September, October events at Saguaro National Park - Tucson News Now

September, October 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):

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, unless noted otherwise.  Topics include mountain lions, lizards, coyotes, roadrunners, javelinas, kangaroo rats, insects, flowers, birds, plant and animal survival strategies, and the saguaro cactus.

Sept. 27   10:15 a.m.   Mountain Lions: Beyond the Myth     Talk: 45 minutes
Envision a puma stalking its prey, then uncover the true nature of this elusive but essential predator. Misunderstood, maligned, and nearly eradicated by settlers, the cougar remains threatened by human encroachment. Wheelchair accessible

Sept. 28   3:15 p.m.   Kangaroo Rat: Super Survivor     Talk: 45 minutes
Learn about the remarkable behavioral and physical adaptations these rodents possess that allow them to survive harsh desert environments. Find out how this nocturnal animal escapes predators, evades heat, and endures aridity. Wheelchair accessible

Sept. 28   11:15 a.m. also Sept. 30   3:15 p.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

OCTOBER: 

Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25   10:15 a.m.   Mountain Lions: Beyond the Myth     Talk: 45 minutes
Envision a puma stalking its prey, then uncover the true nature of this elusive but essential predator. Misunderstood, maligned, and nearly eradicated by settlers, the cougar remains threatened by human encroachment. Wheelchair accessible
 
Oct. 13, 20, 27  3:15 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 pushups or exhibit other odd behaviors. Wheelchair accessible
 
Oct. 1, 8, 15, 22, 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
 
Oct. 5, 7, 12, 14, 19, 26  11:15 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
 
Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31   3:15 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
 
Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31   2:15 p.m. What is the Reason for the Saguaro Fruit Harvest?  Talk: 30 min
For over a hundred years the Tohono O’odham have harvested the saguaro fruit every summer. Come participate in a cultural experience and learn about this enriching tradition. Wheelchair accessible
 
Oct. 3, 10, 17, 24, 31  10:15 a.m. Marvelous Mimicry Talk: 30 minutes 
Not all is as it appears… Come learn all about the optical illusion that is mimicry and adaptation, of which has helped shape some of the life in the Sonoran Desert! Wheelchair accessible.    
 
Oct. 2, 6, 13, 16, 20, 23, 27, 30  10:15 a.m. Cochineal: Nature’s Most Radiant Red Dye   Talk: 45 minutes
Come learn about cochineal and how it transformed world history.  This program will show you techniques on how to use cochineal as a natural fabric dye.  Wheelchair accessible
 
Oct. 21, 28   9:45 a.m.     The Plants Tell All      Walk: 2 hours, 1½ 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. 
 

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

September 27     2:00 p.m.    Exploring the Saguaro Wilderness        Presentation
Saguaro National Park includes over 70,000 acres of wilderness within its boundaries. Explore what’s “up there” with a park naturalist. Wheelchair accessible    

September 27      10:00 a.m.    Desert Botany 101    Garden Walk
Review the basic principles of desert botany on this easy walk through our Cactus Garden.      

OCTOBER: 

October 2, 9, 16, 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! Wheelchair accessible
 
October 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31      2:00 p.m.          Exploring the Saguaro Wilderness                   Presentation
Saguaro National Park includes over 70,000 acres of wilderness within its boundaries. Explore what’s “up there” with a park naturalist. Wheelchair accessible          
 
October 4             5:30 p.m.              Full Moon Hike        2-mile, 2-hour Guided Hike
Explore the Sights and Sounds of the Sonoran Desert as it comes to life under the full moon. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a flashlight. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (520) 733-5153.
 
October  7, 14, 28         10:00 a.m.         Hidden Wildlife            Garden Walk  
You want to see the park’s wildlife, but the wildlife doesn’t always want to be seen.  Learn how to enjoy your visit by looking for the signs animals leave behind as they eke out a tough existence in the desert.
Wheelchair accessible
 
October 7, 14, 28    2:00 p.m.      “Parks 101”                            Presentation
Join us for a look at more than a hundred years of park history as we contemplate a new century of protection by your National Park Service. Wheelchair accessible
 
October 8, 15, 22, 29     10:00 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 gets by in this land of little rain. Wheelchair accessible
 
October 12, 26              2:00 p.m.          Yesterday, Today and Saguaro             Presentation
Climate change has come to the National Parks.  Let’s discuss what’s happening today, and learn about a specific threat to our Sonoran desert and the Saguaro cactus. Wheelchair accessible 
 
October 12                   7:00 p.m.          Star party         Illustrated Program & Activity
Join park naturalists for an introduction to astronomy and a look at the desert night sky. Telescopes and binoculars will be available. Reservations required. Call 733-5153. Wheelchair accessible. 
 
October 13, 20, 27        2:00 p.m.          Fifty States, Fifty Parks            Presentation
From Yellowstone to Lady Liberty … and 48 places in-between!  We’ll celebrate your National Park System and help you find a nearby park. Wheelchair accessible
            
October 20                 7:00 p.m.             Night Walk               Guided Walk
Join a park naturalist for this easy two-hour hike to explore and experience the Sonoran Desert at night.  Dress for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes, and bring water and a flashlight.  As space is limited, advanced reservations are required, and can be made by calling (520) 733-5153.
 
October 26       10:00 a.m.         Who’s Who?               Garden Walk
The Sonoran Desert is home to many unique and delightful characters.  Walk through the garden and get some hints for remembering their names and faces. Wheelchair accessible    
 
For a complete listing - please visit the website - https://www.nps.gov/sagu/planyourvisit/guided-programs.htm, or contact the visitor centers for daily updates.

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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