Fire Restrictions in effect for Saguaro National Park
Due to increased fire danger in southern Arizona, Saguaro National Park will implement fire restrictions in both the Rincon and Tucson Mountain Districts, beginning Wednesday, May 22, 2013. More »
Bottled water no longer for sale in Saguaro National Park
Water bottle filling stations have been installed at both visitor centers and the Rincon Mountain District bike ramada for visitors to refill their reusable water bottles. A variety of BPA-free waterbottles are available inside the visitor centers. More »
Tucson Mountain District (west) road re-opened
The Golden Gate Road has been re-opened north of Sendero-Esperanza and is is now rated for high clearance vehicles due to the rough nature of the terrain. More »
Reduce, ReUse and REFILL
Saguaro National Park joined a growing number of parks and universities no longer using vending machines to sell disposable bottled water or soda on site. According to the EPA, over 1,125,000,000 pints of bottled water were sold in the United States in 2011. The EPA estimates that less than 15% of those plastic water bottles are recycled; the rest go into landfills or are discarded as litter.
Saguaro National Park has long been committed to recycling plastic and aluminum, saving 61,500 pounds of recyclable waste from landfills in 2010 alone. However, transporting disposable bottles to be recycled also costs money, time and gasoline. The park could eliminate up to 40% of what is currently recycled; about 15% of the park's total waste stream. Saguaro conducted a thorough analysis of the potential impacts of eliminating the sale of disposable bottled water and soda, and determined that the more sustainable solution is to provide new water bottle filling stations for visitors to refill their own reusable containers.
"The use of disposable plastic bottles has significantly greater environmental impacts compared to the use of local tap water and re-fillable bottles", said Superintendent Darla Sidles. "Implementing this action will help the park reduce its environmental footprint".
There are new water bottle filling stations located at each visitor center as well as the Rincon Mountain District bike ramada. BPA free, reusable water bottles are available for purchase in either visitor center.
Did You Know?
Gila monsters are one of two venomous lizards in the world. The other is the similar Mexican beaded lizard. Gila monster venom evolved as a defensive rather than offensive weapon.