All around Arizona Rim Country are hundreds of local heroes. They are short and tall, old and young, and longtime and new residents. These men and women and youth, too made a collective statement that was heard by Gov. Jane Hull, our statewide representatives in the Senate and the House, and in the offices of the Arizona State Parks.
What was said? "Keep the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park open."
Our "quiet" heroes made countless telephone calls, faxed personalized messages and e-mailed unique recommendations to our leaders and powers-that-be. Well over 1,000 signed petitions were circulated around our area. More than 200 people attended the meeting in Phoenix and the two hearings at Tonto Natural Bridge. There were others, too, who attended meetings, rallied others and prayed.
You did it the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park will remain open.
Besides having a delightful place to take our families and friends when they visit us, the major economic benefit of having the park operational throughout the cold weather months is the impact it has on the financial health of the entire Arizona Rim Country economy. Without a doubt, the bridge is our biggest destination attraction and one of the four engines that drive our economy.
John Boeck and his able rangers need volunteers to help operate the park. The opportunities to be a volunteer ranger are many but the hardest part is saying, "I will volunteer."
Volunteer rangers are needed to do such simple tasks as water trees and lawns, cut grass and edge, rake and do routine cleanup. Other volunteers are needed to conduct tours, walk the trails, make sure everyone has water or simply sit under the bridge and remind hikers to be careful on the buffed travertine. Volunteers are needed to do minor repairs and light maintenance, ditch repairs, painting and many other duties.
Call Boeck at the Tonto Natural Bridge (476-4202) and volunteer. Let him know how many days and hours you are able to work each week and ask questions.
There will be a volunteer orientation and training meeting in the near future.