Hittin' the Trails 4 You

Aug 31, 2012 9:10 AM by Jeff Beamish

Hittin' the Trails 4 You: Oracle State Park re-opens for a limited time

ORACLE - Oracle State Park Center for Environmental Education re-opens to the public on Saturday, Sept. 1, and will offer an array of programs, lectures, workshops, and special events on Saturdays only through the end of November. The park will be open to the public on those Saturdays from 8AM to 5PM and the cost will be $7 per vehicle.

School groups will be scheduled by reservation for September through November for environmental education programs on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Bird walks, plant walks, guided hikes, and tours of the historic Kannally ranch house will resume on September 1. Workshops on basket making with native grass, papermaking with local plants, and nature-journal making will be scheduled as well. A full lineup of activities, most of them free with park admission, will be posted and updated regularly on the park website: www.AZStateParks.com as well as the Friends of Oracle State Park website: www.friendsOSP.org

Don't miss an Oracle State Park event set for October 13 when the mesquite bean hammermill returns to grind people's beans into sweet, healthy baking flour. (More about the hammermill at www.desertharvesters.org) This desert harvest event will include the sale of mesquite flour baked goodies, other desert foods, children's activities, related talks, a plant sale, and live music. The non-profit Friends group is subsidizing the hammermill rental cost and a live band performance as part of its continuing support of the park's environmental education mission.

The park's signature field trip opportunities for school groups and scout troops will be offered on weekdays by reservation. The Oracle Adventure Program is for grades 1-3 and children will utilize the five senses to explore easy trails. The Oracle Odyssey offers grades 4-6 an opportunity to learn about habitat and the interrelationship between plants, animals, and people.

Be sure to contact Park Ranger Jennifer Rinio at jrinio@azstateparks.gov for information about the Park programs, to schedule a field trip, and to learn more about volunteering and training to be a school program guide.

Oracle State Park is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge featuring the historic Kannally ranch house, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the ranch house patio and on many of the 15 miles of hiking trails, visitors can enjoy sweeping views of the Santa Catalina foothills, San Pedro River Valley, and Galiuro Mountain Range. The main entrance is off Mt. Lemmon Rd. in Oracle, and the Arizona Trail and equestrian-access entrance is off W. American Ave. in Oracle. The park has many spots with shaded picnic tables.

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