State land in Carefree must be preserved

The process of formulating the next 20-year General Plan has started. It is a critical document that might impact the identity of the town that we cherish and requires our undivided attention. One element in play that we care dearly about is the 48 acre parcel of State Land tacked between the Sky Ranch Airport and The Boulders. In 2000, an Open Space Study Group identified this parcel as one of the highest priorities for purchase by the Town to preserve as open space. Unfortunately, this has not happened yet.

Two very well attended working sessions were already conducted. A survey was sent and it received an overwhelming level of responses. We gave the consultants and town personnel a very strong message about our desires to conserve that land. The question about preservation of the land in question received the highest level of support of all the topics in the survey (89.7% of all respondents). The second most desired element is preserving the current natural look and feel of our town. These represent a very strong message and will be a clear mandate for conservation, not further development. So why do our town personnel and elected officers continue to push developers to look at a parcel that they should be working to acquire and protect?

A group of neighbors highly concerned about this disconnect between mandate and actions of our town authorities got together and formed a non-profit organization, Carefree Park (, to actively work on this topic. I would like to invite you all to visit our web site and join us in this crusade. If we continue our engagement in Carefree Park and actively participate in the development of the General Plan to make sure that it results in a strong mandate to preserve this land, we might finally have a place where we can enjoy safe and pleasant hikes surrounded by the natural beauty of our piece of the Sonoran high desert.

Daniel Crespo-Dubie