By Virginia Korte —
During the more than 30 years of serving our community in a variety of capacities, I have been humbled many times. But never more so than when I was named a “Preserve Pioneer” for helping establish the McDowell Sonoran Mountain Preserve.
I was privileged to join 11 people as a “Pioneer” when the city recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Mountain Preserve. Sadly, some of those folks are no longer with us – including Mayor Herb Drinkwater, Scottsdale Community College President Art DeCabooter, lifelong outdoor enthusiast Chet Andrews and my dear friend State Legislator Carolyn Allen.
The celebration was a time to reflect back on those early years. I invite you to visit the city’s web site for the video memorializing its 12 Preserve Pioneers (Scottsdale’s Preserve Pioneers).
I was honored to be appointed by Mayor Drinkwater to serve as the chairperson of the first McDowell Sonoran Mountain Preserve Task Force. I remember vividly the hard work and the community’s commitment that went into expanding the Preserve beyond the original 2,860 acres that were dedicated in October of 1994. The subsequent election in May of 1995 was the first of what would be five times that residents were asked to tax themselves to expand the Preserve. It passed by approximately a 2 to 1 margin.
Today, the Preserve is 30,500 acres.
Playing a role in helping create the McDowell Sonoran Mountain Preserve and working on the campaigns to expand it over nine years are some of the proudest moments of my community service.
I congratulate my fellow “Pioneers” who are truly living legends: Bob Cafarella, Sam Campana, Carla, Bill Ensign, Christine Kovach, Mary Manross and Jane Rau.
Virginia L. Korte serves on the Scottsdale City Council.