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Preserve Trail Signs

The Sonoran Conservancy and the MMPC completed a major project this year; design and construction of an emergency rescue plan for the Preserve.

There are several styles and sizes of signs within the Fountain Hills McDowell Mountain Preserve. All are intended to provide the hiker with relevant information.

At each end of the Preserve there are large, two sided signs that welcome a hiker into the Preserve (or advise a person they are moving onto either MCO property (posted No Trespassing), or McDowell Mountain County Park. These signs offer essential information regarding specific regulations for use of the property.

Preserve welcome sign Preserve welcome sign

Preserve Welcome Signs

Next in size are those signs located at each trail head. They identify the name of the trail, state the one way distance, and the amount of elevation change. Beneath that information appears a descriptive rating of the trail (easy, moderate, difficult).

Preserve trail head sign

Preserve Trail Head Sign

Another helpful type are the directional signs that point to destinations or intersections along the preserve trails.

Preserve directional sign

Preserve Directional Sign

The most important and prevalent type of sign fortunately is also the smallest. These are known as "Emergency Markers". Each trail has a designated identification name, such as "WL" for Western Loop Trail, or "S" for the Sonoran Trail. Plus, each sign has a specific ID number. If a hiker or Steward needs to call for help they use this "EM name and number" in any communication with a 911 operator. When the operator relays the call to the nearest emergency rescue location that team will automatically translate the "name and number" from their detailed Map of the Preserve. This map provides a specific set of GPS coordinates for that EM location.

Preserve emergency marker

Preserve Emergency Marker

The combined efforts of MMPC and Sonoran Conservancy created this Security Plan. Bob Sanders designed the overall plan and EM marker locations, MMPC bought the commercially prepared sign facia. Our Town Road crew cut over 170 steel sign posts. The SC Trailblazers dug the holes, carried the cement and water needed to properly mount each sign before establishing the "GPS location"

Lastly, working with the Fountain Hills Fire Dept., the conservancy team toured the entire preserve with Captain Golden to identify specific locations he felt suitable for brining in an emergency rescue helicopter. From that step our trailblazers cleared and leveled 7 Landing Zone sights. There will be identification of these sites per Fire Department specifications.

Testing out LZ7 with FOX 1, the sheriff's rescue helo

Testing out LZ7 with FOX 1, the sheriff's rescue helo

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