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Oracle State Park
Oracle State Park

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Oracle State Park is a 4,000 acre wildlife refuge in the northern foothills of the Catalina Mountains. The park offers day-use picnic areas and over 15 miles of trails for use by hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. A section of the Arizona Trail crosses through the park. And it is a designated International Dark Sky Park.

Oracle State Park also serves as a Center for Environmental Education and provides programming for all ages. Interactive programs for school groups are offered by reservation. These programs are conducted along trails, so students learn about habitat and the interrelationships between plants, animals, and people.

The Kannally Ranch House
The original 160-acre ranch was purchased by Neil and Lee Kannally in 1903. The two brothers were later joined by three other family members (sisters Lucile and Mary, and brother Vincent) and the ranch grew to almost 50,000 acres.

Initially, the Kannallys slept in a small adobe cottage on the original 160 acres, but later a second cottage was built for Mary and Lucile. The present Kannally Ranch House was built in 1929-1932 and is of Mediterranean Revival Style with Moorish influences, patterned on Italianate villas of the 1920s.

Following the death of Lucile Kannally in 1976, the ranch was willed to the Defenders of Wildlife, which later deeded the ranch to the Arizona State Parks Board. The newly renamed Oracle State Park: Center for Environmental Education is a 4,000-acre wildlife refuge and environmental learning center for school and adult groups. The park facilities were designed to be compatible with the ranch’s natural surroundings and also to provide access for individuals with special needs.

The Friends of Oracle State Park raises funds for the restoration, preservation and operation of this historic Ranch House and its grounds at Oracle State Park.

Some of the many projects completed with the help of the Friends include:

Refinishing and painting the doors and shutters on the house.
Landscaping the courtyards and patios.
Sanding and refinishing a bench hand carved by Lucile Kannally.
Erecting a large metal shed to safely store ranch artifacts.
Repairing damaged plaster.
Refinishing a carved combination bench/table.
Installing brick paving in the front plaza.
Furnishing draperies for the living room.
Providing volunteer gardeners for the grounds.
Painting the ranch house perimeter wall.
Sanding and refinishing floors on the office level.
Ongoing and future plans for repairs, maintenance and restoration include:

Exterminate the termites
Eliminate bat entry and clean rafters above living room
Repair window and shutter woodwork
Repair cracked plaster above living-room door
Install a solar power/pump at the animal waterhole
Outside Adobe wall paint – lime-base wash
Paint outside doors of the Ranch House
Paint homestead, cottage and tool shed
Repair waterlines and install a septic system at the Ranch House
Restore the Ranch windmill
Restore hand-painted paint in bathroom, solarium, bookcases
Archive photos, films, journals, and history to CD / DVD
Produce copies of archived materials for viewing
Professionally preserve the KannallyÕs belongings (museum quality)
Restore the homestead / cottages (bedroom quarters) to original 1900s appearance

Image: Chuck Nugent – Used under Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0