Oracle State Park reopens on limited basis - Tucson News Now

Oracle State Park reopens on limited basis

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Oracle State Park, located about 40 minutes North of Tucson, reopened today for the first time in more than two years.

It was more than the celebratory free admission that drove hundreds to the park today.

In October of 2009, state budget cuts forced the park to close.

"Well you know how it is, when it's gone or closed, that's when you realize it the most," said Bryan Barr, who lives in Oracle. "You kind of take it for granted like everything else."

Mary Ann Pogany, president of the group "Friends of Oracle State Park' says a cooperative agreement with the state made the re-opening possible.

"They asked us last summer if we would help raise the additional funds that they needed, which was $21,000," Pogany said. "And we said, 'we would really like to give it a try.'"

Now, the gates and trails here will be open on a limited basis... three months in both the Spring and Fall.

Park rangers counted every person that came in today. Before 5 p.m., more than 600 people had come through the gates.

Parking lots today were packed, but the main attractions here don't require a car.

"I love hiking on the trails here and seeing the animals, and habitats here," Keefer Gagnon, an 11-year-old from Oracle said.

On two wheels, and on foot, the trails today were full again.

But, as more budget cuts loom, advocates say there's more than one reason to save state parks.

"We are going to lose revenue to the state, we are a tourist community," Pogany said. "It's very shortsighted to lose your parks."

Park officials say on a given weekend back when the park was open, a good turnout would be about 30 people. Today more than 700 people came to the park.

Visit AZ Start Parks for more on hours, and volunteer opportunities: http://www.AZStateparks.com

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • BREAKING

    19 dead after suspected explosion at Ariana Grande concert in England

    19 dead after suspected explosion at Ariana Grande concert in England

    Monday, May 22 2017 6:53 PM EDT2017-05-22 22:53:49 GMT
    Monday, May 22 2017 8:49 PM EDT2017-05-23 00:49:56 GMT
    Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017.  (Source: Peter Byrne/PA via AP)Emergency services work at Manchester Arena after reports of an explosion at the venue during an Ariana Grande gig in Manchester, England Monday, May 22, 2017. (Source: Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

    Police are warning people to stay away from a Manchester arena following a deadly incident. 

    Police are warning people to stay away from a Manchester arena following a deadly incident. 

  • Shot fired next door kills boy, 7, eating snack at kitchen table

    Shot fired next door kills boy, 7, eating snack at kitchen table

    Monday, May 22 2017 7:13 PM EDT2017-05-22 23:13:10 GMT
    Dequante Hobbs (Source: Family photo)Dequante Hobbs (Source: Family photo)

    Lt. Emily McKinley with the Louisville Metro Police Department's Homicide Unit said shots were fired during a fight at a home behind the little boy's house in the 2100 block of West Madison Street. 

    Lt. Emily McKinley with the Louisville Metro Police Department's Homicide Unit said shots were fired during a fight at a home behind the little boy's house in the 2100 block of West Madison Street. 

  • MS Rep. Karl Oliver issues statement on "lynching" post he made on Facebook

    MS Rep. Karl Oliver issues statement on "lynching" post he made on Facebook

    Monday, May 22 2017 8:18 PM EDT2017-05-23 00:18:01 GMT
    Source: FacebookSource: Facebook

    A Facebook post by Mississippi State Representative Karl Oliver is causing quite a stir online. Oliver, a Republican from District 46, represents Carroll, Grenada, Leflore, Montgomery and Webster counties.

    A Facebook post by Mississippi State Representative Karl Oliver is causing quite a stir online. Oliver, a Republican from District 46, represents Carroll, Grenada, Leflore, Montgomery and Webster counties.

Powered by Frankly