TUCSON, AZ (Arizona Cat’s Eye) – Sabino Canyon Recreation Area is a great place to enjoy the outdoors and explore nature. Each year more than one million visitors come to the park.
One of the secrets of Sabino Canyon is the 200 volunteers. They show up on bike, on foot and even on horseback to help the U.S. Forest Service meet the needs of the visitors.
“There are so many opportunities to exchange information with visitors. And we thought, how about volunteers,” said Heidi Schewel, the Public Affairs Officer for the Coronado National Forest.
The Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists are prepared to talk about everything wild in Sabino.
“We do a variety of nature walks, geology walks, general nature walks, bird walks, plant walks,” said Carol Tornow, who is the vice president of Public Interpretation for Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalists.
The Santa Catalina Volunteer Patrol is ready to help when people need directions or when visitors have close encounters with wildlife.
“The volunteer patrol was developed to have folks out and about to help us assist visitors, tell our story and really provide a valuable service,” Schewel said.
“We also try to be protective of the public and our natural resources. Many of the visitors are not use to being in the desert,” said Walt Tornow, president of the Santa Catalina Volunteer Patrol.
Friends of Sabino Canyon works behind the scenes to preserve Sabino and make it a better place to visit.
“And then there is maintenance aspects of it. As far as trail rehab or reestablishing old trails,” said David Bushell, president of Friends of Sabino Canyon. “People from all over the world like to visit Sabino Canyon, so we want to make sure it is top notch.”
Next time you’re in Sabino Canyon look around and you’ll probably spot a volunteer. They are there for you.