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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

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5/22/2010 2:14:00 PM
Editorial: Rallying to rescue Red Rock

At first, we wondered if Sedona cared.

Nearly 300 acres of the best environmental education you can get in Arizona were being victimized by budget cuts, and the local reaction was an odd silence. Instead there was a shoulder shrug and a finger pointing visitors up the road to the deliriously popular Slide Rock instead.

But what was really happening quietly was a banding together of the volunteers and supporters known as Benefactors of Red Rock State Park. They deserve congratulations for last week’s successful rescue effort.

The group has been around for seven years, helping to fund programs and other good deeds, but they have had their hands full with this new challenge.

The costs for running Red Rock State Park have been needlessly outstripping its income. To pay for itself it needs to take in $160,000 in the next few months. They have received a commitment of $50,000 from Yavapai County and wheedled $15,000 out of the City of Sedona, a government that has not been exactly proactive in dealing with this. The Benefactors raised $15,000 in one day alone at an April fund-raiser and will even approach Coconino County for help.

Last week, with less than a month before the park had been set to close on June 3, they had to be quick about convincing the Arizona State Parks board to spare Red Rock, but they confirmed a local commitment to the park.

And who can blame them?

Red Rock, once part of the Smoke Trail Ranch, is a nature reserve. Besides just boasting trails and picnic tables of a typical park, it offers up an education about the geology, wildlife and vegetation. Volunteer guides have been worth their weight in gold when it comes to instilling an appreciation for the Arizona environment.

And, of course, Red Rock State Park has lovely views and Oak Creek.

There are many reasons for the Benefactors to work so hard in this uphill battle to keep the park open.

Now Red Rock has a better chance of celebrating its 20th anniversary as a state park next year. We could all use benefactors who care like that.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010
Article comment by: Rob ADAMS

I am curious as to who wrote this article. The fact is, the City Manager and myself have been working on a financial plan to help keep the park open since last fall. We have had numerous meetings with Supervisor Chip Davis, State Park representatives, the RR State Park benefactors, the AZ. League of Cities and Towns, NACOG and other stakeholders to discuss potential solutions to keep the park open. To my knowledge, the Verde Independant has not contacted anyone from the City of Sedona to get information about what the City has been doing. To say that the City of Sedona has not been proactive is simply wrong. I would welcome a phone call to answer or clarify any questions that the Verde Independant might have before you misrepresent the facts on any story in the future.
Rob Adams, Mayor
City of Sedona

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