Peralta Park, other planned Pinal County open space, trails to be discussed Wednesday

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Kent Taylor, Pinal County's director of the Open Space and Trails Department, is responsible for not only implementing plans for development of regional parks and trails, but managing the existing inventory.

Mr. Taylor is the featured speaker for the 6:30 p.m. Feb. 26 SALT Speakers Series in Room B-117 at the Apache Junction Multi-generational Center, 1035 N. Idaho Road. The series is co-sponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust and the Apache Junction Parks and Recreation Department, according to a release.

Talks are held on most second and fourth Wednesdays October-April. All are free and geared for the public. SALT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Go to azsalt.org.

Among topics Mr. Taylor will cover Wednesday are the current status and plans for nearby Peralta Regional Park and Lost Goldmine Trail, Palo Verde Regional Park near Maricopa, San Tan Regional Park, the 50 miles of the Arizona National Scenic Trail within the county, four community parks and West Pinal Park near Stanfield.

The opening of the first segment of the Central Arizona Project National Recreation Trail --- 10.5 miles north from the Pinal/Pima border --- has afforded non-motorized trail users views of the Tortolita and Picacho Mountains. When completed, the 100 miles of the trail within the county will connect the communities of Red Rock, Eloy, Coolidge, Florence and Apache Junction. Plans call for the Trail to be con-structed along the entire 336 mile length of the canal, making it the second-longest in the state, the release states

Mr. Taylor is an avid hiker and mountain biker, completing the entirety of the Arizona National Scenic Trail. He is a certified park and recreation professional through the National Park and Recreation Association. Prior to joining Pinal County in 2006, he was a small-business owner for 16 years. His volunteer involvement includes: Current member, Arizona Outdoor Coordinating Commission; current board member, Arizona Heritage Alliance; current board member and past president and treasurer, Arizona Trail Association; past chairman, City of Casa Grande Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission; and past chairman, Arizona State Committee on Trails.

Mr. Taylor has an MPA from Troy University and a bachelor's degree and master's degree from Northern Arizona University.

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