Biking, Watersheds, Exploring, Butterflies, & A Night Safari

The local Regional parks offer a lot of great things for residents no matter your age. Maricopa County has several regional parks that proved events, classes, and educational seminars that are geared toward adults and kids. This week The Gilbert Journal focuses on the two parks closest to Gilbert; San Tan Mountain Regional Park and Usery Regional Park.

Beginner Skill Level Mountain Bike Ride
Saturday, April 13, 2019
08:00 AM – 10:00 AM
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
San Tan Valley, AZ 85142
(602) 506-2930

Saturday – Join us for an exciting beginner mountain bike ride among the beautiful San Tan Mountains. This 5.5-mile ride is open to all ages and skill levels. Our local experts will be available to help you understand your bike’s features and learn the ins and outs of safe riding. “No Rider Left Behind” is our policy, because we ride together in a group. This is your opportunity to be around others who are passionate about mountain biking as a sport to have fun and get some exercise. Helmets are required. Under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Essentials: water, helmet, extra tube, tools to change a flat tire. Meet at the San Tan Trail sign at the main trailhead. 8-10am.

Master Gardeners Series: Watersheds
Saturday, April 13, 2019
09:00 AM – 11:00 AM
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
San Tan Valley, AZ 85142
(602) 506-2930

Saturday – The San Tan Valley Master Gardeners will be on hand for this all-ages drop-in session to teach you about watersheds and how our precious desert water resource gets to us – from near and from far! Perform an experiment to see how water travels through different types of soil and relate that to our gentle winter rains and monsoon downpours. You can also have fun with a hands-on activity to design your own watershed, create your own rainstorm and watch what happens. The Gardeners will also touch upon the important topics of water quality, pollution prevention and conservation. Meet outside the Nature Center in the gated parking area. 9-11am.

Cactus Walk and Talk
Sunday, April 14, 2019
09:00 AM – 10:00 AM
San Tan Mountain Regional Park
6533 W. Phillips Road
San Tan Valley, AZ 85142
(602) 506-2930

Sunday – Join the ranger for an introduction to the various cacti that can be found at San Tan. Which one “jumps”? Which ones are edible? Learn some fun facts and interesting myths on this one-mile journey (easy/moderate terrain). Be sure to wear closed-toe shoes and bring water, a hat and sunscreen. Meet at the flag pole. 9-10am.

Exploring Desert Washes
Friday, April 12, 2019
09:00 AM – 10:30 AM
Usery Mountain Regional Park
3939 N. Usery Pass Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85207
(602) 506-2930

Have you ever walked inside a desert wash?  What makes them so special and unique?  How do washes contribute to the health of the desert itself?  Join us for a look at the fascinating world of desert washes as we explore their importance to the desert ecosystem.  This walk is 1.5 mile in length.  Please bring water and closed-toe shoes.  Meet at Trailhead Staging.

All About Butterflies
Saturday, April 13, 2019
06:00 PM – 07:00 PM
Usery Mountain Regional Park
3939 N. Usery Pass Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85207
(602) 506-2930

What makes butterflies different from other insects?  How do they survive and thrive in the wild?  Discover the answers to these questions and more in this exciting one-hour presentation!  Join us inside our Nature Center as Ranger B shares some amazing facts about these colorful creatures.  Watch us feed our snakes after the program at 7pm.  Then join our “Night Safari” at 7:30pm at no extra cost!

Night Safari
Saturday, April 13, 2019
07:30 PM – 08:30 PM
Usery Mountain Regional Park
3939 N. Usery Pass Rd.
Mesa, AZ 85207
(602) 506-2930

What are the wild animals that live in our desert?  How do they survive and thrive here?  What should you do if you encounter one?  Discover amazing things about our desert animals when you join our park ranger for this 1-mile/1-hour walk along the Merkle Trail.  The hard-smooth surface of this trail accommodates wheelchairs and strollers.  Please bring a flashlight, water, and closed-toe shoes.  No pets, please.  Meet at Area 6.  Join our “All About Butterflies” program inside our Nature Center at 6pm, and our snake feeding at 7pm at no extra cost!

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