Get voted a local landmark, and it doesn’t take long for people to start talking about you. The Salt River horses, which just nabbed the “Best East Valley Landmark” award in the Tribune’s 2013 Best of East Valley reader poll, will be mentioned in an “All About Wild Horses” question and answer session 6 p.m. Friday, June 14, in the Nature Center at Usery Mountain Regional Park in Mesa.
Ranger Brennan Basler will touch on the horses that roam the Lower Salt River Recreation Area and where best to see them.
“We don’t have any in our park; however, they have been crossing the Bush Highway and entering into the area just north of our park,” writes Basler, in an email to the Tribune.
The hourlong session will primarily cover wild horses in general, delving into their extinction about 10,000 years ago, their re-introduction to America over the past 400 years and domestication by humans.
“... [W]ild horses are a symbol of the American West, and there are so many fascinating things to learn about them,” writes Basler.
Attendees are welcome to bring a sack dinner to the program, which is followed by optional tack-on activities. Staff will feed the Nature Center’s snakes after the program, and a guided, 1-mile “Animal Flashlight Walk” departs at 7:30 p.m. at no extra cost.
The wild horses session is part of the “County Parks are getting Wet ‘n’ Wild this Summer” promotion. At the end of the session, staff will give away a four-pack of tickets to Wet ‘n’ Wild Water Park, a $160 value.
The park is at 3939 N. Usery Pass Road in Mesa. The entry fee is $6 per vehicle. For information, call (480) 984-0032 or visit Maricopa.gov/parks/usery.