1904 Nogales courthouse symbolic site of entry to Anza Trail

[Source: Manuel C. Coppola, NoglesInternational.com] — Albeit symbolic, the Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail now has an official entry point from Mexico in Nogales at the 1904 Courthouse on Morley Avenue.  To celebrate the designation of the trailhead, a “fiesta” is planned Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11-12, said Lillian Hoff, a founder and president of the Friends of the 1904 Courthouse board of directors.  The event will be highlighted by the first exhibition of 12 commissioned paintings depicting various scenes from the 1775-76 Anza Expedition, said Hoff.  She said that the courthouse will have an Anza Trail room commemorating the expedition and the trailhead into the United States.

Artist David Rickman, who has had an interest in the Spanish Colonial period, was commissioned by Anza Trail staff and has been creating the paintings over the last several years, said Margaret Styles, an interpretive specialist with the National Park Service in San Francisco, Calif.  Styles and Hoff will co-host the exhibition. [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Trekking to the source of Arizona’s Verde River

[Source: Steve Ayers, CV Bugle] — The Verde River begins its journey in a labyrinth of Proterozoic rock, Cambrian sandstone, Devonian dolomite, and Tertiary gravels interspersed with the surface flows and underground intrusion of volcanic lavas.  Its path to the sun is complex and only know is it beginning to be understood.  Nevertheless, it emerges in a series of springs that feed a forest of willows and cottonwoods and in the process provide the lifeblood for a variety of fish, fowl and wildlife.

In 1996 the Arizona Game & Fish Department, with money from the Heritage Fund, purchased a checkerboard of parcels just down stream from the point where the river emerges.  Then last December, the Nature Conservancy, after 20 years of trying, successfully purchased a 312-acre parcel that included the very springs themselves and also received an additional 160 donated by the former property owners Billy and Betty Wells.  In February of this year, the Nature Conservancy sold off all but 20 acres to Game & Fish, retaining the first few springs.  [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Arizona State Parks Foundation letter to Gov. Napolitano

September 4, 2008

The Honorable Janet Napolitano
State of Arizona
1700 W. Washington, 9th Floor
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Dear Governor Napolitano:

I am writing to you as the president of the Arizona State Parks Foundation (ASPF), a not-for-profit organization that works in a variety of ways to help the State Parks Department meet its goals.  My purpose in writing is to inform you that ASPF strongly supports the request from the Arizona State Parks Board that you appoint a blue ribbon committee to analyze the current and future needs of the park system and explore stable revenue sources to meet the goals of the park system.

You may be aware that during the recent budget crisis ASPF engaged in a very public campaign, including contacts with statewide news media and Arizona legislators, to try to minimize the damage to State Parks from fund sweeps and budget cuts.  While we may have had some limited success, the experience convinced most of our board of directors that the parks system cannot meet the expectations of Arizona citizens while continuing to ride a financial roller coaster.  In response, we recommended the action that the Parks Board has taken.

I know you are well aware that the parks system contains several of the state’s scenic treasures, historic sites that would crumble into oblivion without protection and some of the most popular recreation areas in the southwest. The parks generate far more economic benefit to Arizona communities than the cost of maintaining them.  We are convinced that an expanded network of parks and open spaces, including county and municipal properties, is also an important social safety valve in a state that is already among the most urbanized in the country and growing more so.

For all of these reasons, ASPF seeks a long-range view of the role of State Parks and a reliable means of funding its mission.  Toward that end, we fervently support your appointment of the blue ribbon committee requested by the Parks Board.  ASPF stands ready to assist such a committee in its efforts in any way possible.


Bill Meek, President
Arizona State Parks Foundation