By Nathaniel A. Lopez
In 1996, the first Arizona State Parks Friends group was established by The Friends of Oracle State Park. Their mission is to support the Oracle State Park with environmental education programs, restoration and preservation of the Historic Kannally Ranch House, and hosting events. Today’s current board members are President, Deborah Gaines, Vice President, Roger Bailey, Secretary, Laura Malbasa, and Treasurer, Nyla Butler.
“The pandemic ended most events early this year, and Friends of Oracle State Park started looking at other projects,” said Gaines. “The existing Wildlife Blind is deteriorating, and we thought it could be repaired. As it turned out, the existing blind could not be repaired effectively, so we looked for someone to design a new blind to replace it. Landscape Architect, Jim Pollack in Oracle designed the plan we decided to use.”
A new wildlife blind would provide shade for visitors, with a view of a small watering hole where animals such as birds, deer, javelina, bobcats and others go for water. During last year’s drought, a great amount of wildlife relied heavily on the watering hole to survive. The new design goes with a more natural look, blending the blind in with its surroundings.
The Friends of Oracle State Park started this project in February of this year and by September they started raising money to reach their goal of $15,000. Most of the donations were from members or visitors of the park. The group has still needs help reaching its goal. Those interested in donating can go to friendsoforaclestatepark.org to donate and become a FOSP member. Help keep the Oracle State Park a great resource for the Tri-Community.
FOSP has a couple other projects they are working on at the moment as well such as restoring the Sisters’ Cottages and supporting live music events. For more information on the Friends of Oracle State Park visit their website.