How About A Desert Discovery Bridge Rather Than A Center?
The Arizona Republic recently featured an impressive “land bridge” near Oro Valley, Arizona to facilitate highway crossings for wildlife and reduce car accidents with them. Here is a link.
It prompted an idea. Why not pursue something similar in Scottsdale for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve which is bisected by Dynamite Boulevard?
It would be far less costly than the proposed Desert Discovery Center (DDC), and enrich the refuge.
The DDC is a specious proposal that seems more supported by inertia than merit. The burden is on proponents to generate the necessary public support for the project, as preserve advocates once did in early 1990s. Currently, that doesn’t exist. Nor does a compelling policy rationale for magnifying the development footprint at the proposed Gateway location.
The city’s construction of trailheads and exhibits at hiking points in the McDowells was so superbly done with so few footprints in God’s desert sands that they have effectively become a desert discovery center unto themselves.
Precious tax dollars should be used for completing the preserve and enhancing that which is already within via things like a land bridge.
Put another way, does anyone go to the Grand Canyon because of the visitor center? No, they do so because of the majesty. And so it will always be, and should be, with the McDowell Sonoran Preserve where tourism officials should understand that better marketing of God’s great gift will be far more impactful than marketing towards a redundant facility that seeks to interpret that which people can see for themselves, unadulterated.