The Homestead Sees Major Stewardship Improvements, Needs Additional Support

03/23/2016

Less than a year after the Access Fund’s purchase of a critical access point to The Homestead in central Arizona, we’re pleased to report that we have completed significant access improvements. However, we need additional support to ensure permanent protection of this incredible climbing area.

This past December, Access Fund, Climbing Association of Southern Arizona (CASA) crew leaders, and 50 volunteers built a half-mile of new trail, 10 new tent pads, 13 additional parking spots, a new educational kiosk, and five fire rings. Access Fund also worked with the state of Arizona and a local rancher to obtain permission to repair the worst section of road on State Trust land. Thanks to the hard work of a volunteer backhoe operator, climbers can now drive standard sport utility vehicles up the road, shortening the approach considerably. This is a major improvement to the once nearly impassable section of road.

“We’re thrilled with these much-needed improvements,” says Access Fund Stewardship Director Ty Tyler. “Thanks to the support of the Arizona climbing community, the Homestead is on the path to long-term sustainability.”

In under a year, a coalition of local climbing organizations, non-profits, and businesses have raised $75,000 towards the $235,000 fundraising goal to permanently protect and steward The Homestead. A huge thanks to Climb 4 a Cause, Climbing Association of Southern Arizona, Concerned Climbers of Arizona, Conservation Alliance, Phoenix Rock Gym, and the many individuals who’ve donated and stepped up to help fundraise.

In the summer of 2015, the Access Fund secured temporary ownership of this critical access point to The Homestead to save the area from indefinite closure. Access was imminently threatened when the bank foreclosed on a piece of private property that overlapped key portions of the access road, trailhead, and first few dozen routes. With over 250 sport climbs on 12 limestone walls, The Homestead is one of the best winter limestone climbing areas in the country, boasting true “tufa” sport routes. With support from Arizona climbing organizations and public land managers, Access Fund utilized $152,000 of short-term financing from the Access Fund Climbing Conservation Loan Program to cover initial acquisition costs.

There is a long road ahead to permanent protection of The Homestead, and Access Fund needs additional support from the climbing community to save this incredible climbing destination in the Sonoran Desert. Once fundraising and improvements are complete, Access Fund will transfer the holdings to a long-term climbing-friendly entity.

If you’re a local Tucson climber, Public Brewhouse invites you to an afternoon of bluegrass music, barbecuing, and brews on Saturday March 26 to raise money to save the Homestead.

You can donate to The Homestead today at www.accessfund.org/homestead.