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Day-In-The-Park Party at Red Rock State Park April 17

It is surprising but sadly true that there are a lot of folks in Sedona and the surrounding area who have never visited Red Rock State Park. They don’t know what they are missing! Were you to ask any one of the more than a hundred enthusiastic volunteers who work in Red Rock State Park, what it is they most appreciate about the Park, you most likely would get a different answer from each one.

Red Rock State Park lies in the Oak Creek valley along the Red Rock Loop Road — the original so-called ‘Red Rock Country’. Oak Creek flows through it; red rocks loom in and around it; giant cottonwoods and sycamores tower in the flood plane; trails offer spectacular red rock vistas; historical buildings beckon; there are daily guided, instructive nature walks, lectures, movies, moonlight hikes, environmental education classes for schools, frequent wildlife sightings – this Park has it all.

This Park is not primarily about hiking or biking trails on which to ‘bag’ yet another Red Rock Butte – the National Forest Service land surrounding Sedona on all sides has a decidedly upper hand in that department. This Park, designated an Important Birding Area, is about conservation of Oak Creek riparian habitat, wildlife preservation and Environmental Education. The Park’s trails, for those choosing a guided Nature Walk, are the Naturalist guides’ class rooms to teach about the local botany and wildlife, local geology, archaeology, American Indian and homesteader history, and history of the Park itself. For those wanting to learn on their own, there is a small but to-the-point exhibition with interactive displays and instructive video clips in the Visitor Center that is always staffed by a welcoming and knowledgeable volunteer or ranger. There are more displays on wildlife in the Park’s theatre-and-classroom building where also pertinent movies are shown and lectures held. The Park has kept a daily birding and wildlife-sighting record ever since it opened – an invaluable resource for birders and biologists. An herbarium of the Park’s plant species is being assembled in collaboration with Northern Arizona University.

And did you know about the monthly Second-Sunday lecture series? You should check out the Park’s event calendar for information – you will not want to miss the one on local geology, or on petroglyphs, or on archeo-astronomy, bats, snakes or owls!

And the Park’s school program? Did you know that each year one to two thousand school kids come for classes to Red Rock State Park, from local schools and from as far away as Mesa and Chandler, and even California?

How can this small Park offer so much? Well, it gets a lot of help from highly motivated and enthusiastic volunteers who perhaps are experts in geology or botany or archaeology and love to share their knowledge, or who are retired and want to contribute to their community. Volunteers share in almost all the work – they help maintain trails and vehicles, paint signs, repair wood work, staff the Visitor Center and Entry Station, lead walks, collect plants, teach the kids, organize the lectures – you name it!

And this park is to be closed due to lack of funding by the State? Join the Benefactors of Red Rock State Park and help them keep Red Rock State Park open!!! This Park is a small gem – we must not lose it! Come experience the Park for yourself and celebrate spring at the Day-in-the-Park Party on April 17, 10 am to 5 pm. There will be a rich sampling of the Park’s programs, as well as food, music, silent auction, raffle, prizes! Come one come all! Support Red Rock State Park!

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