Dorothy Stinson fourth graders participate in Earth Day service at EAC Discovery Park 

Contributed Photo: Fourth-grade students from Dorothy Stinson Elementary School participate in an Earth Day project at EAC’s Discovery Park Campus.

Contributed Article

THATCHER — Eastern Arizona College’s Discovery Park welcomed Dorothy Stinson 4th Grade students from Mrs. Evans’, Mrs. Donaldson’s, and Mrs. Ramirez’s classes for a project to celebrate Earth Day last month.

Contributed Article: The class diligently works on cleaning up the desert area.

Since 1970, “Earth Day” has been observed on April 22, to raise awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources.  EAC Discovery Park was honored to host students from Dorothy Stinson’s 4th grade for a service project to renew the trails from the main observatory down to the Discovery Pond and Ranch House Conference Facility. 

“The students leveled the walkways and lined them with large stones along the sloping trails where heavy rain can create cuts on hillsides and rushing rainwater erodes dirt, smaller rocks, and native plants,” said EAC Discovery Park director, Paul Anger. The students also observed previously built erosion dams made of rocks and vegetation.  “These rock dams slow the flow of the rainwater and allow the dirt and sediments to settle and accumulate back onto the ground instead of rushing down and carving out deep canyons,” he explained. The erosion dams also hold the water behind them and allow it to soak in, promoting plant growth that will continue to help hold the soil in place with their roots.  

The students also learned about some of the area’s native trees and bushes, and their role in the environment, including Western Honey Mesquite, White thorn, Cat-Claw Acacia, Palo Verde, Jojoba, and Creosote bush – commonly called “rain bush” for the familiar scent they emit during rain storms.

“I can’t believe how much work they were able to do in such a short time, and while having fun,” said Anger.  He also expressed his appreciation, saying, “We are really grateful for these amazing youth and their willingness to come and help on this project; one that benefits the whole community with fun, safe, trails to enjoy and explore our native habitat.”  

The “Nature’s Hide-away” Trails are open to the public every day, from dawn to dusk.  For more information on EAC’s Discovery Park, please call (928) 428-6260, or visit

Contributed Photo: Dorothy Stinson Elementary School’s fourth-grade class performs an Earth Day service project at EAC’s Discovery Park Campus.