Fort Verde Prepares Fence For Tom Sawyer Day

[Source: Mark Lineberger, JournalAZ.com]

It’s time to roll up the sleeves and make Aunt Polly proud, because Fort Verde State Historic Park is looking for volunteers for its annual Tom Sawyer Day.

The event is inspired by the story of Tom Sawyer tricking people into doing his fence painting job in Mark Twain’s classic novel.

The fort, however, isn’t trying to trick anybody. Organizers are just looking for people to come out for a day of family fun.

If the white picket fence happens to get a nice new coat of paint in the process, then all the better.

The event came into existence a few years ago when staff at the fort was trying to think of something that would really bring people out, said Sheila Stubler, fort manager.

“We thought this would be a really great community volunteer project,” Stubler said.

She was right, and Tom Sawyer Day has become quite popular over the years.

Last year’s event brought out more than 80 people, Stubler said.

It’s a great opportunity for groups like the Boy Scouts, the Girl Scouts, the Builders Club and anyone else who wants to help give a little something back to their community, Stubler said.

“It’s great,” Stubler said. “They’ve done such a good job that we had to look for parts of the fence that people could actually paint. Some people have asked me if we could do something like this twice a year or more, but there’s only so much fence to go around.”

This year’s Tom Sawyer Day is set to run from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 25.

If people would like to participate, Stubler only asks that they call the fort ahead of time so staff can get an idea of how many supplies they’ll need.

The fort will provide scrapers, buckets and paint. They’ll also have paintbrushes, but Stubler said people should bring an extra if they have one.

The fort will also have water and snacks on hand. It’s not all manual labor, Stubler said. There will be historical reenactors wearing period clothes from the 19th century, and if it gets hot, “Tom Sawyer” the movie will be playing inside the air-conditioned fort, a luxury not enjoyed by its original inhabitants.

The fort has been heavily dependent on volunteers since the state gutted the budget of Arizona State Parks. Through a community effort, a small army of volunteers stepped up to help keep the fort running, and Stubler said they deserve a lot of credit.

“An assistant director with state parks was here the other day,” Stubler said. “He said he hadn’t seen the fort look this clean in 30 years.”

For more information about Tom Sawyer Day, call the fort at 567-3275 or contact Nicole Armstrong-Best with Arizona State Parks at (602) 542-7152. Anyone age 13 or younger will need to be with a parent or legal guardian.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Verde River Days at Dead Horse Ranch State Park—Sept 25 and 26

[Source: Ron Dungan, The Arizona Republic]

Photo Credit: Arizona State Parks

The desert changes when you add water.

Plants flourish, and wildlife is drawn to the food and shade that they provide.

The Verde River is one of the few perennial rivers in Arizona, making it a vital resource for wildlife. You can learn about this important ecosystem during Verde River Days, Sept. 25 and 26 at Dead Horse Ranch State Park near Cottonwood.

“Verde River Days is set up to appreciate and talk about the environment because the Verde River is such a unique environment in Arizona,” acting park manager Max Castillo said. “The Verde River runs year-round.”

The Sierra Club, Nature Conservancy, Salt River Project and other organizations will have exhibits at the event. More than 40 exhibits are planned. Activities include sand-castle building, pottery making, canoe rides and hikes. On Sept. 25, the park-admission fee of $7 per vehicle will be waived.

Visitors will be allowed to fish without a license during the event.

“We’ll have some catfish stocked in our lagoons, and there will be some fishing poles and bait available,” Castillo said.

There also will be food, Civil War re-enactments and live entertainment. The Arizona Vintage Tag a Longs, a club whose members are devoted to antique travel trailers, will camp in the park that weekend.

The Verde River Citizens Alliance will take people on canoe and kayak rides down the Verde River at 8 and 10 a.m. Sept. 26. The rides last about an hour and a half, and registration is required. Contact Marsha Foust at 928-634-8738.

Details: 928-634-5283, azstateparks.com.

Enhanced by Zemanta

9th Annual Arizona Historic Preservation Conference will be June 2011 in Tucson, AZ

The 9th Annual Arizona Historic Preservation Conference will take place in Tucson, at the University Park Marriott Hotel, 880 E. Second Street, June 22-24, 2011.

This year’s them is “Valuing Historic Perspectives” and is sure to draw record numbers of participants. The conference planning organizations include the Arizona Preservation Foundation, Arizona State ParksNational Park Service, Arizona Historical Society, Arizona Department of Commerce / Main Street Program, and the Arizona Archaeological Council.

Attendance is typically comprised of architects, archaeologists, city planners, local and state government employees, historians, lecturers, educators, students, contractors, developers, historic homeowners, Native AmericanTribal representatives, and many more.

The conference will take place at the University Park Marriott Hotel, 880 E. Second Street, Tucson, Arizona 85719. The program will include off-site mobile sessions, visits to historic districts in central Tucson, and educational seminars and workshops.

Registration will begin January, 2011, but information may be obtained by visiting azpreservation.com or emailing questions to: questions@azpreservation.com.

Registration discounts for early registration will be available in early 2011. Standard registration costs include the full conference, some food and beverage, some special events, and all conference materials. Sponsorship opportunities are available as well. Hotel accommodations are not included in the registration fees.

Interested parties may also register to receive email notifications of updates to the website by visiting the same website’s home page.

Enhanced by Zemanta