“Bat Night” at Oracle State Park to feature research ecologist

Research ecologist and wildlife manager for Arizona Game and Fish, Joel Diamond, Ph.D., will catch local bats and share facts and lore about the flying mammals in an early evening program at Oracle State Park Center for Environmental Education on Saturday, July 25.

The popular “Bat Night” program includes identifying the “net-detained” bats before they are let go and plenty of opportunity for questions. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. just as it’s getting dark and is free with park admission at the main entrance on Mt. Lemmon Rd., Oracle. Additional details and registration information is at www.azStateParks.com/Parks/ORAC.

The park, open Saturdays and Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., is home to the historic Kannally Ranch House, a Mediterranean-revival style house built in 1929. Visitors may tour at their leisure anytime during park hours or visit the website for summertime docent-led house tour dates and times. Thirty paintings by rancher and self-taught cowboy artist Lee Kannally are on exhibit along with a wildlife slide show of animals visiting the waterhole.

At 4,500 feet elevation, the park’s 15 miles of scenic nature trails welcome summertime hikers, bikers and equestrians, while the cool ranch house patios offer exceptional views for those bringing their picnic lunch and beverages.

Designated an International Dark Sky Park last year, the OSP American Avenue entrance is open seven days a week for anyone with a telescope who wishes to view the night skies.

Information about upcoming programs and volunteer opportunities such as trail clearing is available at the park office at 520-896-2425.