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Sonoran desert relationships
This 0.5-mile two-loop ADA-accessible nature trail provides 13 plaques describing the desert's relationship to its humans and other inhabitants. The trail is made of stabilized decomposed granite created to be accessible to people of all abilities and gear such as strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs. There are three stone benches along the trail for rest stops.
History: (see references below) The Kovach family has been involved in the promotion and protection of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for more than 20 years. Christine Kovach served as chairwoman of the McDowell Sonoran Land Trust (known as McDowell Sonoran Conservancy now) in 1993 and was the MSC Board chair from 2002 to 2005. She remains involved with the finance committee of MSC, the Sonoran Desert Women's group, and various ad hoc committees. Christine was appointed by Scottsdale City Council to the very first MSP commission in 1994 and served for three terms between 1994 and 2006. She then was a member of the MSPC Promotion Subcommittee from 2006- 2011. She was a highly valued member of the “Save our McDowells” group to promote the passage of Prop400 that created a sales tax to generate the Preserve funding.
The family donated funds to create this trail and the Bajada Nature trail at the Gateway Trailhead. The grand opening of the Kovach Family Nature Trail will be Saturday, March 28, 2015.
You will find signs to the nature trail about 0.1 miles from the Lost Dog Wash Trailhead, just past water fountains and restrooms. The trail has two loops, and this description takes the path along the bridge first.
LEFT LOOP PLAQUES
1. Welcome - What is a Family (How the wash got its name, definition of family)
2. Everything Changes! (growth of Phoenix graphic, Christine Kovach photo of LDW flooded)
3. Ancient Families in the Wash (LDW hunting area, projectile points)
4. Water- Necessary for Life (drought-tolerant plants, staying hydrated)
5. A River in the Desert (drainage graphic)
6. Why are Saguaros Special? (saguaro life cycle)
RIGHT LOOP PLAQUES
1. Everything's Related (nature's web of relationships)
2. Water is Powerful (water has shaped the mountains)
3. Adapting in the Wild, Wild West (warm temperatures, scarcity of water)
4. There's No Place Like Home (human inhabitants, soil for trees)
5. Connecting People and Nature (volunteering with McDowell Sonoran Conservancy)
6. Relationships in Nature (mutualism, commensalism, parasitism)
7. Can a Cactus Jump? (chollas and how to avoid and remove)
1. AZ Central online article 1-6-15: “Kovach Trail opens at Lost Dog Wash Trailhead in Scottsdale,”
2. Fudala, Joan C. The People’s Preserve: How Scottsdale Created the McDowell Sonoran Preserve... and saved a 1.8-billion-year-old treasure in less than 25 years, published October 2014. Pages 27, 60, 61. (ISBN # 1502586258)
3. Minutes of City of Scottsdale commission Dec 2, 2014– letter from Mike Nolan describing the role of Christine Kovach in creation and promotion of McDowell Sonoran Preserve
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.