Through NPF’s Active Trails program, Saguaro National Park’s “Pedals and Parks” program utilized creative methods to bring kids, youth, and their families to the park. Located in Tucson, Arizona, Saguaro National Park can reach upwards of 105 degrees F in peak daytime hours. By initiating full moon bike rides and a series of outreach activities, the park was able to reach local youth and families to visit at night when the weather was cooler and explore under the stars. Saguaro held six events reaching 166 participants and over 60 percent were first-time visitors. Many of these visitors who participated in the program now utilize the park as part of their fitness routine.
Additionally, as part of the program, over 3.2 miles of the Arizona Trail were maintained by volunteers who participated in trail work, recreation, and educational opportunities. “Volunteers also constructed five log retaining walls which were backfilled with several cubic yards of crushed rock and soil to mitigate a dangerous blown-out section of the Arizona Trail.” The park was able to benefit from 23 volunteers who provided 159 hours of their time.
The park was also able to strengthen partnerships with three new groups including local mountain biking and trail groups. Staff are excited to have fostered on-going relationships with youth and adults from the surrounding community creating an atmosphere of stewardship.