On December 9, Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® (SAAR) President & CEO, Rebecca Grossman, interviewed Christine Kovach, Board Chair, and Sam Campana, Executive Director, from the Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale (DDCS) to get some answers as to: What the Desert Discovery Center is? How will it enhance the community? Why is this project important to Scottsdale?
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve/Desert Discovery Center is one of the “signature” ongoing projects for the City of Scottsdale. The vision of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve has been a project 30 years in the making. Through an understanding and appreciation for our Sonoran Desert, the 30,200 acres of land (the largest urban preserve in the United States) have been protected through a variety of citizen-led initiatives, most notably with the creation of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve Commission in 1994. It stretches from directly within the City of Scottsdale out to the Tonto National Forest, Fort McDowell Regional Park and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Reservation.
The Desert Discovery Center, in addition to establishing a “gateway” into the preserve, is also set to be an interpretive, educational facility and research center that enhances the McDowell Sonoran Preserve experience for residents, tourists, families, students and researchers. Citizens already enjoy hiking, biking and horseback riding within the preserve, but the final piece of the overall experience — the Desert Discovery Center — has yet to be completed.
Part of the “next steps” in the process to completing this enormous endeavor is, on January 11, 2016, Scottsdale City Councilmembers will be voting on a management contract with the Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale (DDCS), a non-profit organization established specifically to oversee the Desert Discovery Center, to be the operator of the facility, provider of programs, experiential exhibits, volunteers and staff. Once completed, the DDC is planned to be a self-sustaining entity, requiring the daily oversight and management of an operator to handle all of the facility’s needs. Until it is built however, the facility operator/management team is needed for input and facilitation of the final design and construction of the Center, which is why it is critical that a management agreement be approved for the project to continue to move forward.
The Scottsdale Area Association of REALTORS® (SAAR) is a strong advocate and supporter of protecting Private Property Rights, Homeownership, Economic Development, and the Environment. In 2014, the Association voted to support the McDowell Sonoran Preserve / Desert Discovery Center project. As advocates for the DDC, on January 11, 2016, we encourage all Scottsdale Residents to show their support for the Desert Discovery Center Scottsdale.
For more information, visit www.ScottsdaleDesertCenter.com