The successful completion of the 315-mile, Valley-circumnavigating Maricopa Trail was celebrated today at Cave Creek Regional Park. Dignitaries, supporters, volunteers and countless movers-and-shakers were on hand to mark the occasion. Here's a look at the day's festivities. PHOTOS:
New Kiosk: This colorful and informative sign was unveiled at the event. Father of the Maricopa Trail: Andy Kunasek, Former Maricopa County Board Supervisor was a driving force in bringing the trail to fruition. Scorpion: An Arizona Game and Fish representative displays a scorpion at the event.
King Snake demo: A Maricopa County employee displays a non-venomous king snake. Harris Hawks take flight: Two Harris Hawks rehabilitated by Wild at Heart rescue were released into the park. Ready to let them fly: Andy Kunasek and Steve Chucri get set to release the hawks. Gila monster: a Gila monster missing part of one of its back legs rehabilitates at the park Nature Center.
Ceremonial "last shovel-fulls": final dirt is placed on the trail. Steve Chucri: Maricopa County Board of Supervisor Chairman recognizes trail supporters. RJ Cardin: Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director emceed the program. Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation: Larry Sneed and Jan Hancock host the MT maintenance trails provided by REI. John Rose: Maricopa Trail Manager recognizes the many partnerships involved in building the trail. Brian Derrick: Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation President speaks about the organizations mission, trail maintenance and volunteerism. Andy Kunasek: The Father of the Maricopa Trail speaks bout the trail's history and future. Branding Ceremony: A reenacting of the ceremonial branding that took place at the 2004 Maricopa Trail ground breaking brings the closure to a year-long effort. American Conservation Experience: This Flagstaff-based volunteer organization began working on the Maricopa Trail in 2016 and have been instrumental in rehabilitating segments damaged by wildfire and constructing sustainable routes.
|New kiosk unveiled|
|Father of the Maricopa Trail|
|King snake demo|
|Harris Hawks take flight|
|Ready to let them fly.|
|Harris Hawk handling|
|Harris Hawk release preparations|
|Ceremonial "last shovel-fulls"|
|Maricopa Trail and Park Foundation|
|American Conservation Experience.|