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Calendar of Events
<March 2013>
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Progressive Fitness Hike #5 - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Want to increase your fitness level and also enjoy the outdoors? Hit the trails with us for a fun way to get back in shape! During this hike series, each hike will increase in length and difficulty in order to help you prepare for the grand finale hike – the 7.5-mile loop trail around Pass Mountain! This is a great way to get in shape and to hike many different trails in Usery Park at the same time. This hike series will take place every Saturday morning through March 8. This fifth hike of the series will be approximately 6.5 miles. Please bring water, hats, and closed-toe shoes. Location: Staging Area. Note: Participation in the 4th or 5th hike in this series is required to do the final hike. Please be aware that this series involves elevation changes, uneven terrain, and a moderate pace. Participants are expected to stay with the group.

Date: 3/1/2013
Time: 7:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Basics of Bird Watching - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Interested about getting into bird watching but don’t know where to start? Want to know which bird is which and how to spot them? Join bird expert, Sandy Hornbaker, for this introduction to bird watching as she guides you on a quarter-mile stroll along our Desert Hawk Trail. Bring binoculars if you have them, otherwise, Sandy has some to loan. Please bring water and closed-toe shoes. Location: Nature Center.

Date: 3/1/2013
Time: 9:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Exploring Estrella - Estrella Mountain Regional Park
Estrella Mountain Park
Looking for new trails to hike? Join Ranger Amy on this journey to explore the trails in Estrella Park. Plan for a 3-mile hike that will focus on exploring our surroundings. Be prepared to be spontaneous! Meet at the Horseshoe Trailhead.

Date: 3/1/2013
Time: 9:00 AM    Duration: 2 hours
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6 vehicle entry fee
 
Location: Horseshoe Trailhead
 
Address:
Estrella Mountain Regional Park
Goodyear, AZ  
Healthy Hiking at Spur Cross
Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
March 1 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: 3/1/2013
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" - Toddler Cruise - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
This 1-mile hike is designed for parents and grandparents with small children, ages 3 - 6 years old. Along with Miss Lynn, the kids will howl like coyotes, do the “bobcat crawl” and learn how to hydrate by counting gulps of water on their fingers. 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: 3/1/2013
Time: 10:00 AM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Wildflower Discovery Walks- Lousley Hill Trail – McDowell Park
McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Join Ranger Amy to identify the gorgeous desert flowers that are blooming in the desert. Every week, different species will appear as the wildflower season unfolds—it is always a surprise what we find! Call the park for updates. Be sure to bring your camera! Every week will be a new location in the park, based on where the prime blooms are, that week. This week's walk is on the North Trail. Meet at the North Trail Trailhead.

Date: 3/1/2013
Time: 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM    Duration: 1 1/2 hours
Speaker: Ranger Amy Burnett
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
Boyce Thompson: Oasis in the Desert - Usery Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Even though it has been there since the 1920's, Boyce Thompson Arboretum is an Arizona venue that many long-time Valley residents have never visited. Many drive right by on their way to somewhere else, saying to themselves "Hmmm, someday I have to stop in there and see what that place is all about." Join Cathy Babcock, the Director of Horticulture at the Arboretum, as she shares about this hidden but spectacular treasure.

Date: 3/1/2013
Time: 12:00 PM    
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per car
 
 
Ride with the Ranger on a Horse-1hr - San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the San Tan Mountains as you navigate the park atop your trusty steed. Our ranger and the professionals from MD Ranch will guide you through the Sonoran Desert on a trail ride you will never forget. Learn about the plants and animals that call San Tan home, and grab your cowboy hat for this exciting ride through the park. Horses must be reserved ahead of time through MD Ranch (480-331-7893). Spots are limited. Trail rides are available any time. Call to set up your own personalized horseback adventure.

Date: 3/1/2013
Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM    Duration: 1 hour
Registration Required: Yes    
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
Ride with the Ranger on a Horse-2hr - San Tan
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Enjoy the beautiful scenery of the San Tan Mountains as you navigate the park atop your trusty steed. Our ranger and the professionals from MD Ranch will guide you through the Sonoran Desert on a trail ride you will never forget. Learn about the plants and animals that call San Tan home, and grab your cowboy hat for this exciting ride through the park. Horses must be reserved ahead of time through MD Ranch (480-331-7893). Spots are limited. Trail rides are available any time. Call to set up your own personalized horseback adventure.

Date: 3/1/2013
Time: 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM    Duration: 2 hours
Registration Required: Yes    
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
Clay Mine Hike - Cave Creek Regional Park
Cave Creek Regional Park
Join us for adventure as we explore the 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 what ailed ya"! We'll 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 8pm.

Date: 3/1/2013
Time: 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM    Duration: 3 hours
Speaker: Ranger Mark
Registration Required: No    
Fee: $6.00 per vehicle park entry fee
 
Contact: Ranger Mark - markpaulat@mail.maricopa.gov
Location: the Nature Center parking lot
 
Address:
37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway
Cave Creek, AZ  
85331