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Spur Cross Expo

Spur Cross Expo    Mar 1   9:00am to 3:00pm
Spur Cross      44000 North Spur Cross Road, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
Celebrate Arizona Archaeology Month on Saturday March 1. Enjoy the outdoors at the Spur Cross Expo, sponsored by the Desert Foothills Chapter of the Arizona Archaeology Society. There will be booths from the Cave Creek Museum, the Desert Awareness Committee, Desert Foothills Land Trust, Animal Health Services and more.Listen to a talk by Tonto National Forest Archaeologist Scott Wood. Hike to archaeology sites. See live demonstrations on pottery making and flint-knapping. Pan for gold with the Cave Creek Museum Stamp Mill team.

This is a free event.

Cave Creek Museum is proud to preserve the history of the Desert Foothills.

Click here for more information about Spur Cross.


To See Home and Land in Cave Creek and shop the MLS like a Realtor, www.CarefreeProperty.com
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Spur Cross Reunion at the Cave Creek Museum

Spur Cross Reunion   
Cave Creek Museum     6140 East Skyline Drive, Cave Creek, AZ 85331
 Feb 28 4:30pm to 7:00pm
The Museum is hosting a reunion for people who helped save Spur Cross and make it the treasure that it is.  Invitees include anyone who was involved with preserving Spur Cross Ranch throughout the years.
Petroglyph in Cave Creek

The reunion will include an exhibit of artifacts from Spur Cross excavations and refreshments.

There is no charge to attend this event. However donations are always gratefully appreciated.

Please call 480-488-2764 to RSVP.

Cave Creek Museum is proud to preserve the history of the Desert Foothills.

To See Home and Land in Cave Creek and shop the MLS like a Realtor, www.CarefreeProperty.com
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Kiwanis Club of Carefree Scholarship Opportunities

•Since 1986, more than $1,132,000 in scholarships awarded.
• For more information call: 480-488-8400

Available Awards:

These financial opportunities are available to high school seniors living in or attending school in the Cave Creek Unified School District, including home schooled students.

In 2014 Carefree Kiwanis will offer the following scholarship or merit award opportunities:

• Two – Scully 4 Year Scholarships for $2,000 per semester up to eight semesters (total $16,000)

• Two – 2 year Community College or Vocation Scholarships for $1,000 per semester up to four semesters (total $4,000).

• One one-time Math Merit Award of $1,000.

• One one-time Science Merit Award of $1,000

• One one-time Bruce Hilsee Scholarship of $2,500 for International Relations

•   One one-time Key Club Community Service Award (Open to Kiwanis Key Club Members only) of $1,000

All materials are due to the Kiwanis Scholarship Committee postmarked on or before March 15, 2014.


To See Home and Land in Cave Creek and shop the MLS like a Realtor, www.CarefreeProperty.com


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Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolate and Art


Feb 13th  12-5pm    Feb 14th-16th 10am-5pm
San Francisco Chocolate Company Assorted ConfectionsSan Francisco Chocolate Company Assorted Confections


The Town of Carefree will celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend with the 3rd Annual Carefree Festival of Fine Chocolates and Fine Art.

The four-day festival runs February 13-16, beginning on Thursday from 12:00 noon till 5:00pm and continuing Friday through Sunday, 10:00am till 5:00pm. The festival takes place at 101 Easy Street, at the Carefree Desert Gardens and Sanderson Lincoln Pavilion.

This free event is fun for the whole family, or the perfect stop before a romantic getaway. Stock up on confectionery treats for your sweethearts and reserve a truffle or two for later.

With up to 100 exhibitors of fine art, chocolate and other confections, the Carefree Fine Chocolate and Fine Art Festival will satisfy every sweet tooth.

This year’s featured chocolatier is the San Francisco Chocolate Factory. Known for creating small batches with only the finest ingredients, the San Francisco Chocolate Factory believes that fresh chocolate really does taste better.

San Francisco Chocolate Company - Chocolate & Caramel covered ApplesSan Francisco Chocolate Company – Chocolate & Caramel covered Apples

Other confectioners include W-Xocolati Fine Chocolates, and It’s a Devine Bakery.that fresh chocolate really does taste better. Other confectioners include W-Xocolati Fine Chocolates, and It’s a Devine Bakery.

Over 10,000 visitors are expected to attend, with live entertainment including romantic music and songs by local talents Lauren Riley and Doug Reynolds, the Dakota Kid and our own dancing grannies, the Desert Cactus Kickers.   Make this Valentine’s Day an unforgettable weekend in beautiful Carefree, where the romance and beauty of the desert is on display, along with the finest confections!

The festival is presented by the Town of Carefree and Magic Bird Festivals, (www.magicbirdfestivals.com).

To See Home and Land in Cave Creek and shop the MLS like a Realtor, www.CarefreeProperty.com
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LANDSCAPING TIPS at Carefree Desert Gardens



      If you are planning to landscape your property or just have a corner that needs a “WOW” make-over into a more natural, appealing space, we have just the person for you. 

      Carefree Desert Gardens invites you to meet Tom Gatz.  Tom, a retired wildlife biologist, horticultural aide in the education department at the Desert Botanical Garden and certified desert landscaper, will share his knowledge gained over the past 20 years. His emphasis will be on landscaping smaller areas to provide that  “WOW” factor by planting with year-round color and contrast.  Tom is a very entertaining speaker who also writes monthly articles with topics varying from landscaping, cactus, succulents, to birds and bonsai.  His garden, which illustrates his exceptional skills at growing and design, has been featured in Phoenix Home & Garden magazine, The Sonoran Quarterly, magazine of the Desert Botanical Garden, and other wildlife and urban publications.

     Join on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.  The program will run approximately until noon at the Town Council Chambers located in the U.S. Post Office Building, 100 Easy Street, Carefree.  As our goal is to be self-supporting, a $5.00 (or more) donation is appreciated.  Seating is limited, so come early.  For information call480-488-3686.

flowersHomes for sale in Carefree


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Bird Watching in Cave Creek AZ

Stalking Creepers in Cave Creek

Butlers Birds Blog Post:
 This weekend I went up to Cave Creek and the Mt. Humboldt area with a couple of specific targets. I needed to add Fox Sparrow, somewhat embarrassingly, to my AZ state list, and I wanted to try for better photos of Townsend’s Solitaire and Cedar Waxwing than the pitiful stuff I have so far. Fortuitously enough, Rackensack Canyon, near Mt. Humboldt in Cave Creek, and the Seven Springs Recreation Area some 8 miles further down Cave Creek road, cater to all of theseneeds.
I spent the first hour or so of daylight scrounging around the scrub wash of Rackensack Canyon, getting brief glimpses and audibles of two slaty Fox Sparrows, in addition to a million billion Spotted Towhees, White-crowns, Scrub Jays, and a surprising couple of Stellars Jays and Rufous-crowned Sparrows. Early cloud cover and the high canyon ridge, plus a general lack of cooperation prohibited any photography, so I moved on to the next objective impatient and grumpy but also pressed for time.
I had some of the morning’s best birding while stopping along the Cave Creek/Seven Springs Road and surveying the juniper bushes. Excellent looks at Juncos, Sparrows, Bluebirds, and a couple of Solitaires justified the trip and the dusty car, even if they were mostly skittish when I’d pull over for better observations. Still, a little pishing near the ever-popular junipers never hurts.Here, a white-crowned Sparrow pops up to eyeball the interloper, while some Western Bluebird coloration is visible through the tangle.
Western Bluebirds were the most numerous species in the juniper hills, outnumbering even the bouncing brainless Kinglets. Given the relative commonness of this bird and their average tolerance of people, I’ve had a hard time capturing them very well on camera and actually doing justice to their pretty exquisite colors. The struggle continues.
The Seven Springs Recreation Area brings some cottonwood/sycamore riparian habitat into the juniper scrub mix, which makes for a fantastic diversity of habitats and some of the better winter birding in the greater Phoenix area. The Townsend’s Solitaries were joined by more deciduous species and plenty of prowling accipiters.

It’s a cluttered mess of an area–great for the birds and tricky to get clear observations.

Perhaps the most unsettling thing about Seven Springs is the significant and terrifying infestation of the riparian trails with Creepers. Skulking, unscrupulous, Brown, and sometimes near-invisible, these Creepers crept all along the woods, devouring insects and peep peep peeping with impunity.

Such discomfort and neck-tingles one feels in these woods, knowing they’re around. On the other hand, who am I, or we, to judge the Creeper? I spend my weekends indulging in voyeuristic hobbies of sneaking, spying and, collecting pictures (I’m still talking about birding). Perhaps we are not so different, you and I.

In another life, on another tree, I might have called you friend and ally, Mr. Creeper. Good luck to you, your creepiness. For my money, these are some of the least bird-like birds in the kingdom. They seldom fly, and not sing-songy, and act more like lizards as they scurry up and down in their brown camouflage. At any rate, it’s always nice to see them.
To See Home and Land in Cave Creek and shop the MLS like a Realtor, www.CarefreeProperty.com
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ARMLS 2013- End Of year Stats

December Report

See the increase in prices, decreases in volume….and more.

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Plant inventory reveals great diversity in Spur Cross Ranch

 A thorough inventory of the plant life  in Cave Creek’s Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area has revealed a richness in flora compared with other parks in the Maricopa County park system.HIKE0320

After five years of field work from botanist Sarah Hunkins and park ranger Kevin Smith, the flora project documented and cataloged about 390 plant species in the park.

RJ Cardin, director of Maricopa County Parks and Recreation, said Spur Cross has more plant diversity than any of the other nine parks in the system.

Out of those other parks, a 1970 study shows Lake Pleasant regional park to be the next diverse at 313 species.


Spur Cross is part of the upper Sonoran Desert in the northern part of Cave Creek with the Tonto National Forest as its northern boundary.

The elevation ranges from the bed of Cave Creek at 2,179 feet to the top of Elephant Mountain at 3,926 feet.

“The diversity is due to two main reasons — the riparian features and dramatic change in elevation,” Cardin said. “To put it into perspective, Spur Cross, which is about 2,200 acres, has more species than the White Tank Park, which is about 30,000 acres and our largest park.”

Smith said the document was published in Arizona State University’s botanical journal, “Canotia,” and has been sent out to herbarium libraries around the world.

He said at least one specimen was collected for each species, photos were taken, associated plants were noted, GPS coordinates noted, as well as other details. The complete collection of specimens is housed at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix with some duplicates at the University of Arizona Herbarium in Tucson, he said.

A presentation on the study will be presented during a Cave Creek Town Council meeting in January.

“This land has been set aside, in part, for protection of its natural resources, so knowledge of species occurrences is important,” Smith said.

Stacie Beute, Conservation Alliance Program coordinator with Desert Botanical Garden, said knowing what species exist is critical in managing the preserve in a number of areas, including funding, especially because there are very few conservation dollars available.

creek photo 010214

“Without baseline information, we may be able to say (Spur Cross) is different anecdotally, but we can’t quantify it,” she said. “We can’t properly manage what we don’t know exists.”

Spur Cross had long been a target for developers but also a point of pride for Cave Creek residents, who have put forth efforts to preserve the land since the 1990s.

In 2000, to preserve the land in perpetuity, voters overwhelmingly approved the town’s first and only property tax to acquire the land from two private entities — American Family Insurance and the Dreiseszuns, a local family, owning 70 and 30 percent, respectively.

The park is owned by the town, the state and Maricopa County. At the time of the acquisition, the three entities split the $21.3 million preserve three ways.

Mayor Vincent Francia said the county maintains and operates the park, funded by a half-percent sales tax.

In June 2012, the town wrote its final check for the conservation area that brought Cave Creek to about 50 percent open space, reflecting residents’ enduring spirit of land conservation.

Francia said the local property tax ended eight years sooner than expected due to robust construction-tax revenue and developmental impact fees collected from 2000 to 2007, before the recession.

“The flora report is an affirmation of why we fought so hard to preserve Spur Cross,” Francia said.

Preserves of Desert Foothills Land Trust

By Philip Haldiman The Republic | azcentral.com Fri Dec 20, 2013 8:52 AM


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Market Summary for December


Things quieted down during November. Demand fell but much more slowly than in October while supply rose far more slowly too.December Report

The Cromford® Market Index drifted down from 106.7 to 96.9 which represents a significant change, but less than half the drop from 126.7 we saw the month before. In most (but not all) markets buyers now have the advantage in negotiations over sellers.

A complicating factor is that November had only 18 working days, 18% fewer than October’s 22. This means we are seeing unusually low numbers for monthly totals such as closed sales and foreclosures.

Here are the basic ARMLS numbers for December 1, 2013 relative to December 1, 2012 for all areas & types:

  • Active Listings (excluding UCB): 24,043 versus 18,122 last year – up 32.7% – and up 3.1% from 23,330 last month
  • Active Listings (including UCB): 26,817 versus 23,012 last year – up 16.5% – and up 2.7% compared with 26,123 last month
  • Pending Listings: 5,965 versus 9,170 last year – down 35.0% – and down 1.4% from 6,047 last month
  • Under Contract Listings (including Pending & UCB): 8,739 versus 14,060 last year – down 37.8% – and down 1.1% from 8,840 last month
  • Monthly Sales: 5,175 versus 6,792 last year – down 23.8% – and down 15.9% from 6,152 last month
  • Monthly Average Sales Price per Sq. Ft.: $123.28 versus $105.88 last year – up 16.4% – and down 0.9% from $124.34 last month
  • Monthly Median Sales Price: $183,400 versus $155,000 last year – up 18.3% – and down 0.8% from $184,900 last month

Pending listing counts have stabilized, suggesting that we have already seen the worst of monthly sales volumes falling, especially as December has 21 working days, so will look rather good compared with November.

The average price per square foot is down a little compared with last month, but probably has some further to go before momentum runs out, because the the average $/SF for pending sales is still advancing. We still expect sales prices to stabilize in the area between $125 and $130 per square foot.

We continued to see a higher level of cancelled listings during November, but not worse than October which was the worst month since August 2011. Expired listings remain at a subdued level, well below average. List price reductions have been fewer in number for the last two weeks compared with the prior month. All these things suggest that the “soft spot” in the market is nearing an end. Supply is likely to fall for the rest of December, reversing the trend that has been in place for about 5 months.

Last month we advised watching the Cromford® Market Index to see if it would stop falling so fast and eventually turn round. It has stopped falling so fast, but has yet to turn around. We are therefore watching for a sustained increase followed by an increase in pending listing counts. If and when these signals occur we will know that the current cooling phase is over. If they do not occur soon then the current subdued market is likely to continue for some time.

Michael OrrAbout Michael Orr
The Cromford Report is owned and produced by Cromford Associates LLC, an Arizona limited liability company managed by Mike Orr and based in Mesa AZ. Mike holds a masters degree in Mathematics from the University of Oxford in England and spent 31 years in the computer industry, working for IBM, Amdahl, Splash Technology and the Santa Cruz Operation. In his most recent positions he was President of Tarantella and CEO of Mobilearia. He first started investing in real estate in 1976 and left the computer industry to focus on real estate in 2002.
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Carefree Christmas Festival is Now…Here is the Schedule of Events

Fridaylights 2

10 a.m.-9 p.m. Gift market.

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Christmas music.

3-4 p.m. Kelso Brothers Quintet.

5-9 p.m. Holiday party with Sarah Birkett.

5-9 p.m. Carriage rides along Easy Street.

5-9 p.m. Strolling carolers presented by Desert Foothills Theater.


Saturdaylights cactus

10 a.m.-9 p.m. Gift market.

10 a.m.-11 a.m. Adaptive Force Dance Studio.

11 a.m.-1 p.m. Medley of Theater Classics presented by Desert Foothills Theater.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Kiddie train.

1-2 p.m. Mrs. Claus presented by the Desert Foothills Library.

2-3 p.m. Cactus Shadows High School choir.

3-4 p.m. Live nativity and choir presented by Desert Hills Presbyterian Church.

5-9 p.m. Holiday party with DJ Robin.

6 p.m. Electric Light Parade.

8 p.m. Fireworks and Granite Mountain Hotshot salute.



10 a.m.-5 p.m. Gift market.

9 a.m.-noon Pet parade.

11 a.m.-3 p.m. Kiddie train.

12:30-1:30 p.m. Adage Dance Company.

3-5 p.m. Affinity Dance Band.

For a complete schedule: carefreechristmasfestival.com.


Homes for sale in Carefree, shop like a Realtor: www.CarefreeProperty.com

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