Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Gateway to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Grand Opening

How lucky are we to have all these trails either in our backyards or within a very short drive? Yep - very lucky. I've run most of these trails from the 104th/Bell parking area (room for maybe a dozen cars at most.), but this provides ever greater access to the 10's of miles of trails in the area.

I took my 3 year-old to this morning's Grand Opening and despite the HUGE parking lot being full (and having to trek 1/2 mi extra each way (uphill, in the snow! Okay, kidding!) with her on my shoulders), it was a very impressive creation.

With plenty of new maps, a kids scavenger hunt, as well as a bald eagle, hawk, and an owl for upclose viewing, there was lots to check out. (The trails were great too!) Also, two rehabilitated hawks were released just as everyone was allowed to cross the metal walkway for the ceremonial "opening" of the trails.

More info can be found the link above, though a big highlight of the project is how "Green" it is: Stabilized granite instead of typical pavement in parking areas, rainwater harvesting fulfilling all of the site's irrigation needs, photovoltaic cells produce enough renewable energy to power all the site's needs, and water efficient plumbing to save 250,000 gallons of water per year.

I plan on taking advantage of using our new Gateway - it's very cool in my opinion. :-)

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