Regional park salutes Santana and Shelly on Tortoise Day

San Tan Mountain Regional Park celebrates Tortoise Day Sept. 8. (Photo/Arianna Grainey)

Saturday, Sept. 8, is Tortoise Day at San Tan Mounain Regional Park, 6533 W. Phillips Road, Queen Creek.

From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., the park will honor its two tortoise “ambassadors,” Santana and Shelly, before fall sets in and they head into their burrows for a winter nap.

“We will start with a morning feeding at our outdoor tortoise enclosure. Next, we will go inside our Visitor Center for a special book reading and signing with local author Carol Hageman,” a release stated. Her book, “Bubby’s Puddle Pond,” is a tale that teaches children and adults about the life of an adopted desert tortoise as he makes friends in his new home.

The reading level for the book is “ideal for kids grade 2 and under, but all ages are welcome,” the release stated.

Books will be available for purchase ($14.95) in the Visitor Center, and the author will sign copies.

For each book sold, $1 will be donated to the Desert Tortoise Adoption Program through the Arizona Game and Fish Department.

The morning will end with a tortoise craft and activity sheets for children.

Meet at the tortoise enclosure inside the Visitor Center complex and bring water and a hat. There is a $7 per vehicle park entry fee.

The Apache Junction Independent is mailed each month to 35,000 homes.

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