An “Outdoor Adventure” for 16 young people from ages seven to twelve was recently held in park. The program was a collaborative effort of the park, neighboring Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, and Bud Walker County Park.
Ranger Mimi Gorman took the lead in creating the event and coordinating with partners. The goal was to create an atmosphere where stewardship could grow and the youth would experience their local lands as fun places to be outdoors.
On Thursday evening, June 28th, after greetings from the managers of the three public land agencies, it was “safety first.” Ranger Steven Little kicked off the event with a desert safety story. His safety measures were applied while the youth set up tents and participated in Leave No Trace activities developed by Margot Bissell from Cabeza Prieta NWR. The evening closed with a successful search for scorpions in their natural habitat.
The Outdoor Adventure continued all day Friday with a much-anticipated saguaro fruit harvest, led by Western National’ s bookstore manager, Janet Castro, who demonstrated traditional Tohono O’odham methods. Other activities included a short hike to discover desert plant “super powers” (adaptations) and an introduction to reptiles and bats with a gopher snake and a desert tortoise assisting. Staff members from each organization, offered their expertise and support.
Throughout the day, the students took photographs. The pictures were assembled into a Power Point presentation that was shown to the parents as the finale of Outdoor Adventure.