The Maricopa Community Services Department has a plan to offer Maricopa residents educational and outdoor excursions through the Copper Sky Multigenerational Complex.
Specifics for the Maricopa Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Education (M.O.R.E.E.) program costs have not been defined, but initial plans include 12 trips for a wide range of outdoor experiences. Equipment rental and camping fees are included in trip costs, and any equipment not in use for a trip will be available to rent through Copper Sky.
“The goal of this is to add some additional programs that fit a need,” department coordinator Josh Bowman said. “The overall goal of M.O.R.E.E. is it strives to increase health and wellbeing while enhancing the Maricopa community as a whole. By utilizing outdoor environments, we give participants a positive outlook for self expression and discovery.”
At their Dec. 1 meeting, the city council members showed support for the program, but Vincent Manfredi had concerns about the cost to get the program started and the need for the program at all.
“We’re going to spend a lot of money on camping gear in hopes of getting a return on that investment through the renting of that gear,” Manfredi said. “For me, it seems we haven’t learned our lesson about buying stuff and trying to rent it out for money.”
City Manager Gregory Rose said that issue would be brought back for a work session.
“I for one am actually very supportive of this,” Mayor Christian Price said. “One of the things we are always trying to do at Copper Sky is provide more value to our customers. While I understand there is a capital outlay here, if the numbers add up to where there is a cost recovery that goes into it, how is that any different than what we do at Copper Sky currently?”
Bowman said six participants would be needed to allow each trip to break even, and trips would be cancelled without that minimum met.
The Community Services Department is expected to bring the M.O.R.E.E. program back to city council after adjustments are made to the program’s budget.
M.O.R.E.E. Proposed Programs
Jan. 26 Birding Trip
Feb. 6 Camelback Day Hike
Feb. 9 Biosphere 2
Feb. 20 & 27 Wilderness and Remote First Aid
Feb. 23 Phoenix Science Center
March 5-6 Reavis Ranch Backpacking
March 8 Kartchner Caverns
March 12-20 National Parks of Utah
March 22 Canyon Lake Dolly Boat Tour
March 29 Sedona & Montezuma Castle
This story appeared in the January issue of InMaricopa News.