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 or Monica Enriquez at (602) 542-6997. Contact by Email: pio(at)azstateparks.gov
(Phoenix, Arizona - June 3, 2014) - Summer activities at Oracle State Park, Center for Environmental Education, include a Star Party and guided walks. The schedule for events in June is below.
On weekdays, the park has school programs by reservation by calling (520) 896-2425 and on weekends is open for hiking, offers tours of the Kannally Ranch House and holds events. Group facilities are also available for weddings and other group gatherings. The Park Entrance Fee is $7 per vehicle for up to four adults. For more information about Oracle State Park call (520) 896-2425 or visit AZStateParks.com/parks/ORAC.
Celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, June 7 at 8:30 a.m.: The ranger-led interactive guided nature hike will last for one hour. Bring your favorite binoculars or identification guidebook and learn and share about the birds, plants, geology and wildlife found in the park. Reservation is suggested by calling (520) 896-2425. The hike is free with paid park admission.
Guided Tours of the Historic Kannally Ranch House on Sunday, June 8 at 10 a.m. and again at 2 p.m.: On this tour of the four-level Kannally family home, learn about one of the earliest cattle ranching families and the architectural treasure they left behind. The tour will be led by Interpretive Docent Mary Bast.
Guided Plant Walk on Sunday, June 8 at 8:30 a.m.: Meet Chuck LeFevre at the Ranch House office. The walk is free with paid park admission. No reservation is needed.
Live Music and Star Party on Saturday, June 21 - Live Music 6 - 8 p.m., Star Party 8 - 10 p.m.: Bring your own picnic and celebrate the Summer Solstice with extended open hours. From 6 p.m. - 8 p.m., Undercover, a variety dance band from Tucson, will play. They play a blend of songs and styles covering everything from the Beatles to Van Morrison with a little jazz and country thrown in. From 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. the park will host a Star Party. Visitors will have the chance to view Mars and Saturn, the asteroids Ceres and Vesta, plus star clusters, nebulae and galaxies. During the evening, the Milky Way will rise over the eastern horizon. In addition to star-gazing and toe-tapping, the Oracle Dark Skies Committee will be on hand to discuss its work to have Oracle State Park designated a Dark Sky Park by the International Dark Sky Association. The committee also promotes awareness of the importance of dark sky-friendly appropriate outdoor lighting of homes and businesses.
Seating is available, but visitors are encouraged to bring a comfortable outdoor chair, and flashlight. Events are included with paid park admission. The event is sponsored by the Friends of Oracle State Park. For additional information please call (520) 896-2425.
Tours of the Historic Kannally Ranch House: Tours are offered at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on weekends. Participants should check-in at the Office/Gift Shop. Reservations are NOT required. The tour lasts about 45-minutes and is free with park admission. On the tour, 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 welcome.
Environmental Education Field Trip Programs: Environmental education programs for school children, first through sixth grades, are scheduled by reservation on weekdays by calling (520) 896-2425. Thousands of students have learned important environmental principles in these ranger/volunteer-led programs over the last two decades.
Hiking: The Park is open for hiking on weekends. 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, birdbook and leash for your pet.
Oracle State Park is located northeast of Tucson in the northern foothills of the Catalina Mountains. The Park is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge, environmental education center and day-use recreation park. 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 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). Campsite or cave tour reservations can be made online at AZStateParks.com or by calling the Reservation Call Center at (520) 586-2283. Open 7 days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. Follow AZStateParks on Twitter and Facebook.