[Source: Jim Walsh, The Arizona Republic]
Fans of Lost Dutchman State Park will have an opportunity to hug a saguaro later this year, but only their bank accounts will be stuck.
The Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park organization is launching an “Adopt a Cactus” fundraiser. It has photographed 100 saguaros and tracked their locations with global positioning system coordinates.
“This is way, way cool. People can go to a website and adopt a cactus,” said Mark LeResche, an owner of Superstition Harley-Davidson and president of Friends of Lost Dutchman.
Reinhart, the organization’s vice president, said details are still being worked out and the sponsorships should be available sometime in April. The sponsorships should be available during a March 26 motorcycle ride sponsored to raise money for Lost Dutchman. She said the saguaros are on the Treasure Loop, near the Cholla picnic area.
The sponsorships probably would cost from $75 to $100 per saguaro, with older saguaros costing more because they are more intricate. The project is one of many volunteers are undertaking to support the park, which nearly closed a year ago.
Jay Ream, assistant director for operations of Arizona State Parks, said he probably wouldn’t intervene in the plans. Friends groups are non-profits and not directly under the supervision of the parks system.
“As long as they are not carving their name in the saguaro, there’s no problem,” he said.
For more information as it becomes available: www.friendsoflostdutchman.org