Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saguaro National Park

Just a few minutes from my home is Saguaro National Park, which was established in 1933. Almost everyday, my life is enriched by either a run or a bike in the park. The roads I travel or run are pictured below. This afternoon was no exception, however, the day was made particularly special when I was asked by a group of Chinese visitors to take some photos at the Park entrance. It reminded me of a day back in 1999, when I was visiting the Great Wall of China, and I was the one making the same request. Isn't it wonderful when we can all share in the beauty of our natural world?

The Saguaro National park supports over 25 species of cacti, but the saguaro is the monarch of the Sonoran desert and has always been the suprene symbol of the American Southwest. Many have said that the Saguaro is a plant with personality. It is renowned for the variety of odd, all-too-human shapes it assumes-shapes that inspire wild and fanciful imaginings. Since 1933, this extraordinary cactus which reaches up to 250 years in age has been protected in Saguaro National Park.
On an educational note, the National Parks in this country offer a program called "BE A JUNIOR RANGER. "Through this program children who are Junior Rangers and their famiies explore the parks using activity booklets that are designed especially for them. When finished with their booklets, the children are sworn in as Junior Rangers and receive a patch or badge or certificate. The program is open to children ages 5-12 and is a great way for children to learn more about the nation's history, their own cultural heritage and the natural world. For more information go to

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