Updated: May 30, 2019
I thought I would share a little introduction to myself and how the Save Our Sonoran Preserve (SOS-P) advocacy group started.
I have been serving as a City of Phoenix Park Steward for the past two years in the Sonoran Preserve. For those who are unfamiliar, Park Stewards are the volunteers that look after the Preserves. During the past two years, I always thought how great it would be to connect the two halves of the Preserve (Apache Wash Trailhead to the north and Desert Vista Trailhead to the south). I started researching how this could be accomplished when the idea of using the two washes (Apache Wash and Cave Creek Wash) that run through the Preserve came to mind. I thought to myself "the washes and the land between them are prone to flooding so they can't be developed, plus they serve as a major wildlife corridor and the desert fauna is the most vibrant there." I went as far as to email my plans to the City of Phoenix.
In early November of 2018, I saw some Rezoning signs being posted in this exact area. I thought, "Oh great, the City is planning on connecting the Preserves!". Unfortunately my joy was short lived when I discovered the signs were announcing a rezoning for a high density housing development. I started attending the Desert View Village Planning meetings to learn more about the development and met others who were upset to see a high density housing development being planned not only next to the Preserve but within earshot of the Apache Wash Trailhead. One of those people was Sue, a resident of Desert Enclave. Together we started organizing our efforts and meeting on the weekends to plan our strategy. After a few months we enrolled the help of some other brilliant and enthusiastic minds (Amanda, Daniel, Mandy) to spread the word through social media and research the complex world of zoning laws/floodplains/traffic studies etc.
Within weeks our numbers grew from 2 to 600+ active and proud members! We are hikers, road cyclists, mountain bikers, conservationists, and local residents. We attend Desert View VPC meetings. We email our City Council members. We are well informed and ready to use our voice to advocate for what is right and just for OUR PRESERVE. WE ARE SOS-P!
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not.” ― Dr. Seuss, The Lorax