Throughout America, there’s over 400 national parks. This week, people across the country honor those parks in celebration of National Park Week. In Tucson, Saguaro National Park was established in 1994 and is dedicated to conserving saguaros.

“Part of what we do here is to create awareness for Saguaro National Park but also the values of conservation and protecting this very special place,” Cam Jurez, the community engagement and outreach coordinator, said. “We are super fortunate here in Tucson where we have so many national park spaces.”

Jurez said there’s about two million saguaros in the park and each year, the park sees about one million visitors.

“Normally we’re referred to as a winter park, but we’re a year round park, we see visitors the entire year,” he said.

For volunteers like Mike Sitzman, Saguaro National Park is special. He’s lived in Tucson for several decades, hiking in the park for nearly 30 years. Being a volunteer allows him to tells stories of the park’s history.

“There’s so much dramatic scenery here,” he said. “My wife and I when my kids were growing up we went to national parks every chance we got.”

National park fans Bobbi Bode and her husband Dan traveled from Washington state to see the park

“I had never seen saguaros bloom before so we came and some of them are blooming,” she said.

Bode said the outdoors is a way for them to wind down from daily busyness.

“There’s something about being out here,” she said. “You have to be in the moment you can’t be worrying about everything else.”

She hopes others will see the beauty and peace of Saguaro National Park. National Park Week continues through April 30th.



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