Speak to professionals, participate in clinics and get resources to help you and your family enjoy fitness out in nature.
The event will offer:
- Fitness demos from the popular “Fitness in the Park” aerobics program*
- Mountain Bike Clinic
- Outdoor recreation activities
- FREE Healthcare screenings from doctors of Abrazo Medical Group Buckeye
- Wildlife exhibits
- White Tank Mountains Conservancy
- Hiking, cycling, triathlete and trail running experts
- Healthy refreshments
- Giveaways and prizes
The first 100 visitors to the Skyline Celebration anniversary event will receive a commemorative shirt.
Skyline Regional Park is located two miles north of Interstate 10 and Watson Road interchange located at 2100 North Watson Road. Please carpool, parking is limited.
For more information become a Skyline Regional Park Facebook Friend, visit www.skylineregionalpark.com or the Skyline Recreation Coordinator at (623) 349-6350.
The White Tank Mountains Quietly Waiting
By Karen Krause
Waddell, AZ and White Tank Mountains Historian https://waddellhistory.wordpress.com/author/karenkrause/
Just when historic figures Pauline Weaver, Joseph R. Walker, Jack Swilling, and Henry Wickenburg were prospecting in central Arizona in 1863, the White Tank Mountains found their place on the first Arizona Territorial map. In fact, the mountain range is on almost every map from 1863 on.
Even before Phoenix shows up on maps as a “settlement,” the White Tank Mountains were an important part of Arizona’s history. The White Tank watering hole that gives the mountains their name was located at the northeast end of the range and was the only year-round source of water for miles. Early travelers had to know where it was.
1863 map inset showing the White Tank Watering Hole
The desert was 20 to 30 miles in each direction along the White Tank Wagon Road. This supply road stretched from Maricopa Wells, south of the Gila River, to Wickenburg and then continued north to the new territorial capital in Prescott. Remnants of the road are few, and the watering hole itself is now gone. The white granite cliffs surrounding the large natural tank caved in during a huge storm, obliterating the White Tank.
In the estimated one hundred and fifteen years since the White Tank has been gone, the White Tank Mountains have continued to quietly provide a valuable service to the far west valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area. The mountains were the site of hundreds of small mining claims. The water sources in the mountains allowed for ranching operation, including grazing cattle, sheep, and goats. The abundant wildlife made the White Tank Mountains a favorite destination for hunters, and nearby residents have used the mountains as a recreation destination for generations.
The White Tank Mountains are now at a critical stage in their history. The cities that surround the range are beginning to develop right up into the foothills. The perils of new development also bring opportunities of preservation. The White Tank Mountain Conservancy has been established with all the major players in the area. The group will have the structure and resources to do what needs to be done to study, preserve, protect, and document the flora, fauna, and ancient history of the area. Having been ignored by researches, scholars and even most valley residents, the goal is to bring the White Tank Mountains back to the importance the range once held in the valley.
I invite you to discover the White Tank Mountains for yourself. The spring wild flowers are gorgeous, along the many trails through the mountains’ parks. Stargazers head into the parks each time a major comet or meteor shower is expected. The petroglyphs left by ancient Hohokam are a wonder providing clues to how ancient people lived and worked. Hiking up to see the waterfall after a rain shower is an easy hike and gives a close-up look at petroglyphs along the barrier free portion of the trail. Nature photography, picnicking, hiking, camping, bicycling and horseback riding all can be experienced in the wonder of the Sonoran Desert almost in your own backyard.
Next time you stop to admire the colors of the sunset, look at the dark silhouette of the mountains at their base. The White Tank Mountains still stand quietly, waiting to be of importance to Arizona again.
More information about the Conservancy is available at their web site. Please visit and think about signing up to become a steward. I have along with more than fifty others in the past year! http://www.WTMConservancy.org.
Conservancy Announces Speaker’s Series at White Tank Mountain Regional Park
A speakers’ series being sponsored by the White Tank Mountains Conservancy Education and Outreach Committee will focus on “Living with Urban Wildlife.”
As development continues throughout the valley, people and the “desert critters” must adapt to live together in harmony. Please join us at the White Tank Regional Park Nature Center classroom on select Saturdays in January-March. Program descriptions, dates, and times follow,
Linda Bolon speaks locally to raise an awareness of the ecological importance of coyotes and how we can live more peacefully with our wild neighbors. She also works tirelessly to expose and ban coyote/wildlife killing contests and related events in Arizona. This program will be presented on January 7 at 11 a.m. at the White Tank Regional Park Nature Center Classroom at 11 a.m.
Who can go from 0 to 30 mph instantly, fly upside down and backwards, and fly over 500 miles without stopping? Meet the hummers! These magnificent little birds of the New World are full of surprises. Join Naturalist and park volunteer John Bland for a one-hour presentation to discover the lives of nature’s smallest birds and learn how you can enjoy and protect them in your own backyard. This program will be presented in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park Nature Center classroom on February 18 at 10 a.m.
Brett Cameron is an expert on all facets of beekeeping and is Assistant Director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Consultation and Training. His presentation will focus on the critical role of bees as pollinators in agriculture and the dangers caused by feral bees building hives in and near our homes and communities. The key is striking a balance to help keep bees alive and yet protect ourselves and our families. The one-hour program will be on March 11 at 2 p.m.
Bryan Hughes is an avid herper and photographer in Arizona, field researcher, and a regular speaker at regional parks and reptile-related events in Arizona. His work can be seen on twitter (@rattlesnakeguy), and fieldherper.com, a photography-focused journal of snakes. He is also the owner/operator of a Rattlesnake Solutions, a rattlesnake-focused conservation and education business in Arizona. His program will be presented on March 25 at 2 p.m. in the White Tank Mountain Regional Park Nature Center classroom from 2-4 p.m. A display of Mr. Hughes’ reptiles will be available at 1 p.m. when the Nature Center snakes are fed. His presentation to follow.
Botanists Share Accomplishments
By Cass Blodgett and Dawn Goldman
Greetings White Tank Mountain Park Enthusiasts!
As we approach the end of our first collection year, Cass and I thought it would be fun to share some facts and figures of our work with you. Remember, there was a flora done of the White Tank in the early 70’s (“Vegetation & Flora of The White Tank Mountains Regional Park”, David J. Keil. Arizona - Nevada Academy of Sciences, Vol. 8, No. #1, February, 1973, pp.35-48). Everything we do is compared to that original flora.