Connect to Protect!
Serve to Preserve!
Collaborative conservation at its best!
WTM Conservancy members connect to protect the mutually beneficial coexistence of human beings and a robust wildlife population which thrives in the open spaces and corridors of the vibrant White Tank Mountains, the cornerstone of our West Valley communities.
We bond to create a larger “club” for you where you find pertinent information about recreational activities, opportunities for service, mountain flora and fauna research, advocacy for collaborative conservation, giving, and just plain fun.
As a part of the “club,” you take pride in preserving your own neighborhood mountain as a cornerstone for generations to come.
At the end of the day, it is all about connections: connections among human beings who commit to their own health and well-being while advocating to preserve open spaces and corridors for the survival of wildlife and their natural habitat.
Connect with other “club” enthusiasts to perpetuate life on and around the mountains through collaborative conservation efforts.
Decide today to join to keep your neighborhood mountains alive. Now is the time to step up and serve to preserve.
West Valley Energy Open Donates $20,000
A highly successful West Valley Energy Open charity golf benefit resulted in a $20,000 charitable donation to WTMC being announced by Chairman Todd Hornback at the September 25 meeting of the Board of Directors.
Hornback thanked Bob Bement, Executive Vice-President and Chief Nuclear Officer of Arizona Public Service, and recognized him for his work on the West Valley Energy Open committee. Hornback further expressed his appreciation to the event sponsors, participants, and volunteers for their support of the benefit and the Conservancy.
The second annual golf charity event was held on September 22 at Verrado Golf Club and brought together members of the Buckeye and Palo Verde energy Industry to support three West Valley charities that are critical to the local community. The two other organizations receiving support are the Homeless Youth Connection and All Faith Communities.
Buckeye Mayor Jackie Meck is Honorary Chairman of the event committee as well as its founder. Meck is also one of the founders of the White Tank Mountains Conservancy.
WTMC Promotes Healthy Living and Safety at Peoria Avenue Home Depot
A backpack giveaway and plenty of learning opportunities attracted Peoria residents to the Conservancy outreach activities at a health and safety fair held at the West Peoria Avenue Home Depot in Peoria on Saturday, October 7.
The Outreach team spent a busy three hours sharing safety tips, providing White Tank Mountains trail maps, and encouraging safe, health-restoring outdoor activities for kids and adults.
Rudy Rascal the Roadrunner (Patrick Campbell) zoomed around the fair greeting visitors while his handler Torrie Campbell Kept his rascally behavior in line!
Rudy represents the health and safety of all the White Tank Mountains animals that are protected by generous donors and active volunteers and stewards of the mountains.
Serving to preserve were John Laabs, Scott Kranzsuch, Steve Rugh, and WTMC Executive Director Les Meyers.
Photos by Scott Kranzsuch
Tales from The Trails
by Elaine Green
Sometimes I just need to get moving and go out on the trails. Reasons vary, but the need for the trails is there. Saturday, August 12th was one of those days. I had been busy all day so it was already getting late when I left for Skyline Regional Park. My destination was the top of the hill, Skyline Crest trail and I wanted the quickest route which is Mountain Wash-Lost Creek-Skyline Crest.
I took off along Mountain Wash and as I looked at the trail, I was amazed at all the yellow and black caterpillars along the path. They were everywhere! I kept on my journey, carefully watching my step.
Later during a discussion with friends, Google was invited to tell us more. Turns out these are Hyles lineata or White Lined Sphinx Moth larva. The high number of them on the trails is due to all the rain we had last winter, according to one source. Apparently the more there is to eat, the more they breed. No doubt they were on their way to burrow into the ground where they will remain for 2–3 weeks until they emerge as adults, in the form of a moth.
The adult moths are large and have similar characteristics to a hummingbird in both appearance and flight style. They have dark brown forewings with a tan stripe and white lines that cover the veins, similar to a hummingbird. Watch for them flying around during the day in the coming weeks!
Photos by Elaine Green
Outdoor Recreation Bolsters Arizona’s Economy With $21.2 Billion Annually in Consumers Spending and 201,000 Jobs
Boulder, Colo. — Jul 26, 2017
Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) today released the state-by-state Outdoor Recreation Economy Report, which demonstrates the powerful impact that outdoor recreation has on Arizona’s economy.
Today’s report shows that the outdoor recreation economy in Arizona directly contributes 201,000 jobs and annually generates $21.2 billion in consumer spending and $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue.
OIA’s report also highlights that 59 percent of Arizona’s 6.9 million residents participate in outdoor recreation each year.
Desert Safety and Gary the Gopher Snake
at Goddard School in Verrado
A coyote puppet spouted desert safety to his mountain lion friend with a funky hat and sunglasses while Gary the Gopher snake calmly awaited behind the puppet theater.
Maria Whitesell, her daughter Cyra Holmes, and Lily Gracia brought the safety message to life through story and puppetry. Pairs of three to five-year- old eyes lit up as the puppets cavorted in their theater drawing giggles and smiles.
Justin Williams, White Tank Mountain Regional Park Ranger, introduced the calm and apparently patient gopher snake to the children inviting them to touch gently. Gary and all the kids seemed to enjoy the experience.
The White Tank Mountain Community Outreach team sponsored event took place on June 30 at the Verrado Goddard School.
Photos by Robert Hopper
Contribute to Science and Help Steward the White Tank Mountains
We are recruiting for citizen scientists to help identify and map invasive species found in and around the White Tank Mountains. From hikers to hunters, birders to bikers, our community is filled with naturalists eager to share what they see on the Mountain. For additional information and to register.
Rudy Wows Kids at West Valley Gives Event
By Alice Neal
The White Tank Mountains Conservancy was represented by Rudy the Rascal Roadrunner at the West Valley Gives community outreach event on Saturday, June 24, at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
Steward John Laabs, the Rudy performer, was an immediate hit with the kids. Rudy proudly wore his WTMC tee-shirt and delighted the audience along with other mascots including dinosaurs, a bee, and Big Red himself. Steward Scott Kranzsuch, accompanied Rudy keeping him safe and managing his rascality. Other stewards connected with event visitors sharing the Conservancy mission and informational materials.
The Giving Tree, a Verrado non-profit where residents and community partners work together to bring the community vision of giving and commitment to philanthropy to life, provided booth space to the Conservancy.
NAU Senior Interns with Conservancy
Taylor Donahue, a senior Parks and Recreation Management student at Northern Arizona University, is shadowing leaders and exploring trails while gaining field experience at the White Tank Mountains Conservancy Parks.
A resident of Surprise, Taylor works part-time while fulfilling the demands of a 240-hour summer internship. Having spent many of his 97 volunteer hours earned to date on trails, he recounted his excitement for seeing wildlife. A pair of chuckwallas and mule deer caught his attention on the Mesquite. His next trail goal is Ford Canyon, which he wisely plans to do with a friend the first time since the trail markings can be challenging.
He is eager to connect with White Tank Mountains Regional Park nature center staff to learn the ins and outs of that operation. His course work at NAU required designing a business and its budget, and he plans to test his theories against practice as he learns about the business side of the nature center operation.
Taylor has explored the White Tank Mountains Conservancy website and manuals learning about the mission and activities of the Conservancy. His next venture will be grasping the functions of the outreach and marketing teams as he attends meetings in the next few weeks.
Taylor will graduate in December and is seeking a position with the USDA Forest Service or a national park.
Follow Taylor’s Weekly Blog – return next week for another entry
Submitted by Glenn Gullickson on Wed, 08/31/2016
Buckeye’s Skyline Regional Park and other areas of the White Tank Mountains get support from a nonprofit organization dedicated to protection and enjoyment of some of the West Valley’s most notable natural resources.
The White Tank Mountains Conservancy was formed in 2015, the brainchild of Todd Hornback, executive director of community development for DMB, the builder responsible for the development of Verrado at the base of the mountains in Buckeye.
“Although we’re a developer, we have a penchant for conservation and being sensitive to the land that we have the privilege of developing,” Hornback said.
“We knew this asset would be value added to our community.”
Besides White Tank Mountain Regional Park, nearly 30,000 acres managed by the Maricopa County Parks Department, Hornback said he found there wasn’t much being done with what he called “a hidden gem.”
Check out the discussion about the WTMC on KJZZ 91.5. Ian Dowdy of the WTMC explains the position of the conservancy during an interview with Lauren Gilger, of KJZZ.
Economic Impact of Maricopa County’s Open Space Park System
| Have you ever wondered about the value and benefits your local park system brings to your community? Maricopa County’s Parks and Recreation Department has, and as a result conducted an economic impact analysis study to find out! A couple of key highlights identified by the study include Impact of Visitor Spending and Impact of Total Operating Expenses. Read the complete news release.
To learn more about the results the economic impact study, visit Maricopa’s County Parks and Recreation website at http://www.maricopa.gov/parks/about.aspx