you up afterwards. No dogs please.

Date: 12/21/2012
Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM    Duration: Open time
Speaker: Park Staff
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per vehcicle - Park entry fee
 
Location: Area 4
 
Animal Flashlight Walk - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
We are the nocturnal animals of the desert and we like to hide. Help Ranger B find us if you can! If you would like to learn about us and enjoy a night walk in the desert, then join Ranger B as he takes you on this exciting 1-mile/1-hour walk along the Merkle Trail. The Merkle Trail offers universal access and the hard-smooth surface of this trail will accommodate wheelchairs and strollers. Please bring water, a flashlight, and closed-toe shoes. No pets, please. Location: Area 6. Join our “All About Rattlesnakes” program inside our Nature Center at 6pm, and our snake feeding at 7pm at no extra cost!

Date: 12/21/2012
Time: 7:30 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car