We take a proactive approach to connecting our youth to the great outdoors through a variety of activities – ranging from a simple walk in the park to hosting school programs. Some ways we connect young people with the outdoors include:
- Engage diverse young leaders as conservation stewards of public lands through work days at the park. At least twice a year, we have work days to improve the Park’s ability to connect people to nature. All the improvements help us increase educational and wildlife viewing opportunities. Removal of invasive species and installation of native plants along the trail attract more birds, butterflies, and watchable wildlife.
- Working with Audubon Arizona and local high schools, offer River Pathways field trips The River Pathways program is designed to take teens out of their classrooms, get them into the field, and transform them into the next generation of conservation leaders! The program introduces students to Arizona’s amazing riparian areas and careers protecting them through hands-on classroom activities, field trips to a park (in this case Black Canyon Heritage Park), and later a field trip to a public land site (such as Agua Fria National Monument or Tonto National Forest.
- Encourage youth activities such as Eagle Scout or Girl Scout service projects at the Park. Projects could be a construction, conservation, or remodeling project, or it could be the presentation of an event with a worthwhile purpose. If looking for an idea, we will brainstorm with the youth at the park to uncover ideas. Projects already completed include park benches, information kiosk, and merit badge applications.
- Provide guided hikes during events at the Park. Park volunteers and other experts from our partner organizations offer hikes during events – sometimes just to view the park and other times for a specific purpose such as bird viewing, plant identification, or riparian discussions.
We prescribe healthy activities for fun and education that will help all our visitors reap the incredible physical, psychological and spiritual benefits of outdoor activities. We particularly want to engage our youth to set them on the path of being stewards of our community and environment.