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Home / 2017 Leaders of the Year / Kartchner Caverns State Park

Kartchner Caverns State Park

Photo courtesy of Kartchner Caverns

Photo courtesy of Kartchner Caverns

Kartchner Caverns State Park is alive. A wonder of nature whose story began 330 million years ago, the speleothems formations inside Kartchner Caverns are still growing. In addition, it is home to bats and microbes that may have anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties. The cave, located near Benson, has been part of the National Science Foundation’s Microbial Observatory Program since 2006. James Meza, the hydrogeological resource program manager at the Arizona State Parks & Trails, said the cave has been hailed as a hallmark of living cave conservation. “The monitoring and maintenance efforts above and below the surface, employed by KCSP, has kept the caverns alive and continuing to grow,” Meza said. Recently, he added, KCSP was designated a Dark Sky Park, a designation that advances awareness of light pollution and which made it a state issue.

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