April, May events at Saguaro National Park - Tucson News Now

April, May events at Saguaro National Park

(Source: National Park Service) (Source: National Park Service)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Saguaro National Park is offering a variety of walks and talks that explore the park’s wonderful natural and cultural histories. Program listings also are available on the park’s website, www.nps.gov/sagu, or visit us on Facebook. Interpretive programs are free, but park entrance fees apply. Be sure to call in advance to make your reservations, as some events require them. 

Naturalist Programs at Tucson Mountain District (West District):

APRIL 

April 29  3:15 p.m.   Cooking With Prickly Pear     Talk: 30 minutes     
Learn how you can incorporate prickly pear into your diet. This program will show you how to collect and prepare prickly pear. Prepare for a sweet treat! Wheelchair accessible
 
April 28    9:45 a.m.     The Plants Tell All      Walk: 2 hours, 1 1/2 miles
Plants are the foundation of the web of life. Join a park naturalist to learn the secrets of what ties the plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert together. Plant survival, insects and spiders, birds and mammals -- nothing is off limits for discussion on this discovery trek through the desert. For this moderate walk, closed-toed shoes, a hat, and water are required. 
 
April 28   2:15 p.m. Creepy Crawlers: The Silent - Majority   Talk: 30 minutes
Learn about some of our most feared and misunderstood arthropods who call this park home. Come discover how essential they are for our desert community and why we shouldn’t fear these mostly harmless creatures. Wheelchair accessible
 

MAY

Programs are offered on most days in the morning at 10:15 and/or 11:15, and in the afternoon at 2:15 and/or 3:15 and last 30 to 45 minutes.  Topics include mountain lions, lizards, coyotes, javelinas, kangaroo rats, insects, birds, survival strategies, the saguaro cactus, and other topics related to the desert. All programs are subject to change.  Call the visitor center at (520) 733-5158 for updates the day of the program.
In addition to the daily programs, the following longer special guided hikes are offered as listed below:  
 
May. 6, 13, 20, 27  3:15 p.m.   Cooking With Prickly Pear     Talk: 30 minutes     
Learn how you can incorporate prickly pear into your diet. This program will show you how to collect and prepare prickly pear. Prepare for a sweet treat! Wheelchair accessible
 
May. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31   10:15 a.m.  Living With Giants Talk: 45 minutes 
The saguaro celebrates events and faces challenges throughout its life. A biologist explains how it provides shelter and substance for wildlife; when it flowers; its growth patterns; and how it fights for survival against drought, lightning, frost, and other dangers. Wheelchair accessible
 
May. 1, 8, 15, 22, 29   2:15 p.m.    Raptors!  Talk: 30 minutes 
Southern Arizona and the Sonoran Desert Region are renowned for the large variety of animal and plant species, especially birds, that can be found in the area. Among the most fascinating of those are the raptors, top predators of the avian world, who either live here year-round, or migrate through the area. Wheelchair accessible
 
May. 31 11:15 a.m.  Javelina: Our Desert Neighbors Talk: 30 minutes    
Sometimes referred to as the “desert pig,” the javelina is not a pig at all. Learn about this intriguing creature and how it survives in this arid environment. Wheelchair accessible.
 
May. 9, 23,    10:15  a.m.     Sonoran Secrets to Desert Survival     Talk & Walk: 60 minutes, 200 yards
Take a short stroll and identify the most common hazards hidden in the desert, uncover survival strategies of native plants and animals, and acquire practical tips to ensure your safety, particularly in warmer temperatures. Wheelchair accessible.
 
May. 1, 5, 12, 19, 25, 26    10:15 a.m.  Spiny, Shady, and COOL!  Walk: 30 minutes, 100 yards
Come for a short walk and discover the great variety of cacti that inhabit this unique and fascinating desert.
 
May 5 11:15 a.m. ; May 21 10:15 a.m. Picture This..Life Through A Different Lens   Talk and Walk: 45 minutes. 
Experience the desert from a whole new view with this interactive photography program; designed to present the basics of photography while envoking emotional connections with the desert.

May. 4, 25  2:15 p.m.    Lizards are Hot, Lizards are Cool   Talk: 30 minutes
Lizards are small denizens of the desert that are a critical component of our desert community. Find out what it means when they do push-ups or exhibit other odd behaviors. Wheelchair accessible

Naturalist Programs at the Rincon Mountain District (East, 3693 S. Old Spanish Trail):

APRIL

April 30         2:00 p.m.       The Adventures of Thelma the Tortoise            Presentation
Go on a fantastic trip across the Sonoran Desert with one adventurous tortoise who called Saguaro National park her home – until she set her eye on farther horizons! Accessible Program
 
April 26         10:00 a.m.         Life and the Desert       Tour/Activity
Explore the basic principles and structures of life. Then, use this knowledge to investigate life in the desert to determine the forces various species have had to overcome and the adaptations those species have acquired to thrive in the desert. Accessible program
 
April 26   3:00 p.m.          Night as Day: Nocturnal Life in Saguaro National Park   Presentation
Discover the ecological community that comes to life in the nighttime, including nocturnal animals, night-blooming plants and pollinators. Accessible Program
 

MAY

May 1, 8, 19, 22, 26, 29             2:00 p.m.          When It Rains, It Pours Presentation
The life-saving rains of the Sonoran Desert can be fickle. Join us to explore the how’s and why’s of our monsoon season. Accessible Program
 
May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30   9:30 a.m.        Flash, Whoosh, Gush &Growth: Monsoons     Presentation
The summer heat and humidity bring the mighty and sometimes destructive monsoon rain. Saguaros, toads, and others depend on these drenching afternoons to begin a new season of life in the dry desert. A fabulous video opens this theater presentation.  Accessible Program                     
 
May 3, 10, 11, 13, 24, 27              10:00 a.m.       Is it a Cactus or A … sparagus?           Garden Walk  
We all know a cactus when we see it, right?  Maybe not!  Find out how our two families of spiny succulent plants are the same, but different. Accessible Program
 
May 3, 4, 10, 11, 13, 18, 24, 25, 27      2:00 p.m.           The Changing Cactus Forest    Presentation
Change is constant – and accelerating – in the area of Saguaro National Park called the Cactus Forest.  We’ll take a look at the forest then and now, and consider how the future will shape what your grandchildren see here. Accessible Program
 
May 4, 8, 17, 18, 22, 25             10:00 a.m.         Desert Botany 101        Garden Walk
Join a park naturalist on this fitness hike to explore scenic Saguaro National Park. Sturdy hiking shoes, water and a trail snack are recommended. Accessible program
 
May 4, 18                      3:00 p.m.            Creating Saguaro National Park         Presentation
Saguaro National Park has a unique and interesting history. This theater presentation will highlight the commitment, compromise, and decision’s that created the Park. Accessible program
 
May 5, 12, 19, 26           10 a.m.         Easy Being Green        Garden Walk 
In the desert, you’d think it’s not easy being green.  But there are plants everywhere in the Sonoran desert!  We’ll give you a model that shows how every plant survives in this land of little rain. Accessible program
 
May 5, 12, 19, 26              1:00 p.m.       The Point of the Matter is Cactus          Presentation 
Cacti are uniquely equipped to thrive in the desert environment and every year bloom with spectacular flowers. We will look at the ones in Saguaro NP using a stunning photo gallery and learn a few of their uses for those living here and beyond. Accessible Program
 
May 7, 14, 21, 28              2:00 p.m.       The Adventures of Thelma the Tortoise            Presentation
Go on a fantastic trip across the Sonoran Desert with one adventurous tortoise who called Saguaro National park her home – until she set her eye on farther horizons! Accessible Program
 
May 11, 25        3:00 p.m.          A Century of Tales
                   Presentation
Join us as we review a century of fun and interesting stories from those who lived and worked in what today is Saguaro National Park. Accessible Program
 
May 29               7:00p.m.            Full Moon Hike            3-mile, 2.5-hour Guided Hike
Explore the Sights and Sounds of the Sonoran Desert as it comes to life under the full moon.  Sturdy walking shoes, water and a flashlight are recommended. Reservations are required. Call the Visitor Center at (520) 733-5153.
 

Both visitor centers are open daily from 9 am to 5 pm, except Christmas Day.

  • Red Hills Visitor Center  (Saguaro WEST) - 2700 North Kinney Road Tucson, AZ 85743  (520) 733-5158                            
  • Rincon Mountain Visitor Center  (Saguaro EAST) - 3693 South Old Spanish Trail Tucson, AZ  85730 (520) 733-5153

For more information about Saguaro National Park and some of its partners, Friends of Saguaro National Park, Western National Parks Association, and the Rincon Institute, visit these websites:
www.nps.gov/sagu
www.wnpa.org  
www.friendsofsaguaro.org
www.rinconinstitute.org

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