May 3, 2013 9:10 AM by Jeff Beamish
TUCSON - Catalina State Park in Tucson, Arizona will be celebrating its 30th anniversary on May 4, 2013. Arizona State Parks and the Friends of Catalina State Park are co-sponsoring a daylong celebration that will take place at the Park.
The day's activities will commemorate the founding of the Park in May 1983 and admission will be free. There will be guided hikes throughout the day starting at 7 a.m. Beginning at 9 a.m. and continuing until 4 p.m., there will be interpretative programs, live animal displays, informational booths from partners and friends, activities for children, food trucks, vendor booths and a raffle. There will also be a Star Night Party between 7 and 9 p.m. where visitors can explore the night sky through astronomers' telescopes. The official ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. The list of speakers will be announced at a later date.
The Park was dedicated by then Governor Bruce Babbitt on May 25, 1983. He described Catalina State Park as Arizona's first "great urban park." The Park attracts between 170,000 and 200,000 visitors each year from all over the world. The Park plays an important role in the communities of northern Tucson, Oro Valley and Catalina. Many people who live and work in these areas visit it regularly with their families to hike, camp, picnic, ride bikes and horses and walk their dogs. Many local groups and associations such as the Tucson Audubon Society, local schools such as Basis Schools, Citizens for Solar, and the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection organize events at Catalina State Park.
Catalina State Park has a significant economic impact on Pima County. People who visit and camp at the Park patronize many local businesses. They also visit other sites in the area. A 2009 report by Northern Arizona University estimated that the Park created 262 jobs in Pima County.
The Friends of Catalina State Park (FOCSP) is a 501(c)(3) organization that is registered in the state of Arizona. Its mission is to solicit funds and mobilize public support for projects and activities at Catalina State Park.
Catalina State Park's regular Park Entrance Fee of $7 per vehicle will be waived for this event. Primitive to full hookup camping sites are available at a fee of $15 to $25 depending on the type of camping site needed. Catalina State Park is located on State Highway 77 (Oracle Road) at mile marker 81, just nine miles north of Tucson and six miles north of Ina Road.
For information about all 27 Arizona State Parks, the Trails and Off-Highway Vehicle Programs and State Historic Preservation Office call (602) 542-4174 (outside of the Phoenix metro area call toll-free (800) 285-3703), visit the website and online camping reservations at AZStateParks.com, Twitter/Facebook AZStateParks.