Learn about dangerous reptiles, kingsnake at Usery
September 25, 2018
By Megan Marples
Maricopa County is encouraging people to be active and learn about the desert this September by offering dozens of free programs at Usery Mountain Regional Park. They range from scorpion hunts to movie nights and cater to all ages and abilities.
The park is located at 3939 N. Usery Pass Road, Mesa. To learn more or to register, call 480-984-0032 or visit maricopacountyparks.net. Admission is $6 per vehicle.
The Desert’s Most Dangerous Reptiles
Learn which reptiles to avoid in the desert in this one-hour presentation by Ranger B. Participants will also learn what to do should they encounter one. At the conclusion of the presentation, guests can watch a snake feeding.
Animal Flashlight Walk
Join Ranger B on an evening walk along the Merkle Trail. Bring flashlights and try to find some of the desert’s most elusive animals.
Kid’s Storytime Funtime
Children and their caregivers can learn about the desert through this interactive storytime experience. After the story, children can participate in a game and play outdoors.
Come on by the archery range to try this ancient sport. Beginners will be able to learn the basics and then practice their skills. Equipment will be provided, and no registration is needed. Children must be 8 years or older to participate, and minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Listen as Ranger B busts some of the desert’s most common myths in this one-hour presentation. Some of the myths include the feasibility of drinking water out of a cactus or if “jumping cactus” really jump.
Full Moon Hike
Hike along a 2-mile trail while gazing up at the full moon and the stars. Ranger B will lead the hike and point out nighttime desert facts.
Join Ranger B and go on a safe hunt for scorpions at night. Families can grab a blacklight and go searching along a 1-mile trail for these tiny creatures. Participants can purchase a blacklight for $10 before the hunt.
Meet “Elvis” the Kingsnake!
Stop by the Nature Center to hear Ranger B talk all about the king snake and how they survive in the desert. Those interested can come by anytime between 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Movie Night in the Park:
“The Living Desert”
Watch desert animals attempt daring feats while learning facts about these creatures in the movie “The Living Desert.” After the movie, watch a snake feeding.