Arizona State Parks 

Rocks, Raptors, Reptiles Highlight Oracle State Park's Weekend Programs


April 15, 2013

Oracle, Ariz./Mt. Lemmon

Spring activities at Oracle State Park, Center for Environmental Education, include wildlife programs (see schedule below) guided bird walks and hikes, tours of the historic Kannally Ranch House, and environmental education school programs are offered weekdays by reservation.

The following wildlife programs are free with park admission, but reservations are suggested by calling the park office at (520) 896-2425:

• April 21: Celebrate Earth Day at a Butterfly Talk and Walk with Marceline Vandewater. Details will be announced at a later date.

• April 27: Live Hawk Talk with wildlife rehab specialist Kathie Schroeder ongoing between 10:30am and 12:30pm in the ranch house. Meet "Sueno" the Harris Hawk and ask questions.

• April 28: Reptile Walk with herpetologist, Ed Moll, begins with 11am presentation followed by a walk to find and identify lizards and other reptiles.

• April 28: Papermaking with Desert Plants Workshop with Val Bembenek, local paper artisan, from 1 to 3pm. Learn basic papermaking using mold and deckle in vats of iris leaf, ocotillo flower, creosote leaf pulps and take home a dozen or so handmade sheets. $15 workshop fee includes park admission.

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.

Other ongoing weekend events include a park wildlife slide show, edible fruits display, and the junior ranger program is available anytime. Guided bird walks with M.E. Flynn are held every first and third Saturday of the month beginning at 8:15am and guided hikes of three to five miles with Gaston Meloche are held every second and fourth Saturday of the month beginning at 9am. Make reservations for the hikes by calling (520) 638-5404.


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