Maricopa Arizona County Parks

Fun At Your Fingertips

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MARICOPA COUNTY Parks & Recreation
234 N. Central Ave , Suite 6400
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Dawna Taylor 602/506-1114 office
DawnaTaylor@mail.maricopa.gov
Terry Gerber 602/372-7460 ext. 202
Ph 602-506-2930
Maricopa County Parks

Fire Ban Information
Effective Tuesday, May 27, 2014 through Thursday, August 28, 2014 Maricopa County's regional parks will initiate the annual fire ban. This includes banning the use of all campfire, fire pits and charcoal grills; however, it is still acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas such as the ramada areas, semi-developed and developed camping sites, and along the shoreline at Lake Pleasant Regional Park. If the parks do not receive ample rain during the monsoon season, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department may extend the fire ban to protect the parks resources and ensure visitor safety.

Fun For All

Adobe Dam Regional Park
Welcome to Adobe Dam Regional Park. Sitting at the base of the Hedgepeth Hills in north Phoenix, this 1,526-acre park offers recreationists the opportunity to participate in activities that require ample space. The land is used by many clubs, including:
Arizona Model Pilots Society R/C Airport, Airfield
Saguaro Central
Maricopa Live Steamers
Arizona Model Railroading Society
Phoenix Kart Racing Association Race Track
Arizona Karting Association Kart Racing Track
Fort Adobe Paintball Complex

Adobe Dam is also home to:
500 Club Championship Golf Course
Victory Lane Sports Complex Ball Fields
Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix - for general information, contact (623) 201-2000.

Fire Icon Information:

GREEN ICON: It is safe to burn a campfire in the park, unless the park has implemented a fire ban.

RED ICON: Under no circumstances are fires allowed.

Park Hours The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. No entry after 10 p.m.

Adobe Dam Regional Park
23280 N. 43rd Avenue
Glendale, AZ 85310
Ph: 602-506-2930
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/adobe/


Buckeye Hills Regional Park
Welcome to Buckeye Hills Regional Park. Consisting of 4,474 acres of natural desert, the park is located in the southwest Valley. Enjoy the rolling hills of pristine Sonoran Desert, with beautiful views of the Gila River riparian area. The park has restrooms but currently there is no running water or electricity available in the park.

26700 W. Buckeye Hills Drive
Buckeye, AZ 85326
Phone: (623) 932-3811
Fax: (623) 932-7718
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/buckeye/


Cave Creek Regional Park
Welcome to Cave Creek Regional Park. Located north of Phoenix, this 2,922-acre park sits in the upper Sonoran Desert. Ranging in elevation from 2,000 feet to 3,060, this desert oasis provides any hiker and equestrian majestic views. The Go John Trail loops around a mountain to provide the illusion of being miles away from civilization. In the 1870s, fever stricken gold seekers staked their dreams on the jasper-studded hills. Guided trails to these sites give visitors an opportunity to travel back in time.

37900 N. Cave Creek Parkway
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Ph: 623-465-0431 Fax: 602-372-8596
cavecreekpark@mail.maricopa.gov
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/cave_creek/


Desert Outdoor Center
Welcome to The Desert Outdoor Center. The Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. The lake and mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for weddings, retreats, and other group functions. Teachers also take advantage of the facilitys 26,000 sq. ft. educators dream available for students. Over 30 programs are offered, ranging from dinosaur history to alternative energy. Public events include stargazing with an observatory telescope and guided hikes along the barrier-free trail. Entry to this facility is restricted to reservations only, except for designated public events.

41402 N. 87th Avenue
Peoria, AZ 85383
Phone: (602) 372-7470
Fax: (602) 372-7475
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/doc/


Estrella Mountain Regional Park
Welcome to Estrella Mountain Regional Park. These 19,840 acres of desert and mountains became the first regional park in the Maricopa County Park System in 1954. Located near the meeting of the Gila and Agua Fria Rivers in the southwest Valley, the park includes a large wetland, or riparian, area. The majority of the park remains pristine desert, very similar in appearance to the landscape seen by the first settlers and explorers. The Sierra Estrella range, or Star Mountains, was once within the Mexican border, and remained so until the Gadsden Purchase in 1853. Today, many amenities are available to visitors, including the only grass picnic area (65-acres) in the Maricopa County Park System.

14805 W. Vineyard Ave.
Goodyear, AZ 85338
Phone: (623) 932-3811
Fax: (602) 372-8596
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/estrella/


Lake Pleasant Regional Park
Welcome to Lake Pleasant Regional Park. One of the most scenic water recreation areas in the Valley of the Sun, this northwest Valley park is a recreationist s dream. The park offers many activities, such as camping, boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing.

41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd.
Morristown, AZ 85342
Phone: 1 (928) 501-1710
Fax: (602) 372-8596
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/lake_pleasant/


McDowell Mountain Regional Park
Welcome to McDowell Mountain Regional Park. Nestled in the lower Verde River basin, the 21,099-acre park is a desert jewel in the northeast Valley. Elevations in the park rise to 3,000 feet along the western boundary at the base of the McDowell Mountains. Visitors enjoy a full program schedule, over 50 miles of multiuse trails, and spectacular views of the surrounding mountain ranges. A stroll through the park will allow visitors to likely see deer, javelina, birds, and coyotes.

16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr.
MMRP, AZ 85255
Phone: (480) 471-0173
Fax: (602) 372-8596
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/mcdowell/


San Tan Mountain Regional Park
Welcome to San Tan Mountain Regional Park. Consisting of over 10,000 acres, the southeast Valley park is a fine example of the lower Sonoran Desert. The park ranges in elevation from about 1,400 feet to over 2,500 feet. Goldmine Mountain is located in the northern area, with a spectacular San Tan Mountain escarpment in the southern portion of the park. The vegetation changes from creosote flats to dense saguaro forest. Various types of wildlife may be observed, including reptiles, birds, and mammals.

San Tan Mountain Regional Park also has a Visitor's Center. Don t forget to stop by the Visitor's Center to pick up educational tidbits, purchase souvenir items, visit with park staff, and see the wildlife exhibits or tortoise habitat. Restroom facilities are available and additional amenities are slated for future development.

6533 W. Phillips Road
Queen Creek, AZ 85242
Phone: (480) 655-5554
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/santan/


Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area
Welcome to Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area. The newest addition to Maricopa County's Regional Parks System, the conservation area encompasses 2,154 acres of diverse, rugged upper Sonoran Desert. The north Valley location contains fascinating archaeology sites and lush riparian areas along Cave Creek, which flows throughout the winter months. Remnants of early mining and ranching, from which the park gets its name, are still apparent in the park. This area is a must see for all wildflower lovers in the spring. The abundant vegetation present in the conservation area provides a rich habitat for a diverse assemblage of wildlife.

44000 N. Spur Cross Road
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Phone: (480) 488-6601
Fax: (480) 488-2263 - cover sheet required
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/spur_cross/


Usery Mountain Regional Park
Welcome to Usery Mountain Regional Park. Located on the Valley s east side, this park takes in 3,648 acres set at the western end of the Goldfield Mountains, adjacent to the Tonto National Forest. The park contains a large variety of plants and animals that call the lower Sonoran Desert home. Along the most popular feature of the park, the Wind Cave Trail, water seeps from the roof of the alcove to support hanging gardens of Rock Daisy. The Wind Cave is formed at the boundary between the volcanic tuff and granite on Pass Mountain. Breathtaking views from this 2,840-foot elevation are offered to all visitors.

3939 N. Usery Pass Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85207
Phone: (480) 984-0032
Fax: (480) 357-1542
userypark@mail.maricopa.gov
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/usery/


White Tank Mountain Regional Park
Welcome to White Tank Mountain Regional Park. Nearly 30,000 acres makes this the largest regional park in Maricopa County. Most of the park is made up of the rugged and beautiful White Tank Mountains on the Valleys west side. The range, deeply serrated with ridges and canyons, rises sharply from its base to peak at over 4,000 feet. Infrequent heavy rains cause flash floodwaters to plunge through the canyons and pour onto the plain. These torrential flows, pouring down chutes and dropping off ledges, have scoured out a series of depressions, or tanks, in the white granite rock below, thus giving the mountains their name.

20304 W. White Tank Mountain Road
Waddell, AZ 85355
Phone: (623) 935-2505
Fax: (602) 372-8596
http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/white_tank/



Phoenix, AZ - White Tank Mountain Regional Park Seeks Input on Master Plan Update

(Maricopa County) The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department is currently updating the 1964 Master Plan for White Tank Mountain Regional Park and is seeking input from the community. The goal of the Park Master Plan is to develop a long-range vision for the park that takes into account park visitors needs while also protecting the resources and natural open space found within the park.

The department is beginning the initial phase of the planning process and it is important for us to make sure that the community is a part of that process, stated Maricopa County Supervisor Max Wilson, District 4. White Tank Mountain Regional Park abuts the rapidly growing suburbs of the Town of Buckeye and City of Surprise.

The March 27th meeting is the first of several public meetings that will be hosted at the park. During this phase of the planning process I ve asked staff to gather input from park users regarding their recreational needs and preferences. This will help to guide us in the development of the draft master plan, said R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director.

The public comment period for the first phase of the project will remain open for 30-days concluding at the close of business on April 27. To learn more about the public meeting being held at March 27, at 6 p.m. in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park Nature Center or the project, visit www.maricopa.gov/parks/white_tank/ and click on the park project tab.



Maricopa, Arizona County Parks Unveil Fall Challenge

(Maricopa County) Back by popular demand, Maricopa County s Parks and Recreation Department will roll out the 2012 Fall Challenge on Thursday, November 1.

Last year s 100-Miles of Hiking challenge was centered around Arizona s Centennial celebration and we had close to 200 people complete the challenge, stated R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director.

To mix things up this year, we re rolling out a new program which will not only test their physical skills but also their knowledge of the County s regional park system. The fall bingo challenge contains a mixture of physical activities, trivia questions, puzzles, interpretive programs and the opportunity to truly experience the beauty of the Sonoran desert while qualifying for a complimentary, limited edition tee-shirt and grand prize, added Cardin.

Participating in the program is simple; bingo boards may be obtained by visiting a County park or downloaded at www.maricopa.gov/parks. Once participants have completed all of the tasks on the board, the board may be returned to a County park to be eligible for one of three grand prize drawings. Participants who complete all three boards will be eligible for all three grand prize drawings of an annual mountain park pass ($75 value) and $25 Nature Center retail voucher (total value not to exceed $100).

So rev up your printers, grab your backpacks and water bottles and plan on joining the department on November 1 as they launch the program. The program runs through February 28, 2013. To recognize those who complete the bingo challenge, celebrations have been scheduled at seven of the County s regional parks. In addition, everyone who completes the program will receive a limited edition tee-shirt at the celebration. For a list of County parks and additional information, visit www.maricopa.gov/parks.



Maricopa County Parks Prepare To Lift Fire Ban
Regional Parks Permit Campfires And Grills

(Phoenix) The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department will lift its annual fire ban beginning Friday, August 31, 2012. This allows park visitors to use campfires, fire pits, and charcoal grills.

With Labor Day weekend fast approaching, we know park visitors are eager to include a family barbecue as part of their holiday festivities at the lake. Over the past couple of weeks, each of the parks has benefited from the monsoon season so we re comfortable lifting the ban. However, we re not out of the woods yet in some parks. If wind conditions become a problem, the park supervisors may issue a temporary ban to ensure park and visitor safety, stated R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director.

The system-wide fire ban was initiated on May 29 to limit the possibility of starting a brush fire, which could cause serious damage to the parks. Diminished fuel loads, higher humidity levels and valley-wide showers have helped to alleviate some of that concern.

There are ten Maricopa County Parks: Lake Pleasant Regional Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Adobe Dam Regional Park, Buckeye Hills Regional Park, Estrella Mountain Regional Park, San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Usery Mountain Regional Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Cave Creek Regional Park, and Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.

If you have any questions regarding any of the parks, call the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930, or visit www.maricopa.gov/parks.



Wonderful World of Plants! - Estrella

Estrella Mountain Park - Joe Ford will give a presentation on the colorful world of plants in the air conditioned splendor of the Nature Center. You won t want to miss this floral arrangement!

Date: 6/9/2012
Time: 10:00 AM
Speaker: Joe Ford
Registration Required: No
Fee: $6 per vehicle Park Entry Fee

Contact: 623-932-3811
Location: Estrella Mountain Regional Park

Address:
14805 W. Vineyard Ave.
Goodyear, AZ 85338
Two Month Preview



YOGA AT ESTRELLA MOUNTAIN REGIONAL PARK

On 5/28/2012 9:00:00 AM: Invite yourself and friends for a fun,playful, and all levels yoga practice surrounded by spark of the sonoran desert. Estrella Mountain Regional Park is offering yoga classes in the nature center MONDAY AND WEDNESDAY 9-10AM. Classes start 4/16/12 Instructor, Candace Jordan Ph: 425-299-5810 Cost: $10 per class for Maricopa County Parks Annual Pass Holders $15 per class for non pass holders - this includes the cost to get into park Please bring your annual pass to class for verification. Please check the park website for any cancellations. What to bring- Water Yoga mat Towel and or props you may need. A blanket, strap and yoga block is recommended for stiff joints and tight muscles. Please consider the following- If it is your 1st time to attend a class, please arrive 10 minutes early to fill out waiver form and discuss any limitations with instructor. Check/Sign in on the class roster We don't accept credit cards so PLEASE BRING CASH/CHECK. Check is to made out to Candace Jordan. Please have exact change if paying cash at the door Please refrain from wearing perfume when coming to class Wear comfortable sports/yoga apparel Please turn off cell phones and PDA s while class is in session- vibrate is not considered silent. Inform the instructor if you are pregnant or if you have any medical issues that may prevent you from doing some asanas (yoga poses) before the class start If you have any specific questions regarding this class , please contact Candace by phone425-299-5810 or email pelepook@gmail.com "You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?" -Rumi http://www.amtamembers.com/candacejordanmassage
Estrella Mountain Regional Park
14805 W. Vineyard Ave.
Goodyear 85338
Take Your Walk to the Desert - Spur Cross
04/05/2012 12:03 PM MST

On 5/28/2012 8:00:00 AM: May 28 Monday 8:00 am Take Your Walk to the Desert (moderate) An innovative, fun, easy 1.5 hr walking experience for health, camaraderie, and the desert s serenity. This is designed for people who want to begin trekking in the desert at an easy pace. Bring sturdy shoes, plenty of water, and a hat. This activity will be led by park docent Coni Grossman.

On 5/28/2012 10:00:00 AM: Enjoy the cool comfort of the visitor center and watch this exciting movie on our huge projector screen. But this is no ordinary movie theater. Our resident animals love movie day and will be outstanding company as they watch the movie with you, from inside their enclosures of course. You are encouraged to bring snacks/lunch, pillows/blankets and make yourself super comfy.
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
Queen Creek 85142
Salute to Our Heroes
03/06/2012 03:13 AM MST

On 5/28/2012 10:00:00 AM: Wet 'n' Wild Phoenix would like to salute our nation s heroes to thank them for their service. During this special period members of our US military and veterans of the US military and first responders can get in FREE! Plus family members can get in for just $19.99 plus tax for up to six people. Veterans, military and first responders must present a valid government ID or badge to receive their FREE admission and discount tickets. ** ID or badge holder must be present to receive one (1) free admission and up to six (6) discount admissions. Tickets are valid on the day of distribution only. First responders are defined as active duty police, sheriff, highway patrol; active duty firefighters; active duty EMT or paramedics.
Adobe Dam Regional Park
23280 N. 43rd Avenue
Glendale 85310

View more upcoming Parks events by visiting our two-month preview page.

You can view or update your subscriptions, password or e-mail address at any time on your User Profile Page. All you will need are your e-mail address and your password (if you have selected one).

This service is provided to you at no charge by Maricopa County. Visit us on the web at http://www.maricopa.gov/.

P.S. If you have any questions or problems e-mail support@govdelivery.com for assistance.



Kayaking 101: Learn Basic Safety, Paddling and Navigation Tips

July 21, 2011

What:
Get Wet: Introduction to Kayaking

Where:
Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant 41402 N. 87th Avenue
Peoria, AZ 85383

When:
Friday, August 5 (classroom) / Saturday, August 13 (on water)

Friday, September 2 (classroom) / Saturday, September 10 (on water)

Friday, October 7 (classroom) / Saturday, October 15 (on water)

Who:
Individuals interested in learning how to kayak

(Peoria) Have you ever wondered what it would be like to skim across a flat water lake in a kayak? Wonder no more, adventurous first-time paddlers now have an opportunity to attend a Get Wet: Introduction to Kayaking class that covers safety, paddling techniques, navigation tips, equipment and practice time on the lake.

Kayak101.jpg

Lake Pleasant has teamed up with Cabela s again this summer to host three Get Wet: Introduction to Kayaking on-water paddling sessions, stated Terry Gerber, Lake Pleasant Regional Park Interpretive Ranger.

The class is $35 per person which includes a one hour class at Cabela s and three hours of on-water instruction at the Desert Outdoor Center from the park rangers. We re committed to making this an enjoyable experience for those enrolled in the class so we provide the kayaks, paddles and life-jackets. We just ask that everyone come prepared to have a good time, added Gerber.

The agencies are currently accepting enrollment for the Friday, August 5 session which will take place at 6 p.m. in Cabela s Painted Desert Conference Room located at 9380 W. Glendale Avenue in Glendale. Interested parties are encouraged to contact (623) 872-6700 to reserve seats as space is limited and demand is high. Participants must be 12-years or older to attend the on-water portion of the program.

On Saturday, August 13 participants will be able to test their skills at a three hour on-water session in Honeymoon Cove at the Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant. The Desert Outdoor Center at Lake Pleasant is located at 41402 N. 87th Avenue in Peoria. Participants will be instructed on what to wear and where to go for the on-water session. For more information on the event or upcoming Get Wet: Introduction to Kayaking programs, visit www.maricopa.gov/parks/lake_pleasant.



Little Critters Storytime w/ Ranger Amy -McDowell Park Nature Center

McDowell Mountain Regional Park - Little Critters Storytime with Ranger Amy - (Geared toward preschool and older children) Join us every Thursday for a themed program set around a children's book read aloud by Ranger Amy. Activities vary and may include live animals, songs, crafts, and/or puppet plays. This program takes place in our air-conditioned Visitor Center.

Date: 8/4/2011
Time: 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM Duration: 1 hour
Speaker: Ranger Amy Ford
Registration Required: No
Fee: $6 per vehicle park entry fee

Contact: amyford@mail.maricopa.gov 480-471-0173x201
Location: McDowell Mountain Regional Park Nature Center

Address:
16300 McDowell Mountain Park Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255



Cave Creek Regional Park

Cave Creek Regional Park would like to share with you their monthly scheduled programs. Aside from our regular offerings of programs, we periodically hold special events to share our wonderful facility with the public. In the past, we ve held events such as stargazing, evening hikes, movies in the park, and holiday events. If you would like to see a list of upcoming events, get more information, or view photos, please visit our website at http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/cave_creek/.

If you would like to receive the latest news via email about our upcoming events, please subscribe to our events calendar by visiting the Main Park Menu and clicking on Subscriptions on the left side of the page. Once on the subscriptions page, you can join our park calendar by selecting the Cave Creek Regional Park or you can also join the County Parks calendar by selecting All Parks . After joining, you will receive emails alerting you when we add new events or make any changes to existing events.

Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions, comments or concerns using the contact information located below.

Thank you.

Cave Creek Regional Park
37019 N. Lava Lane
Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Phone (623) 465-0431
Fax (623)465-9284
cavecreekpark@mail.maricopa.gov



Annual Fire Ban To Be Implemented

Maricopa County Parks have set June 1, 2010 as the start date for annual fire ban.

(Phoenix) The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department will initiate its annual fire ban beginning Tuesday, June 1. The vegetation in the parks dried out quickly this spring and, not unlike previous years, this has left the parks with a large quantity of ground coverage that could easily catch fire, said Maricopa County Supervisors Chairman Don Stapley.

As a precaution, the annual fire ban will be implemented after Memorial Day weekend. The fire ban includes the use of campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills. With the recent passage of House Bill 2246, the Fireworks Bill, we also want to make sure that the public knows that the use of ground and hand-held fireworks are also banned within park boundaries. However, it is still acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas, Stapley added.

A fire ban is initiated to limit the possibility of starting a brush fire, which could cause serious damage to the parks. Violation of this park rule, Rule 113, may result in a citation. A date to lift the fire ban has not been designated and will be determined by the amount of rain Maricopa County receives during the monsoon season.

There are ten Maricopa County parks that will be affected by the fire ban: Lake Pleasant Regional Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Adobe Dam Regional Park, Buckeye Hills Regional Park, Estrella Mountain Regional Park (excludes turf area), San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Usery Mountain Regional Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Cave Creek Regional Park, and Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.

Smoking in the parks is still permissible, but all park users are strongly encouraged to be responsible in their use and ensure that all cigarettes are properly extinguished and placed in trash receptacles.

If you have any questions regarding the fire ban, call the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930, or visit www.maricopa.gov/parks.



Lake Pleasant Kicks Off National Safe Boating Week
Is your boat ready for the water?

May 6, 2009 - Is your watercraft safe? If you hesitated while answering this question, then you won t want to miss the 2009 Arizona Safe Boating Celebration at Lake Pleasant Regional Park on May 16 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Free vessel safety checks will be offered by the U.S. Power Squadron and U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary at the ten and four-lane boat ramps.

The average check takes approximately 15-minutes and can be performed while you re preparing to launch your boat. During the check, examiners will review federal and state boating laws and recommend equipment that will help to ensure that your boat is operating safely. Experts will also be on hand to provide information on how to select the right life-jacket, the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, the consequences for operating a boat under the influence of alcohol and those pesky aquatic hitchhikers, Quagga mussels.

Don t have a boat? No problem. Visit the vintage life-jacket display to see how life-jackets have evolved over the years. Don t have a life-jacket? Lake staff will be on hand to distribute life-jackets to individuals who do not have their own safety gear as part of the free life-jacket loaner program. Additional activities include a wakeboard demonstration and a variety of vendors. Prizes will be raffled off throughout the morning. The first 200 vessel owners who receive a safety check will receive a discount coupon for future park entry. The event is included in the $5 per vehicle park entry, $2 per watercraft, fee.

For more information on the event, visit www.azsafeboating.org. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located at 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road in Morristown. From I-17, take SR-74 (Carefree Highway) west; turn right at Mile Post 19; three miles to the park entrance. For additional information on the park, visit www.maricopa.gov/parks/lake_pleasant.



ANNUAL FIRE BAN TO BE IMPLEMENTED
County Parks set May 26 as start date for annual fire ban

May 11, 2009 - The Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department will initiate its annual fire ban beginning Tuesday, May 26. The vegetation in the parks dried out quickly this spring due to the warm temperatures and lack of rain. Not unlike previous years, this has left the parks with a large quantity of ground coverage that could easily catch fire, stated Maricopa County Supervisor Max Wilson, Chairman, District 4.

This year, the fire ban will be initiated after Memorial Day weekend. This will allow those camping in the parks to have a campfire. However, due to the dry conditions, the ban will be implemented immediately following the holiday. The ban includes the use of campfires, fire pits and charcoal grills. It is still acceptable to use gas/propane grills in designated areas, added Wilson.

A fire ban is initiated to limit the possibility of starting a brush fire, which could cause serious damage to the parks. Violation of this park rule, Rule 113, may result in a citation. A date to lift the fire ban has not been designated and will be determined by the amount of rain Maricopa County receives during the monsoon season.

There are ten Maricopa County parks that will be affected by the fire ban: Lake Pleasant Regional Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, Adobe Dam Regional Park, Buckeye Hills Regional Park, Estrella Mountain Regional Park (excludes turf area), San Tan Mountain Regional Park, Usery Mountain Regional Park, McDowell Mountain Regional Park, Cave Creek Regional Park, and Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area.

Smoking in the parks is still permissible, but all park users are strongly encouraged to be responsible in their use and ensure that all cigarettes are properly extinguished and placed in trash receptacles.

If you have any questions regarding the fire ban, call the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department at (602) 506-2930, or visit www.maricopa.gov/parks.



LAKE PLEASANT FOUR-LANE TEMPORARILY CLOSED
Tribal Sprint Triathlon Temporarily Closes North Entry into Park

April 29, 2009 - (Peoria) Lake Pleasant Regional Park will host the Tribal Sprint Triathlon the first weekend of June. The event will close both the north entry into the park and the four-lane boat ramp at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 5; however, they will reopen to the public at noon on Saturday, June 6. Park visitors are encouraged to use the ten-lane boat ramp on South Park Road accessed through the main entrance of Lake Pleasant Regional Park.

Expect delays in both directions on Castle Hot Springs Road on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. as athletes will be on the roadway. Deputies from the Maricopa County Sheriff s Office will be on hand to direct traffic.

For more information, contact the park directly at (602) 372-7460. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located at 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Rd. in Morristown.



Lake Pleasant Scuba Adventure Day
Fun for the whole family

April 20, 2009 - Peoria, AZ - Join Lake Pleasant Regional Park on Saturday, May 2 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Scuba Adventure Day! At this fun filled family event, attendee s will find slippery snorkel contests, a kids water craft program and dive shops that are eager to talk about the sport. First time divers are invited to try out the Discover Scuba experience while certified divers enjoy a boat ride to a fish area.

Entry into the event is included in the $5 per vehicle park entry fee; however, additional fees apply for underwater activities. Certified divers who register at the event and pay the entry fee will be eligible to dive and enter underwater treasure and lobster hunts for valuable prizes. Grand prizes include a week long cruise on the Andrea Lynn liveabord dive boat by Sea of Cortez Diving and a weeklong cruise on Blackbeard s fancy liveaboard 65 ft. sailboat. Bring your swim suit, snorkel or scuba gear and head to the lake for a day of fun!

Divers may obtain a $2 discount coupon from a participating dive shop. Details available online at www.maricopa.gov/parks/lake_pleasant/scuba.aspx . For additional information, contact Terry at (602) 372-7460 ext. 202. Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located at 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road.



Park Celebrates Bald Eagle Appreciation Day Park Celebrates Bald Eagle Appreciation Day

(Goodyear) - As the eight tiny reindeer head back to the North Pole for some well deserved rest and relaxation, a different type of flying wonder can be found at Estrella Mountain Regional Park this weekend. On Saturday, December 26, Liberty Wildlife Rehabilitators of Scottsdale will have two magnificent eagles, Lady Liberty and Sonora, on display inside the nature center from 11 a.m. to noon for Bald Eagle Appreciation Day.

Eagle_sm.jpg

Joe Miller, Liberty Wildlife volunteer, will share the fascinating tale on how the eagles were injured and the heroic efforts that went into saving them. In addition, Miller will provide information on a small group of wild bald eagles that live year-round in Arizona and theories that they may be a new sub-species of bald eagle.

At the last Sonoran Audubon Bird Walk, we were fortunate enough to view desert-eagles searching for fish along the Gila River at the park, stated Patricia Armstrong, Estrella Mountain Regional Park Interpretive Ranger. It was especially thrilling for the children to be close enough to see their piercing eyes, huge beaks and talons. Eagles are one of the most awesome creatures in nature, added Armstrong.

Bald Eagle Appreciation Day provides a wonderful opportunity to view the eagle s close-up and watch one being fed. Pack up the family and head out to Estrella Mountain Regional Park to soar with eagles and, afterwards, stay to enjoy a picnic or a hike with the family. Seymour the big blue eagle will be on-hand to entertain the kids and pass out goodies.

Estrella Mountain Regional Park is located at 14805 W. Vineyard Avenue in Goodyear. For additional information, contact the park at (623) 932-3811 or visit www.maricopa.gov/parks/estrella.



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