Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park an all-volunteer group

Editor’s note: The Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent e-mailed more than a dozen local nonprofits a list of questions. This is from Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park.

Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park is a nonprofit organization formed in 2010 in response to the closure of our park. We are an all volunteer group made up of leaders and professionals from business, education, and community services. Our mission is to stand as a partner to assist Lost Dutchman State Park, 6109 N. Apache Trail in Apache Junction, in fulfilling its mission through advocacy, education, community participation, and financial support.

Our mission: Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park stand as a partner to assist Lost Dutchman State Park in fulfilling its mission through advocacy, education, community participation, and financial support. Established in 2010. We also provide the much needed publicity and community outreach for the park through our demonstrations and activities at various venues: Lost Dutchman Days, Superstition Mountain Museum events and others.

What is your website and contact information?: Contact us through our website.

What did the group accomplish in 2017?:
•The Picture Perfect Lost Dutchman State Park Wine and Food Tasting, held every April has exceeded our expectations with support from our community and park supporters nation-wide. We continue to support the highly successful seasonal program, “An Amazing Walk Through the Skies” with Dr. Sky, a leading expert on the night sky, held monthly. In addition, several of our volunteer Board Members hold demonstrations, group activities, and hikes in the park. Programs in the park bring visitors and with visitors, gate fees, the main source of income for the park. FLDSP have helped the Lost Dutchman SP fulfill its goal to be self sustainable and profitable through these efforts.
•We completed Phase One of our Solar Trail Project and will be breaking ground on Phase Two soon. A solar trail is a to-scale-model of our solar system with “features” placed along the trail representing the major celestial bodies in our solar system. Each “feature” is designed to educate and interest visitors about the solar system and the role that our park plays in night sky viewing and preservation. Phase One includes an Analemmatic sundial and information graphs about our solar system. Phase Two includes interactive features designed specifically for educating visitors about Earth’s relationship with our closest neighbors: Mercury, Venus, Earth and its moon and Mars.

What is your goal for 2018?: Finish phase three of our Solar Trail Project: placement of features for Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus, and Pluto along the mile long trail. We also plan to include several terrestrial features with this phase that will educate visitors about the plant and animal life in the park.

What needs (wish list) does the group have for 2018?: We invite our community to attend our events, help us grow our events, help us raise funds for the park, or propose your own event to raise funds for the park and let’s get it done. We need help with our annual events: volunteers for setup, organizing and staffing the event. We enjoy the great support from our community businesses but could use more for food and wine donations and service. We are also looking for new board members and participants in some of the work we do for the park. Also, the park gives us their wish list every year, items or projects they need help with, you can see that on our website and learn how you can help with those.

Editor’s note: Kim Grady is a member of the Friends of Lost Dutchman State Park.

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