Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park Opens November 30, 2016

 

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

December 9, 16, 23, and 30: Friday Bird Walk with Tom and Carol

8:30am. Bright red Northern Cardinals are year-round residents at the Arboretum and can be seen along with dozens of species around the gardens. Learn to identify birds this month on weekly Friday walks guided by Tom and Carol Sykes. Find recent bird sightings posted at cals.arizona.edu.

December 10: Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Sonoran Desert Guided Walk with Kathy & Tom

1:30pm. Walk the Curandero Trail on a slow-paced tour guided by desert plant enthusiasts and local authors Kathy & Tom McDonald - explaining ways prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves and jojobas have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than 1,000 years. Please note: this guided tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. To confirm event times and to read more, please visit cals.arizona.edu.

December 10 - 11: Picket Post Mansion Tour

West-facing walls and windows of historic Picket Post House are all that most people have ever seen of the 7,000 square foot mansion adjacent to Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. But after a five-year hiatus, two special weekends of public tours return Dec. 10-11, and also Jan. 7-8! Mark your calendar and don't miss these rare opportunities to walk through Colonel William Boyce Thompson's venerable mansion perched on volcanic cliffs overlooking his namesake Arboretum. Visitors are required to pay daily park admission of $10 each to enter the Arboretum grounds ($5 for ages 5-12) and walk the half-mile main trail to reach the mansion gate; mansion tour tickets cost an additional $20 each, and money raised during these special weekends of mansion tours helps support our ongoing mission at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. Of course, AZ State Parks pass-holders just pay the $20 mansion tour fee. The Arboretum opens at 8:00 a.m. during Fall and Winter months; the mansion will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Carry some cash for lunch onsite, the local Optimists Club will have grilled burgers and hotdogs for sale outside the mansion. Buy tour tickets in the Arboretum gift shop when you arrive - tickets are not sold in advance. For a sneak preview of whats inside, check out the gallery Patsy Akers posted online after 2011, when tours were last offered - find the link at cals.arizona.edu.

December 10: Main Trail Guided Walking Tour (repeats Dec. 10-12, 17, 19, 24, and 31)

11:00am. Arizona State Parks volunteers Tom and Carol Sykes narrate Arboretum history and point out colorful plants and birds plus seasonal changes on guided walking tours. Benjamin Franklin famously said “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn;” engaging tourguides Carol and Tom find something new around the Arboretum gardens each week. You’ll learn about seasonal changes, hotspots to look for resident birds, and where best to enjoy sweeping views of the Queen Creek riparian area. Guided walks along the 1.5 mile main trail include fun facts about Arboretum history while learning more about the Arboretum’s plants, resident critters and geology. Tours depart from the visitor center at 11:00 am and are included with daily admission. Free to BTA annual members, and also if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. To confirm event times and to read more, please visit cals.arizona.edu.

December 11: Guided Bird Walk with Anne & Kathe

8:30am. Year-round resident Northern Cardinals were among dozens of species seen and heard around the gardens this week at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. See vivid cardinals and more on a bird walk starting at 8:30am. and guided by Anne Leight & Kathe Anderson. Recent bird sighting checklist are posted at http://cals.arizona.edu/bta/

December 17: Plants of the Bible Lands Guided Walk with Dave Oberpriller

1:30pm. A wise man will be heading east towards BTA in December, carrying one of the most famous of all “Gifts of the Magi", frankincense. Among the best-known plants referenced in scripture, this unassuming plant (Boswellia sacra) can, indeed, be propagated and grown right here in Arizona. Be here Saturday to meet Mesa resident and Bible scholar David Oberpriller and join him for a relaxed, slow-paced walk through gardens that are all easily accessible for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. Participants will learn about frankincense and its use in Biblical times and how to propagate and care for these rare and “Unusual” plants (the theme of this month’s walk) during BTA's recurring Plants of the Bible Lands walk. Expect to learn some new things about history, scripture and biblical botany during the guided walk. Can't join us Saturday but are intrigued by this walking tour? David’s other Plants of the Bible Lands walks recur on the 3rd Saturday each month this winter at 1:30pm. Mark your calendar for January (“Food” plants) and February (“Trees”). See more photos, connect with Dave and read more about palms, figs, pomegranates and more by visiting Boyce Thompson's Facebook page

December 18: Sunday Tree Tour with Jeff Payne

1:30pm. Silviculturally-speaking - and since an Arboretum is by definition a living collection of trees - what guided tour could be more fitting here than a once-a-month "Trees of BTA" guided walk? We invite those who love all things sylvan and want to learn more about trees to be here for a relaxed, slow-paced afternoon tour guided by certified arborist and Arboretum staff Horticultural Specialist Jeff Payne. Here's your chance to learn about trees both native to the Sonoran Desert and exotic, with a skilled professional's tips on tree care and horticulture. To confirm event times and to read more, please visit cals.arizona.edu.

December 31: New 'Photo Walk' for Beginners on New Year's Eve Saturday

10:00am. Valley artist MiMi Paris has photographed landscapes and people from Arizona to the Mediterranean, and she’s kicking-off the New Year as host of a new photography walkabout at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. The venue is outdoors and informal, and the goal is to share a few basic camera lessons while photographing the gardens. Her walking tour will include time for participants to learn basic camera functions ranging from aperture and exposure to white balance. In addition, participants will be able to get their specific questions answered in a supportive environment - a small group with a friendly camera coach whose goal is to put the fun in camera functions, and eliminate aspects of photography that can be intimidating to beginners. There's no additional charge to attend; as with most Arboretum nature walks, MiMi's new photography walk is included with daily admission of $10, or free to BTA annual members. Spaces are limited, though; MiMi asks that participants RSVP by email to mimi.paris@gmail.com or call at (480) 319-2229 so her group can be contained to a manageable dozen participants. Anyone on her waiting list will be among the first invited to her walks in February, March and April. See more of her work at mimiphotography.com

December 31: New Year's Weekend Geology Guided Hike

1:30pm. Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a tour with a team of professional geologists: Rich Leveille and Phil St. George as your guides for a lively tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. This tour repeats Jan. 28, Saturday, with Scott McFadden as our guide.

 

Catalina State Park

December Programs

Visit Catalina State Park's main website to see all of the park's seasonal programs. Guided hikes, bird walks, and nature programs all through the month!

December 11 – 50th Year Trail

8:15am. Park and meet at the Equestrian Center parking. An easy hike, returning by another pleasant trail to make a loop. 7 miles, 450' elevation.

December 11 and 18 – Geology Walk

9am. How were the Santa Catalina Mountains formed? What are some of the different rocks in the park? Learn about the geology of Catalina State Park with experienced geologist, Karen. This walk takes several hours. All participants please meet at the picnic area ramada.

December 14 – Adventures with the Moon

7:30pm. The Moon, Earth’s only natural satellite, with its mystery and intrigue, continues to provide interest to earth’s humans. Join Catalina State Park volunteer, Richard, as he takes you to the moon and back through interactive activities and displays. Meet at the Romero Ruins Ramada.

December 18 – Cabin/Canyon Trail Loop

8:15am. Park and meet at main trailhead parking (near the two buildings). From main trailhead hike to cabin via unnamed trails and back by Canyon Trail South to parking. 7 miles, 400' elevation.

December 25 – "Park's Best Short Trails Loop"

8:15am. Park and meet at Catalina State Park’s main trailhead parking (near the two buildings). Especially good for those new or not too familiar with the whereabouts of the park’s trails.

 

Lost Dutchman State Park

Fort Verde State Historic Park

Fort Verde Celebrates the Holidays!

From December 3, 2016 to January 7, 2017, historic Fort Verde will deck its halls with Victorian decorations! Visitors can glance into the past and see how those who once resided at Fort Verde celebrated the holidays on the frontier. Enjoy any of our sepcial events this season!

December 9-10 - Candlelight Tours

5:00pm - 8:30pm. Join us as we host candlelight tours through the historic homes along Officer's Row. Enjoy our living history presentations with light refreshments to follow. Come meet Santa and Mrs. Claus on Friday Dec. 9th from 5:30pm to 8:30pm! Sponsored in part by Camp Verde Promotions.

 

Lost Dutchman State Park

Lost Dutchman State Park

December 8: Bird Walk

9:00am. Join volunteer “Birder Vera” for a morning of discovering the birds of the desert. Learn how to identify the birds in your back yard, the proper use of binoculars, where to find birds in our area and then take a guided walk through the desert to practice new skills. Bring binoculars if you have them, appropriate clothing, water and enthusiasm, but no dogs or small children please. Expect to have some surprises and fun! Meet at the Native Plant Trail parking area on the right before reaching the ranger station for orientation. Participants will then relocate to Cholla Parking Area.

December 10: Dr. Sky

7:00pm. Join Dr.Sky, a radio/TV journalist based in Phoenix, for An Amazing Night Under the Skies. What planets will we see in the dark desert sky? Dress warmly and be prepared to be amazed at the sightings. Palo Verde Day Use parking (weather permitting).

December 11: Full Moon Hike

7:00pm - 9:00pm. Join us for a guided 2.5 mile hike on Jacob’s Crosscut Trail at the base of the mysterious Superstition Mountains. Hikers should dress appropriately and wear trail shoes or boots. Please bring a flashlight in case of cloudy conditions. Some parts of the trail are rocky and uneven with occasional steep grades (elevation gain: 120’). Participants should be in good health with no walking or night vision difficulties. Trail is NOT suitable for strollers or walkers. After the hike gather round the campfire for a marshmallow roast (marshmallows and sticks provided). No pets, please. Parking in Cholla Day Use area. There is a limit of 100 hikers, so please call in advance to reserve your space: 480 982-4485.

December 14: Getting to Know the Birds Around You

9:00am.Meeting in the Saguaro Day Use area, there will be a brief discussion about how to tell one bird from another, then we’ll be looking for resident birds (from hawks to hummingbirds) and for any late migrants on their way south. After birding the Saguaro Day use area, we’ll look for birds as we walk up toward Jacob’s Crosscut Trail. We’ll make the short loop around and back to Saguaro Day Use lot, birding as we go. This is more of an “amble” than a hike as we let the birds come to us. Bring binoculars, water and wear sturdy trail shoes. No dogs, please. Led by volunteer “Birder Babs”.

December 21: Exploring Siphon Draw Trail

9:00am. Join us at Siphon Draw Trailhead for a 4.2 round trip hike to the basin (slick rock waterfall area). Along the way we will pass some remnants of an unsuccessful mining attempt, identify strangely named rock formations and look at layers of rock from the volcanic explosion that make up this portion of the Superstition Mountain, all of this while hiking the steady uphill grade on a less than smooth trail. Elevation change - 1030 ft. Wear sturdy trail or hiking shoes, carry at least 2 bottles of water and bring a snack for a 3 hour moderately strenuous hike. Led by volunteer hiking leader Grady.

December 28: Photographing the Sunset Hike

4:30pm. Following the Treasure Loop trail to Jacobs Cross Cut and intersecting with Siphon Draw Trail, hikers will marvel at the mountain and sky full of colors especially if there a few clouds. This can be a photographer’s delight! And what better than to have local landscape, nature and astrophotographer Lee Mednick along to share guidelines on how to use basic digital photography to photograph the sunset! Beginners to intermediate photographers are encouraged to bring their cameras (not phones). During this easy, 2 hour hike, you will be provided with instruction on how to improve your photography. Wear hiking shoes and carry water. Bring a flashlight for return to parking lot. Meet at Saguaro Day Use area. Led by volunteer hiking leader Barbara.

December 30: Star Talk

7:30pm. Learn about the night sky, constellations and planets with local astronomer Bill Dellinges. Parking and seating at campground amphitheater.

 

Oracle State Park

Oracle State Park

December 10: Bighorn Basics

1pm. Join Arizona State Parks volunteer Richard Boyer as he presents "Bighorn Basics" at the Kannally Ranch House for a 35-minute talk to learn more about bighorn sheep. What are they? Where have they been? Where are they now? Many of the tools we use can be compared to the tools the Bighorn Sheep use to survive in mountainous areas of Arizona. For several years, Richard presented this Bighorn Basics program at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado where he retired as a seasonal National Park Service Ranger. Free with park admission. Reservation preferred

December 11: Bear Necessities

1pm. Would you like to know more about the black bear of Arizona? Then this is the program for you! Information about bears, an appearance from the "Everywhere Bear," and information about safety around bears will be presented in this interactive 30 to 40-minute program presented by interpretive docent Richard Boyer in the living room of the Kannally Ranch House. You might even win a prize for your knowledge about the black bear! Free with park admission; reservation suggested.

 

Red Rock State Park

Sunday, December 11: Geology Hike

1pm. Sedona is located at the base of the Mogollon Rim, the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. The escarpment is over 200 miles long and ranges in elevation from 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Over millions of years of erosion the rim has receded over four miles leaving behind the picturesque features of Sedona. Join our knowledgeable volunteers as they venture out on our trails and discuss how the beautiful red rock formations developed over long periods of time. This is an interpretive experience for both the beginner and experienced hiker, lasting between 2-2 ½ hours and an elevation gain of 250 feet. Please bring water and wear suitable footwear. This hike is included with the park entrance fee.

Sunday, December 18: Archaeology Hike

1pm. Red Rock State Park has been a destination for Native Americans for several millennia. Most of the ancient features found in the park are from the Sinagua culture dating about 1100 to 1425 AD. Come and hear the fascinating story of the pre-Columbian people who lived and traveled in the park! The hike will identify the various archaeological features and interpret them into the wider context of important regional Sinagua sites. And we will explore ideas of other cultures that may likely have made use of the park’s resources. The hike will last about two hours, with an elevation gain of some 250 feet, along easy trails. Please bring water and wear suitable footwear. This hike is included with park entrance fees.

 

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

Saturday, December 10: Christmas Party

9am - 11am. Meet Santa & Mrs. Claus, enjoy refreshments, arts & crafts, gits for the kids, carriage rides and more. FREE!

 

Tombstone Courthouse

Saturday, December 10 - Tombstone Courthouse Luminarias

From 6:30pm to 8:30pm following the Tombstone Light Parade come visit the Tombstone Courthouse for an evening of light, friends, and holiday cheer! Guests will be treated to cookies and hot chocolate at the Courthouse as part of the seasonal celebration, so bundle up for this free, family-friendly event!

 

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Friday, December 9: Dipped in Tubac

10am- 1pm. In celebration of the village-wide “Dipped in Tubac” Chocolate Festival, everyone is invited to come and discover the rich history of chocolate in the Southwest. Taste a cacao bean, learn how the Mayans and pre-Columbian Native Americans prepared their chocolate, and sample the energy drink that fueled the 1774 and 1775 Anza expeditions from Tubac to Alta California. Included with park admission, $5 adult, $2 youth, children free.

Saturday, December 10: Presentation: Apollo 8 Mission to the Moon by Bob Zimmerman

2pm. Robert Zimmerman, an award-winning science journalist and historian, tells the hidden story behind the Apollo 8 mission, describing its background and how this one mission changed both American and world history forever. It was Christmas Eve, 1968, and the astronauts of Apollo 8 -- Commander Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders -- were participants in a mission that took them faster (24,000 mph) and farther from the Earth (240,000 miles) than any human had ever traveled. More importantly, Apollo 8 was the mission that broke humanity's absolute bond to the Earth, the first mission to leave the Earth's orbit and go to another world. Don’t miss this fascinating talk! Call (520) 398-2252 to make your reservation. $10.00 fee includes admission to tour the Park.

Thursday, December 15: Guided Tour of the Barrio de Tubac Archaeological Site

11am.–1pm. Special tour by Phil Halpenny and Gwen Griffin of the Spanish colonial archaeological site just south of the Park which preserves the remains of the original Tubac town site, including residence foundations, plaza area, refuse area and partial irrigation ditch. Meet at the Park’s Visitor Center. Tour involves a walk of about 1-1/4 miles. The Archaeological Conservancy protects this site and participants are asked to sign 'An Acknowledgement of Risk Factors' before entering. Wear walking shoes, sunscreen and hat. $10 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park. Tour limited to 15; reservations encouraged, 520-398-2252 or info@TubacPresidio.org.

Living History: Spinning, Saturday, December 17,

10am.–1pm. Spinning is one of the oldest surviving crafts in the world. The tradition of weaving traces back to Neolithic times – approximately 12,000 years ago. Watch and learn how fiber and spinning impacted human activity from ancient to modern times. A knowledgeable volunteer will demonstrate how the spinning wheel produces thread from fiber, and you are welcome to experience spinning with a drop spindle. Included with park admission, $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

Saturday, December 17 and Friday, December 30: Walking Tour of Old Tubac

10am.-Noon. Come explore colorful Old Tubac that even some of the locals don’t know about! Guided by Connie Stevens, you’ll discover fascinating facts about the town’s early adobe buildings and learn about Arizona’s first European settlement. Topics from early Native American inhabitants, Spanish explorers, American pioneers, Apache attacks, kidnappings, and other exciting episodes are discussed. Meet at the Park’s Visitor Center. Allow 2 hours for the tour and wear walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat. $10 fee includes admission to tour the Presidio Park. Tour limited to 20; reservations requested, 520-398-2252 or info@TubacPresidio.org.

Sunday, December 18: Southwestern Christmas Concert with Ted Ramirez and Special Guests

2pm. Our own Artist-in-Residence Teodoro ‘Ted’ Ramirez will give his annual “Holiday Season Concert” in the 1885 Territorial Schoolhouse, sharing the stage with several outstanding musical friends: Nancy Elliott (storyteller/singer/seamstress), Blaine McIntyre (musician/songwriter for Ian Tyson), Michael Markowitz (mandolinist, physician), Ellen Edmonson Murphy (singer/songwriter/bi-lingual teacher and daughter of Southwest music legend Travis Edmonson), and Ted’s beautiful and talented grandniece Leah Frost Blue (ballerina). Experience the joy of the holiday season Southwest style. Don't forget to invite visiting friends and neighbors. Tickets $18 adults, free for children 14 and younger. Seating is limited, please call now for reservations, 520-398-2252.

Tuesday, December 27: Frontier Printing Press Demonstrations

11am.–2pm. A knowledgeable volunteer demonstrates the Washington Hand Press used to print Arizona’s first newspaper in 1859 and answers questions about hand press printing, type setting, and other aspects of this marvel of industrial engineering. You will get to set type and print small samples to take with you. Included with park admission: $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

 

 

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

January 2: Monday Weekly Guided Walk with Clyde (repeats Jan. 9, 16, 23, and 30)

11:00am. Tour guide Clyde has earned applause for his lively Monday tours that narrate Arboretum history, plants, resident critters, scenic views and geology. Join Clyde any Monday this month on his guided walk around the 1.5 miles main trail. Meet in the visitor center at 11:00am. Tour is included with daily admission. Free to BTA annual members and free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. To confirm event times and to read more, visit us online at cals.arizona.edu.

January 7: Thunder Gourd Workshop (repeats March 4)

10:00am. Make your own 'thunder gourd' from a groud fitted with a synthetic drum head and spring that makes a dramatic, hypnotic, rumbling thunder-like noise when shaken. Gourd artists Gerald and Vicki Johnson suggest that potential enrollees should already have taken their "Intro to Gourd Art" workshop prior to this class to learn basics, but it is not required. A cleaned and cut gourd, plus all materials needed are provided and students will leave class with a completed project. Enrollment is $55 for Arboretum annual members and Az State Parks pass-holders, or $65 for all others (which includes $10 daily admission to the Arboretum gardens and trails). Enroll by phone during daytime business hours by calling (520) 689-2723.

January 7: Main Trail Guided Walk with Jim - and a Taste of 'Desert Edibles'

11:00am. You’ll see prickly pear cacti, mesquite trees and other desert plants on this guided walk with Jim Shepherd; what’s more – you’ll have a chance to taste a few ‘desert edible’ samples of prickly pear jelly, nopalitos, mesquite flour, and agave nectar. Jim shares a synopsis of Arboretum history and shows visitors where to find colorful plants and birds on his guided walking tours of 1.5 mile main trail – a tour that encompasses Arboretum history, plants, resident critters and geology. Main Trail guided walks depart from the visitor center at 11:00 am and are included with daily admission $10 -- free to BTA annual members, and also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. To confirm event times and to read more, visit us online at cals.arizona.edu.

January 7 - 8: Picket Post Mansion Tour

Mark your calendar and don't miss these rare opportunities to walk through Colonel William Boyce Thompson's venerable mansion perched on volcanic cliffs overlooking his namesake Arboretum. Visitors are required to pay daily park admission of $10 each to enter the Arboretum grounds ($5 for ages 5-12) and walk the half-mile main trail to reach the mansion gate; mansion tour tickets cost an additional $20 each, and money raised during these special weekends of mansion tours helps support our ongoing mission at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. Of course, AZ State Parks pass-holders just pay the $20 mansion tour fee. The Arboretum opens at 8:00 a.m. during Fall and Winter months; the mansion will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Carry some cash for lunch onsite, the local Optimists Club will have grilled burgers and hotdogs for sale outside the mansion. Buy tour tickets in the Arboretum gift shop when you arrive - tickets are not sold in advance. For a sneak preview of whats inside, check out the gallery Patsy Akers posted online after 2011, when tours were last offered - find the link at cals.arizona.edu.

January 8: Intro to Gourd Art Basic Workshop (repeats Feb. 4 and Mar. 5)

10:00am. Intended for beginners and also repeat students who want to improve their skills, this class covers basics of gourd art including how to clean and prepare gourds, choosing and drawing a design, wood burning and applying color. A cleaned gourd and all materials are provided, and most students leave with a completed project. Enrollment is $40 for Arboretum annual members and Az State Parks pass-holders, or $50 for all others (which includes $10 daily admission to the Arboretum gardens and trails). Enroll by phone during daytime business hours by calling (520) 689-2723.

January 9: Monday Weekly Guided Walk with Clyde (repeats Jan 16, 23, and 30)

11:00am. Tour guide Clyde has earned applause for his lively Monday tours that narrate Arboretum history, plants, resident critters, scenic views and geology. Join Clyde any Monday this month on his guided walk around the 1.5 mile main trail. Tour meets in the visitor center and is included with the cost of admission. Free to BTA annual members, and also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. To confirm event times and to read more, visit us online at cals.arizona.edu/bta/

January 14: Edible & Medicinal Plants of the Sonoran Desert Guided Walk with Dave Morris

1:30pm. Walk the Curandero Trail on a slow-paced tour guided by an ethno-botanist and member of the Choctaw nation Dave Morris, explaining ways prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves and jojobas have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. ** Please note: this guided tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. To confirm event times and to read more, visit us online at cals.arizona.edu/bta/

January 15: Sunday Tree Tour with Jeff Payne

1:30pm. Silviculturally-speaking - and since an Arboretum is by definition a living collection of trees - what guided tour could be more fitting here than a once-a-month "Trees of BTA" guided walk? We invite those who love all things sylvan and want to learn more about trees to be here for a relaxed, slow-paced afternoon tour guided by certified arborist and Arboretum staff Horticultural Specialist Jeff Payne. Here's your chance to learn about trees both native to the Sonoran Desert and exotic, with a skilled professional's tips on tree care and horticulture. To confirm event times and to read more, visit us online at cals.arizona.edu/bta/

January 21: Main Trail Guided Walking Tour - With a Taste of 'Desert Edibles'

11:00pm. Learn to identify prickly pear cacti, mesquite and other desert plants on a guided walk with Jim Shepherd, and have a chance to taste a few ‘desert edibles’ such as prickly pear jelly and nopalitos, mesquite flour, and agave nectar. Jim narrate Arboretum history and shows visitors where to find colorful plants and birds on his guided walking tours of 1.5 mile main trail – a tour that encompasses Arboretum history, plants, resident critters and geology. Main Trail Tours depart from the visitor center at 11:00 am and are included with daily admission fee. Free to BTA annual members, and also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. To confirm event times and to read more, visit us online at cals.arizona.edu/bta/

January 21: Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk

1:30pm. The Sinai Desert lies roughly at the same latitude as our own Sonoran Desert. Many of the same plants common in the Middle East thrive in our Arizona climate, and can be seen here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Arboretum volunteer tour guide Dave Oberpriller leads this tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land. Citing references from ancient texts, Dave describes how people of the Bible Land used plants as food, medicine, and shelter in ways similar to how native peoples of Southern Arizona continue to do so in modern times. Dave’s tour moves at a leisurely pace, lasts about 90 minutes and proceeds along wheelchair-accessible paths. Check out the Plants of the Bible Lands Facebook page to learn more.

January 28: Saturday Geology Guided Walk

1:30pm. Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a tour with professional geologist Scott McFadden as your guide for a lively tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. To confirm event times and to read more, visit us online at cals.arizona.edu/bta/

 

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