Through a partnership between the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department and the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation (ACNC), an Arizona non-profit, the South Mountain Environmental Education Center (SMEEC) has re-opened.
The facility is a hub for guests exploring the park/preserve that it calls home as well as a gathering place for the community to learn about plants, animals, natural history and the conservation needs of the Sonoran Desert. It also is a popular destination for school field trips.
What You’ll Find at SMEEC!
No visit to South Mountain Park is complete without a stop at SMEEC. Whether you’re looking for tips to enjoy family, friends or solo time in the Park, a deeper understanding of the plants, animals and history of South Mountain or a place to hold your next memorable private event, SMEEC has something for everyone.
Let us help you plan your adventure in South Mountain Park. Our friendly staff can recommend a trail to suit your time and skills and our gift shop is stocked with all your basic outdoor recreational needs including trail maps, sunblock, water bottles and more. Our Visitor Center provides a climate-controlled space for a quick rest or a good conversation about adventures ahead.
Interpretive exhibits inside the Visitor Center and along the fully accessible trail just outside the Center’s doors offer an introduction to the history of South Mountain, the Park Preserve and the plants and animals found there. You’ll also find interactive activity stations with hands-on exploration that is fun for all ages. Interpretive talks with South Mountain Park Rangers and education staff from Arizona Center for Nature Conservation are also available on a regular schedule.
At SMEEC we offer a variety of affordable educational programs for children, families, adults and school groups of all sizes and sorts. Explore the fascinating world of South Mountain Park and the Sonoran Desert through science investigations, hands-on activities, art, nature play and so much more – you can even spend the night at SMEEC. Our programs for schools are aligned with Arizona K – 12 Academic Standards and all of our programs are inclusive for anyone with a desire to have fun and learn in nature.