PICTURE ROCKS DIGEST

Picture Rocks Pride


Volume 7, Number 5 May, 2009

Welcome to the Picture Rocks Digest, a free newsletter about issues and events in the community. The print version of this all-volunteer publication is distributed at area businesses and community sites. If you have calendar events or news items, or if you would like to be added to our email list, please contact us at PictureRocksDigest@comcast.net.

The Picture Rocks Digest is a publication of Citizens for Picture Rocks, Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(4) civic organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in the community. Citizens for Picture Rocks meets the third Tuesday of each month at 7:00 pm in the Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road. Meetings are free and open to the public. The next meeting is May 19, 2009. Everyone is welcome to attend. Membership not required, but highly recommended. Dues are $20/year for an individual or $25/year for a family.




PICTURE ROCKS PRIDE COMMUNITY FAIRE!

Saturday, May 9, 2:00-6:00 p.m.
Picture Rocks Community Center & Park
5615 N. Sanders Road
Free Fun For All Ages!

Food * Games * Information * Prizes * Jumping Castle
Live Music * Pie-Eating Contest * Face Painting * More!
With a Special Appearance by
Dist. 3 Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson at 2:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Citizens for Picture Rocks and the Picture Rocks Community Center
Funded in part by a grant from PRO Neighborhoods
Free and open to the public.




ABOUT CITIZENS FOR PICTURE ROCKS

Citizens for Picture Rocks was founded in 2002 by a group of neighbors concerned with the reputation of our community as a haven for drug dealers and other criminals. Putting individual and political differences aside, C4PR members work together in a wide variety of activities to make our home a better, safer place to live, a community that takes pride in itself.

We meet monthly, publish the Picture Rocks Digest, and maintain a website at www.CitizensforPictureRocks.org. We have adopted three sections of local roads for twice-yearly Adopt-a- Roadway cleanups. We have established a Community Emergency Response Team and a Neighborhood Walk and Watch Program.


Cleaning trash from our roads since 2004

Advocating for park improvements

We have successfully pursued grants to fund cleanup tools, forthcoming safe routes to schools, shade covering for the children's playground, and a directory of local services. We are supporting the Picture Rocks Fire District in an effort to acquire a community electronic sign.

C4PR members have also been instrumental, with the help of Supervisor Sharon Bronson and other County officials, in securing the Ortiz Health Center, Picture Rocks Swimming Pool, Tucson Mountain District Sheriff's Station, and the new BMX-Skate Park (username: Pima, password: skate, case sensitive) expected to be completed by the end of this year.


PLEASE JOIN US!

We meet monthly on the third Tuesday at 7:00 p.m., with Iced Tea Social Time at 6:30 p.m., at Picture Rocks Community Center, 5615 N. Sanders Road.

Meetings are free and open to all neighbors. We host educational forums on local issues and candidates, and often have guest speakers on a variety of subjects of interest to our community. Recent topics have included desert gardening and sustainable living, archaeology, spring wildflowers, home safety and security, and the new library.

Last month's meeting featured Saguaro National Park Ranger Chip Littlefield and a very curious desert tortoise (see next story).
UPCOMING PROGRAMS

May 19: Old Pueblo Archaeologist Allen Dart on the prehistoric rock art of Picture Rocks, "Rock Calendars and Ancient Time Pieces" (supported by Arizona Humanities Council)

June 16: Community Forum on the proposed I-10 Bypass through the Avra Valley, with representatives of the community, Saguaro National Park, Friends of Ironwood Forest National Monument, and invitations extended to the State Transportation Board (who are pursuing the Bypass), and the Tohono O'odham Nation.

July 21: Community Forum on the proposed merger of Picture Rocks and Northwest Fire Districts.

MEMBERSHIP HAS ITS BENEFITS

Dues for an individual are $20 per year, or $25 for family membership, payable in May of each year and pro-rated for joining later. Membership gives you a vote in the affairs of the community, and the opportunity to run for and elect C4PR Board Members to represent our community.




SHARING THE DESERT WITH TORTOISES

Saguaro National Park Ranger Chip Littlefield was the guest speaker at the April 21 Citizens for Picture Rocks meeting. His presentation on desert tortoises was augmented with a several live tortoises, from eight months to 27 years old. A couple of things to remember: Tortoises, if captured, cannot be returned to the wild. They have a specific territory they roam, about the size of two football fields. One tortoise, however, dubbed Thelma, was known to have traveled 20 miles from home and returned safely.



Tortoises are vegetarians, and drink through their nostrils. Handling them can make them void their bladders and then become dehydrated in summer heat. However, if you come across a tortoise at the side of a road, pull over safely, pick the tortoise up, holding it flat, and place it on the other side of the road pointing in the direction it was going.

Young desert tortoises are vulnerable to hawk, owl, coyote and bobcat predation, and Littlefield said that only about one of every hundred hatched survive. All tortoises face danger from unleashed and roaming dogs. Ranger Chip said that about 1,000 children are learning about desert tortoises each year through Park programs, and offered a free tortoise-tracking field trip to a Community Faire survey raffle winner.




COMMUNITY NOTES




The Picture Rocks Digest is written by Albert Lannon (email: bluemoon@dakotacom.net; phone: 622-3561). Additional materials and design by Karen J. Zopf.


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