When completed, the Payson Area Trails System (PATS) should provide a scenic and safe pathway to enjoy our town year-round.
The Payson Town Council approved PATS at a March meeting and the Parks and Recreation Department is now accepting sponsor donations.
Sponsors can choose to donate any amount from $100 to $10,000.
The $10,000 donors, or Platinum Sponsors, will have their name(s) and/or company logo displayed on all signs in the quarter-mile trail sections they select. The sponsors will also receive recognition on the PATS Web site and other advertisements.
Other donor amounts are $3,500 (Gold Sponsors), $2,000 (Silver Sponsor), $1,000 (Bronze Sponsors), $250 to $1,000 (Cyclist Sponsors), $100 (Patron Brick).
Also, Trailblazer Sponsors may donate $100 in labor or equivalent in materials.
Money collected will not only be used to build the trails, but also to purchase kiosks, bike racks and benches.
The kiosks and benches will be placed at centers of interest on the trails.
Four centers have been chosen -- SawMill Crossing, Green Valley Park, Rumsey Park and Gila Community College.
The system will incorporate the Payson firebreak as the outer wheel of the network.
Trails will run through town like spokes connecting the firebreak wheel.
Motorized vehicles will not be permitted on the trails.
According to Town Parks and Recreation Coordinator Mary McMullen, the trails will be pieced together over time and certain sections finished before others.
Some of the funding could come from the Arizona Parks Board after the Payson Parks and Recreation Department submits the trails plan.
The town has received support from the project from Payson District Ranger Ed Armenta.
For more about the project or to become a sponsor, call McMullen at (928) 474-5242, ext. 358.
Camp remains open
Diamondback Training Center official Jeff Swanson said there are still openings for the youth baseball and softball camp, to be held July 8 through July 13 at Rumsey Park.
Sessions will be conducted 8 to 11 a.m. and are open to children ages 6 to 12.
Skills to be taught during the five days of camp include hitting, fielding, throwing, base running, specific position play and strategy.
Throughout the camp, coaches will mix in contests and competitions to keep the instruction lively and interesting.
Last year, about 40 aspiring athletes turned out for the Payson camp.
During the practices, Training Center coaches -- some former professional baseball players and hand-picked by the Diamondbacks organization -- teach the campers the nuances of the game. Even though the camps draw thousands of children each year, an instructor-to-student ratio of no more than 1:10 is maintained to provide the best learning environment possible.
An estimated 12,000 young athletes statewide have participated in the training camps.
The Training Center offers close to 200 camps annually, in more than 40 Arizona towns and cities.
The registration fee is $150, which includes 15 hours of instruction, a Diamondbacks hat and T-shirt.
A portion of the proceeds from the camps will go to the Arizona Diamondbacks Charities Youth Baseball/Softball Fund.
For more information or to register, visit www.dbacks.com/camps or call (800) 821-7152.