ARIZONA STATE PARKS: For Immediate Release
Managing and conserving Arizona’s natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our Parks and through our Partners. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Ellen Bilbrey at (602) 542-1996 or (602) 228-8518. Contact by Email: pio(at)azstateparks.gov
(Phoenix, Arizona - February 26, 2013) - Oracle State Park, Center for Environmental Education, is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 5pm now through April 28, 2013. Spring activities include guided bird walks and hikes, tours of the historic Kannally Ranch House, and environmental education school programs are offered weekdays by reservation.
Annual Volunteer Training is Friday, March 1 from 9am - Noon. Learn the Oracle Adventure Program for grades 1-3. The 90-minute hands-on interactive field trip focuses on developing an awareness of the surrounding environment through the senses. Volunteer guides are needed to help lead environmental education school programs on the trail weekdays by reservation.
Guided Bird Walk led by M.E. Flynn is Saturday, March 2 at 8:15am. Meet on the upper patio of the Kannally Ranch House. No reservation needed. Free with park admission. Plant Walk with Sonoran Herbalist John Slattery is Saturday, March 2 from 3-5 p.m. Reservation required. Free with park admission. Herbal products are available for sale after the plant walk.
Annual Volunteer Training is Friday, March 8 from 9am-Noon. Learn the Oracle Odyssey Program for grades 4-6. The 2.5-hour trail program focuses on habitat and interrelationships and includes the study of humans as an integral part of the natural community.
Guided Hike led by Gaston Meloche is Saturday, March 9 at 9am. Reservation is required. Call Gaston at (520) 638-5404 to sign up. Meet for a 3-5 mile hike. Free with park admission.
Arizona Humanities Council Presentation: Cattle and Grasslands: A History of Ranching in southeastern Arizona is on Saturday, March 9 in the living room of the Kannally Ranch House beginning at Noon. March is Arizona Cultural Heritage Awareness Month! Guest Speaker, Robin Pinto, is a landscape historian at the University of Arizona. Pinto will discuss ecological, political and economic issues and events that influence the history of cattle and ranching. Because there are so many interrelated issues, Pinto strongly encourages members of the audience to ask questions during the presentation. Reservation required. Free with park admission.
Geology Walk with Bob Scarborough is Sunday, March 10 at Noon. Meet at the Kannally Ranch House but a reservation is required. Free with park admission.
Guided Bird Walk led by M.E. Flynn is Saturday, March 16 at 8:15am. Meet on the upper patio of the Kannally Ranch House. No reservation is needed. Free with park admission.
Live Hawk Talk with wildlife rehab specialist, Kathie Schroeder, is on Saturday, March 16. Visit the Kannally Ranch House between 10:30am-12:30pm to meet "Sueno" the Harris's Hawk. No reservation is needed for the informal talk. Free with park admission.
Live Reptile Talk with Herpetologist, Ed Moll, is Sunday, March 17 at 11am at the Kannally Ranch House. This is a presentation on local reptiles with native history and live reptiles. Get up close to skins & skulls, gopher, king, mountain king and hognose snakes; also, Gila monster, mud turtle and maybe the tortoise if he's out of hibernation. Free with park admission. Reservation is required.
Guided Hike led by Gaston Meloche is Saturday, March 23 at 9am. Meet for 3-5 mile hike but a reservation is required. Call Gaston at (520) 638-5404 to sign up. Free with park admission.
Wildlife Program by Bat Biologist, Ronnie Sidner, begins at Noon on Saturday, March 23 at the Kannally Ranch House. Reservation is required. Free with park admission.
Wild Cats of the Sky Islands Presentation at the Kannally Ranch House is Sunday, March 24 at 11am. Oracle State Park and the Catalina mountains north of Tucson rest within a world-renowned biological wonder known as the Sky Island region - home to four of the world's 36 wild cat species. Jaguars, mountain lions, ocelots and bobcats will be the subject of the program by Jessica Lamberton-Moreno, a wildlife biologist with the local conservation organization, Sky Island Alliance. Complemented with beautiful photos and videos from the region, this presentation will take a look at the natural history and behavior of these cats, recent news and action you can take, and some of the myths and fears surrounding them. Free with park admission. Reservation is required.
Journal-Making Workshop is Sunday, March 24 from 1pm-3pm. Make your own nature-journaling notebooks. Learn basic stab (Japanese) book binding techniques to make three blank journals with fancy covers, colored cords and unique embellishments. For sketching, notes, photos or gifts. Val Bembenek, instructor, crafts rustic books from recycled materials and makes fine artists' books as well. There is a $12 fee that includes park admission. Reservation is required. Environmental education programs for school children, first through sixth grades, are scheduled by reservation on weekdays at (520) 895-2425. Thousands of students have learned important environmental principles in these ranger/volunteer-led programs over the last two decades.
Each Saturday and Sunday at 10am and 2pm, tours of the historic Kannally Ranch House are offered. House tours are free with park admission. Visitors will learn the stories behind its hand-carved corbels, stenciled walls, hand-formed fireplace, French casement windows and cozy ranch kitchen. The Kannally Ranch House is a four-level pueblo-revival adobe home with Moorish and Mediterranean influences. It was built by the Kannally ranching family and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The displays include family photos, furnishings and several paintings by "self-taught" cowboy artist Lee Kannally. Picnicking on the patios is welcomed.
Oracle State Park has trails that offer varying degrees of difficulty including a four-mile section of the Arizona Trail that transects the park. Bring your camera, binoculars, notebook, sketchbook, bird book and leash for your pet.
Oracle State Park is located northeast of Tucson in the northern foothills of the Catalina Mountains and features quiet picnic spots, miles of hiking trails, stunning views of the mountains, access to the Arizona Trail plus other oak-woodland trails. Restaurants and attractions in the quaint community of Oracle are nearby.
Elevations in the 4,000-acre wildlife refuge range from 3,500 to 4,500 feet. The park features a diversity of animals, plant species and rock formations. There are also oak tree-shaded washes, mesquite scrub habitats and riparian woodlands with manzanita and beargrass.
For more information visit the website at AZStateParks.com, call the park office at (520) 895-2425. The Park Entrance Fee is $7 per vehicle for up to 4 adults.
For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703), visit the website and online camping reservations at AZStateParks.com, Twitter/Facebook AZStateParks.