Friends of Petrified Forest –
In order for us to get to know you better and for you to see some of the things we’ve been working on over the past year, we propose to hold a Friends Day on Friday, September 26th. Public Lands Day is Saturday the 27th and we’ll have volunteer projects lined up for anyone interested.
First, Friday’s activities:
9:00AM – tours leave the Painted Desert Visitor Center led by park scientists to a) paleontology localities where the field work has been underway, b) archeological sites that have been recorded recently, and c) routine reptile trap monitoring to see what creatures encountered them overnight. These will be three separate trips at the same time – PLEASE RSVP by September 22 if you would like to participate in one of these tours (and say which one!).
12:00 – 3:00 – Open House in the Community Building – We will have some of the current issues represented with temporary displays and the experts who can tell you more about them. Besides the science programs we will show you what we’ve done with new roadside exhibits, a new handout map, and a new visitor newspaper, what the latest is on the expansion lands and potash mining, some of our infrastructure projects, and our partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to rehabilitate the Painted Desert Community Complex. There will be tours available of the museum collection and many staff available to answer whatever question you have on any subject.
3:00 – 7:00 – Dinner on Agate Mesa – We will bring a catered dinner to picnic tables set up near the edge of Agate Mesa (near Agate Bridge in the southern half of the park) where we can watch the shadows get long as we eat and talk. We will ask each attendee to pitch in no more than $15 for dinner – the exact amount will be forthcoming when we have a better idea of numbers. PLEASE RSVP by September 22 if you plan to attend dinner, including staff. Grumpy Jakes Barbeque in Pinetop will be providing the food. We know some of you are vegetarian – we will provide non-meat dishes as well.
If any attendees would like to camp the night at Agate Mesa (porta-pottie provided), you are welcome to do so. Please indicate when you RSVP.
Public Lands Day – Saturday morning, we will meet willing volunteers at the Paulsell Ranch at 9:00 AM (2 miles south from the Exit 320 ramp off I-40). PLEASE RSVP if you plan to volunteer that day. We will remove more interior fencing from the ranch in order to permit wildlife more free movement. Any volunteers who want to camp the night before at Paulsell Ranch headquarters (bathroom with non-potable water available) may do so. Please indicate when you RSVP.
We will provide lunch, water for your water bottles, basic tools, and transportation on the ranch. We expect at least two crews to be removing fence – there will also be things for a third crew to work on at ranch headquarters, in addition to supporting the fence crews. All volunteers are expected to wear sturdy shoes, sun protection, work gloves if you like yours, and bring their own water bottle.
We expect to be finished by 4:00 PM.
Please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have – if we know the answer, we’ll provide it. And thanks for your interest in Petrified Forest National Park! I look forward to seeing you one or both of these days!