To Friends Of
Cave Creek Canyon

Education Outreach Success!


We wrote in the October newsletter, the mission  statement of Friends of Cave Creek Canyon states "Our Mission is to inspire appreciation and understanding of the beauty, biodiversity and legacy of Cave Creek Canyon through volunteer work and outreach programs."

It has long been a desire for FOCCC to be able to offer a program with a
curriculum that meets Arizona educational requirements and provides a fun and educational program for bringing children and nature back together.

We are very fortunate to have Carol Frischmann to lead our program.   Carol is a retired teacher living in Portal and also author of many children's nature books and articles.  She is a birder, a naturalist and former Audubon chapter president.

Carol and Cecil Williams have developed an outreach program, meeting Arizona requirements.  We have had students from Apache School a,d San Simon Middle School come to Portal for outreach programs.  The clouds ruined the San Simon astronomy viewing, but they still were educated about the stars and telescopes by Rick Beno.   
We have visited Apache School and have had two Outreach activities with the students of Apache School in Cave Creek Canyon. They wrote some very interesting comments about their adventure. You will enjoy them, as also did.

Trip to the Visitor Center
       Written by Apache School Students   
On Thursday, Oct.  11 we got off the bus and met the Friends of Cave Creek Canyon Ms. Frischmann and Mrs. Williams.  They put us in groups of two and we identified the trees they had marked.  Then, the groups talked about the trees and the leaves that matched the trees.  Next we did sun pictures where we placed the leaves on special paper to make a design.  Then we placed glass over the leaves and let the sun shine on it.  We waited three minutes. 

We could not believe our eyes at our pictures. How exciting and amazing to see our leaf design as we removed the glass and leaves off the paper.

We had lunch and took a hike as we talked about the leaves and trees we learned. Last thing we did was take leaves and placed them on laminating paper. Mrs. Williams uses a laminating machine to preserve our leaf design.

"Thank you Ms. Frischmann, Mrs. Williams, and the Friends of Cave Creek Canyon for letting us experience the wonders of the sun, trees and nature. What a marvelous day in Portal."
  Students comments:
  • Olivia: "I learned about all the different types of trees. 
  •  I got to see bear scat and the acorns in it.
  • When asked if people should come to Portal and see what she did, Olivia said "Yes! Portal is fun, pretty and you can learn about the birds."
  • Evalynn: "sometimes the heat evaporates the water in  the creek and we can't see it but it is still running underground.  The water will come up in different places in the creek."
  • Eli: "I learned what hawks sound like, what bear scat looked like, and what a coatimundi is.  I discovered an acorn and a berry. These items are food for squirrels, bears, chipmunks,birds and coatimundis."

Taking STEM Outdoors in December
             by Carol Frischmann

[Solar Viewing at Rick & Vicki Beno's Observatory
with Jack Newton]

On December 13, in a cold, north wind, Apache School students, parent chaperones, their teacher, Loy Guzman, astronomer  Jack Newton , FOCCC Education Coordinator Carol Frischmann, and FOCCC Board Member Cecil Williams gathered at Rick Beno's observatory to study the sun and how the sun creates the  Goldilocks zone  conditions that allow us to live on Earth.

Jack Newton explained that the sun, a star now in the quiet time in its  11-year cycle , sends heat and light to Earth in an average of 8.2 seconds.  By looking through a telescope equipped with a filter that makes viewing the otherwise damaging sun safe, our group took our first steps towards becoming  astronomers . Students saw the sun's diameter, more than 100 times the diameter of our planet, and most were able to see the one  solar prominence  that was larger than the diameter of Earth.   We learned about a something called the  Carrington Effect  which could be responsible for taking all of us "off the grid." We also discussed the  aurora borealis , a visible effect of solar activity.

   Al though we saw amazing sights and learned a lot about the sun, what students did best was ask amazing questions.  Asking good questions is turning our favorite elementary students into developing scientists.

The FOCCC Education Outreach Program, 
"Taking STEM Outdoors" 
is made possible by YOUR gifts to the Gerry Hernbrode Fund 
a grant from the Arizona Community Foundation.

Outside the students viewed the sun through a different scope.  Here they saw the pure white light of the sun.

Inside the dome, it was a tight fit with 7 students, parents, Carol and Cecil, along with Jack, had a wonderful  learning experience viewing the sun 
and a solar prominence.                


The pilot [initial] year entails a much larger expense that future years.  The curricula must be developed and revised after testing,  equipment   [binoculars, spotting scope, portable microscope, tablets, etc.] must be purchased, developing additional  contacts with other schools and the state, developing a Google Classroom for other schools to be able to partake in our programs and developing different activities for each month.

 Pilot Year Costs are estimated to be                   $35,000
Great News is that we have received an
Initiative [Grant] from The Arizona
Community Foundation                                         $25,000
Prior donations and the proceeds from
the Annual Meeting  auction                                   $  5,000

REMAINDER NEEDED                                $5,000

FOCCC rarely asks you for a donation.

[They both need it]

Please send your donation to PO Box 16126, Portal, AZ   85632

Thanks for your support.  Any questions send to mike@foccc.org

At the 2018 Annual Meeting the below were elected
as members of the board for 2019

FOCCC 2019 Officers and Board

Reed Peters         President                                            Other Board Members  
Sheri Ashley        Vice President                           Bob Ashley     Wynne Brown  
Mike Williams      Vice President 
                       Alan Craig     Rene Donaldson
Rick Beno 
Rolf Koford         Kim Vacariu
Stevie Wayman    Secretary
  Cecil Williams




Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon
PO Box 16126
Portal, Arizona 85632


Visit Our Website 



Thanks to our "Sustainer's Circle" members 
for their generous support:  
Tom Arny, Bob and Bettina Arrigoni, Nancy and Thomas Denney, Mary George, Renata Golden, Bill and Sally Hague, Paul Hirt and Linda Jakse, Don Hollister, Pi Irwin and Zsombor Zoltan, Ken Jenkins, Leuthold Family Foundation,  Barbara Lounsbery,  Patrick McNamara, John and Karin McQuillan, Barbara and Pete Miller, Patricia Parran, CeCe Raak, Tom Roseman and Paula Baldwin, Delia Scholes, Donald and Martha Squire and Bob and Sherry Zoellick.

Please support our Business Members  who  have given generously to Friends Of Cave Creek Canyon.  Without their assistance, we would be hard pressed to accomplish our goals. Click on their names to check out their websites.    
                 Cave Creek Ranch                           Chiricahua Desert Museum
             Naturalist Journeys, LLC                                   Orchid Davis   
                 Sky Island Rolfing                                           Wynne Brown 
                  Chiricahua Gallery                                   Ol' Morani Ranch
            Debbie's CleaningService                       Ed Newbold Wildlife Artist
                     Quailway Cottage                                    Sky Island Lodge
                     Roger Funk                                      The George Walker House                    Painted Pony Resort                             Portal Peak Store and Lodge
            Daussin & Associates                                 Sky Islands Grill & Grocery
                  Casa Petra Vera
Business Memberships start at just $50.00!