‘WHITE TANK WILD DAY’ TO BE DECLARED BY SEVERAL WEST VALLEY CITIES
Events planned for April 22nd and 24th to commemorate the declaration.
Buckeye, Ariz. – April 15, 2021 – Several west valley cities are coming together to proclaim April 22 “White Tank Wild Day” in an effort for all to enjoy and to conserve the natural and cultural resources of the White Tank Mountain range, a rarely found pristine landscape in the Valley that so many residents and visitors enjoy each year.
The proclamation outlines the mountain range as “The Crown Jewel of the West Valley” and explains its importance to the area: “The White Tank Mountains are a regional destination that provides recreation, health, wellness, respite, and breath-taking beauty for nearly 700,000 visitors annually to two regional parks offering 38,000 acres and 46 miles of recreational trails.”
The date of April 22 for “White Tank Wild Day” was chosen to coincide with Earth Day. Mayor Eric Orsborn (Buckeye), Mayor Skip Hall (Surprise), Mayor Cathy Carlat (Peoria), Mayor Georgia Lord (Goodyear) all plan to adopt this proclamation for their respective cities.
“White Tank Wild Day” honors the White Tank Mountains Conservancy’s (WTMC) Regional Mountains Connectivity Initiative – with a vision to conserve the natural heritage of the White Tanks and surrounding region’s mountain ranges while supporting a 21st century economy and quality of life for all.
In recent years, Maricopa County has realized the nation’s greatest growth, especially in the west valley. Future urbanization of desert lands around the White Tanks could limit human access to open space, disrupt riparian systems, and degrade and fragment wildlife habitat. Fragmentation is the number one threat to the mountains, an integral system within the Sonoran Desert, one of the most biodiverse deserts in the world. Many regional mountains have already been isolated by development, ultimately “killing” the mountain.
The WTMC Regional Mountains Connectivity Initiative is a convening cross-sector effort that promotes intelligent, sustainable growth practices to protect the cultural, ecological, and economic assets of the mountains enjoyed by millions of stakeholders across the Valley, as well hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
“We have an incredible opportunity to continue building this city responsibly and focusing our long-term future.” said Mayor Eric Orsborn, City of Buckeye. “Buckeye’s General Plan ensures we balance wildlife corridors and habits, open space and recreation with residential communities. We only have only chance, so in 50 to 100 years future generations will look back and say we got this right.”
Orsborn recently replaced Buckeye’s former mayor Jackie A. Meck, who grew up roaming the White Tank wilderness and was instrumental in creating Skyline Regional as a dedicated park and conserving it for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy. Meck was also a visionary leader and charter member in the formation of WTMC in 2014 and has remained vice chairman of the board for the last seven years.
“I will proudly continue the conservation foresight and leadership that Mayor Meck has passed on to me,” Orsborn added. “As we move into the future, Buckeye will continue planning and protecting in ways that will ensure we don’t lose wildlife and open space that celebrates Buckeye’s cultural and historical legacy. The White Tank Mountains are the crown jewel of the west valley and we will ensure they remain that way a century from now.”
Meck added his enthusiasm for White Tank Wild Day and what it means to him. “It absolutely thrills my heart,” he said, adding that it took 12 years to get the land for Skyline in place. “This event really tops this off for me.”
Les Meyers, WTMC executive director, recognizes many over the years who have come together to strike a balance between intelligent growth and conserving the “wild” that the White Tanks has to offer.
“We’re thankful for the continued collaboration and support of west valley cities,” Meyers said. “It takes thoughtful leadership from our municipal, private, and community stakeholders to make this happen. It’s up to us. It is our collective responsibility and legacy to make sure everyone can enjoy the White Tanks’ unique beauty and vibrancy for years to come.”
To commemorate the declaration, events are planned for the following two days:
8 a.m. at Skyline Regional Park, N. Watson Road in Buckeye, Mayor Eric Orsborn (Buckeye) will be present to formally declare April 22 “White Tanks Wild Day.” Mayor Skip Hall (Surprise), Councilman Chris Judd (Surprise, and a WTMC board member), and Councilwoman Wally Campbell (Goodyear) will be present to offer support. The public is encouraged to attend in person or watch the broadcast via the White Tank Mountain Conservancy’s Facebook feed.
6 a.m. to 3 p.m. proceeds from sales at Ebb and Flow Coffee Co., located at 21084 W. Main Street in Verrado, will be donated to WTMC. Be sure to try their new “White Tank Wild Latte,” a white chocolate cherry latte, in celebration of White Tank Wild Day. Check out the company’s Instragram @ebbandflowcoffeeco for photos and info.
8 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Skyline Regional Park, N Watson Road in Buckeye, the WTMC and the City of Buckeye’s Parks and Recreation Department will offer family-friendly activities and information on their respective programs.
The WTMC is thankful for the regional support to keeping the White Tanks Wild, especially for the support of the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. Stay connected with WTMC on social media and website for more on the Connectivity Initiative.
Connect with the WTMC
About the White Tank Mountains Conservancy and the Connectivity Initiative:
Bringing together municipalities, conservationists, and developers, the WTMC, a 501c3 nonprofit organization, strives to protect the mutually beneficial co-existence of humans and a robust wildlife population which thrives in the open spaces and corridors of the vibrant White Tank Mountains. The White Tank Mountains Conservancy’s Regional Connectivity Initiative is a west valley interdependent and collaborative effort to envision and enable responsible development that maintains sustainable growth around preserved natural corridors that connect the White Tank Mountains to other regional mountain ranges, a critical component to keeping the mountain alive for generations to come.
To learn more, make donation, or volunteer, visit www.wtmconservancy.org.