Thunderbird Conservation Park is receiving routine trail maintenance to its current trails through a partnership with Arizona State Parks. Arizona State Parks is administrating Arizona’s allocation of a national assistance program, the Recreation Trails Program, and Glendale is receiving benefits of the program.
Through a request by the Glendale Parks and Recreation Department, Arizona State Parks has sent trained trail crews from the American Conservation Experience (ACE) to perform trail maintenance at Thunderbird Conservation Park. ACE is a non-profit conservation corps providing trained, motivated, well-supervised crews. The crews are made up of volunteers from all over the world and have worked on national projects including the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park.
The ACE crew arrived at Thunderbird Conservation Park on Tuesday, February 6, and will stay for 16 weeks or until the temperature becomes too warm to work. They will put in approximately 6,500-7,500 hours working four days a week and receiving additional training in Flagstaff the rest of the week.
The crew will not construct any new trails, just perform maintenance on the current trails, improving them to national and state trail standards. The type of maintenance the crew will do on the park’s trails include boulder removal, tread leveling and raking of loose rocks on inclines, installation of erosion control features, berm removal, construction of retaining walls in areas of slope failure and switchbacks, narrowing of trail corridors where needed, in-fill of trenched sections with native materials and rock step construction in fall lines.
The ACE crew will also provide Glendale Parks and Recreation staff and the Glendale Hiking Club with training on trail maintenance.
Thunderbird Conservation Park, located at 59th Avenue between Deer Valley and Pinnacle Peak roads has 17 miles of trails. The ACE crew will arrive and assess the trails and decide from there where they will be starting their work. H-1, H-2, H-3, H-4 and H-5, as the five trails at the park are named, will not be closed all at once. Only short sections of the trails will be under repair at one time allowing park users to enjoy the other many miles of trails.