Oracle State Park re-opens - The Explorer: Active Living

Oracle State Park re-opens

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Posted: Wednesday, January 23, 2013 4:00 am | Updated: 2:39 pm, Fri Jan 25, 2013.

Oracle State Park, Center for Environmental Education, will re-open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays beginning Feb. 2, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 28. Spring activities will include the popular guided bird walks and hikes, tours of the historic Kannally ranch house, and environmental education school programs are offered weekdays by reservation.

On Feb. 2 and Feb. 16, join Volunteer Mary Ellen Flynn for a Guided Bird Walk. Meet on the upper patio of the Kannally Ranch House at 8:15 am. The walk is free with park entrance fee. No reservation needed.

On Feb. 9 and Feb. 16, there will be a Guided Hike with Gaston Meloche. 3-5 mile group hikes are planned. Reservation is required. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Kannally Ranch House both days. Call Hike Leader, Gaston, at 638-5404 to sign up.

Annual Oracle Volunteer Training will be held on Feb. 15. There will be an open house Orientation from 9 a.m. to noon in the living room of the Kannally Ranch House. Please call for a reservation, (520) 895-2425. The first class is a no-commitment-necessary introduction to the Oracle State Park (OSP) Volunteer Program, Environmental Education School Programs and introduction to the Cultural History of the park. Volunteer Training continues weekly Fridays through March. On Feb. 22, learn more about the park’s natural history - geology, plants and wildlife - and interpretive education mission.

Environmental education programs for school children, first through sixth grades, are scheduled by reservation on weekdays at (520) 895-2425. Thousands of students have learned important environmental principles in these ranger/volunteer-led programs over the last two decades.

Each Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. starting on Feb. 2, tours of the historic Kannally Ranch House will resume. House tours are free with park admission. Visitors will learn the stories behind its hand-carved corbels, stenciled walls, hand-formed fireplace, French casement windows and cozy ranch kitchen. The Kannally Ranch House is a four-level pueblo-revival adobe home with Moorish and Mediterranean influences. It was built by the Kannally ranching family and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The displays include family photos, furnishings and several paintings by “self-taught” cowboy artist Lee Kannally. Picnicking on the patios is welcomed.

For more information, visit the website at AZStateParks.com, call the park office at (520) 895-2425.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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