Oracle State Park program

Val Bembenek

In celebration of Cultural Awareness Month, a presentation on gathering and preparation of traditional Apache foods will be held Saturday, March 14 at Oracle State Park Center for Environmental Education. The event begins at noon with Herb Stevens, San Carlos Apache and Cultural Center Director.

It’s free with park admission at the gate on Mt. Lemmon Road in Oracle. Reservations are recommended by calling the park office at 1-520-896-2425.

The family friendly program will highlight the use of acorn powder and acorn soup along with using sumac berries to make Apache Kool-Aid.

The park, which is located in the high desert oak grasslands foothills at 4,500 feet elevation, has a variety of plant resources that continue to be collected and used in traditional ways by native peoples of the region for medicine and food. Notable examples are Mesquite pods, lemonade berry sumac bush and edible acorns from Emory Oak and Arizona White Oak trees.

These plants are easily viewed along the 15 miles of multi-use hiking trails at the park, including four miles of the National Scenic Arizona Trail.

Oracle State Park is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Free guided tours of the historic Kannally Ranch House are scheduled at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. both days. For a full listing of upcoming events and activities, go to