Buffelgrass is an invasive species that is extremely flammable and dangerous for the ecosystem of the Sonoran Desert. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum spearheads Buffelgrass removal efforts along with other invasive species. What can you do? Learn to identify Buffelgrass, be sure your property is free of it, educate neighbors, participate in a Buffelgrass pull, and help keep our scenic routes free from Buffelgrass. Visit the Desert Museum's "Save Our Saguaros" website page to learn more. To sign up for a Buffelgrass pull click HERE.
Gates Pass is rattlesnake country!
What to do if bitten. While rattlesnakes are part of life in Arizona, following two simple rules will prevent almost all bites: 1. Look before you step or reach (includes using a flashlight in the dark) and 2. Leave rattlesnakes alone when you encounter them. Despite their reputation, these creatures want nothing to do with something our size but will quickly bite defensively when bothered.
So, what should you do if someone is bitten by a rattlesnake? It’s simple: go to a hospital emergency room without delay. The only effective treatment is antivenom and first aid measures only waste time. Tissue damage begins immediately when the venom is injected and antivenom cannot repair damage, it can only neutralize venom before it finds its target tissue.
In GPANA’s area, I would call 9-1-1 since paramedics will get you safely through traffic to an appropriate hospital. In Tucson, I would prefer to be treated at Banner-University Medical Center (1625 N. Campbell Avenue, just north of Speedway; follow signs to “Emergency”). It is not only a Level-I Trauma Center but is home to the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center with true envenomation experts who managed the clinical trials for both rattlesnake antivenoms currently licensed by the FDA. In fact, you can always call the Poison Center with questions at 800-222-1222 or check out their website at azpoison.com.
Mike Cardwell, MS
Adjunct Researcher, San Diego State University
Consulting Biologist, AZ Poison and Drug Information Center
Feliz Paseos Park and Leash Laws: Did You Know?
Dog owners! Fines can be quite steep for running your dog unleashed and/or neglecting to pick up after your dog in public areas. Please read the attached doc so you can stay informed. Click Here.
The Importance of a dark Tucson sky
It's the motto of the Boy Scouts and the title of a very funny Tom Lehrer song. But the link below contains serious information on preparing for disasters that could affect local infrastructure for a prolonged period of time. In this area, it could mean a power outage, excessive heat, water failure, fire, monsoon flooding, or winter's freezing temperatures. Committing to a plan in response to an emergency will help bring peace of mind should disaster strike. Go-bag anyone?
Click Here to go to a hospital listing, provided with permission by Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, of medical centers closest to our area.
Urgent Care Centers close to the Gates Pass Area:
Northwest Urgent Care Speedway (4.8 miles)
1370 North Silverbell Road 170, Tucson, AZ 85745
Concentra Urgent Care (6.1 miles)
2301 North Forbes Blvd. Suite 111, Tucson, AZ 85745
Banner Urgent Care (14 miles)
5545 East Broadway Blvd. Suite 101, Tucson, AZ 85711
Tips to improve internet service in our area
GPANA president Denise Garland shares her experience on how she and her husband were able to improve internet service for their home on Tucson's westside:
Many of us have experienced unreliable and poor internet speed. Recently my husband and I researched new providers (other than what we had with CenturyLink). We settled on T-Mobile, which I am not telling you to go with, but instead I learned some tips to help you find an internet provider that is best for you. I am not an expert, but hope the information I am sharing will help. Please check out the following tips, and good luck!!
1. Make time to call multiple internet providers. Many of them do not have current information on their websites. We found that was the case with T-Mobile. When we called, despite the website saying they could not help us, they told us on the phone they could.
2. Ask the providers about how they give you internet. 5G towers are the best now. Ask about where the closest towers are (line of site) for your location. If you can't see the towers from your house you may not get a strong signal.
3. If you get a poor signal when you change providers ask about buying and installing an external antenna. Some providers will not be able to sell or install an external antenna, but we found that Wave Form makes a 2x2 Mimo External Panel Antenna. This antenna was a major project to install on our roof, but we now have AMAZING upload and download speeds.
4. Ask questions. If you don't get good customer service or a low price, move on to another company. It's a competitive, ever changing industry.
Please Note: Mountain Gardens neighbor Joe Rottman has done vast research about options for high-performing internet so feel free to reach out to him with questions by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Garland, President, GPANA
Dangerously Venomous Animals
Member Mike Cardwell, a well known rattlesnake expert, has written an informative summary on the venomous animals found in the Tucson Mountains. A reminder for long-time residents, but important reading for new residents not familiar with our local critters. Please share with new neighbors. Click the image below to be taken to the full story and print for future reference.
Should you have an emergency in our area, call 911. Your call will be directed to the proper authority. For your information, Northwest Fire Station 35 at 3220 N Camino De Oeste is our closest fire station. Our closest Sheriff's office is not so close, it's the Foothills District Office - 7300 N. Shannon Rd. (520) 351-6311. Click here to see maps.
AZ Native and Exotic Toxic Plants
Board Member Tony Knight is a Veterinarian and Pima County Master Gardener. He shares with us an informative article he wrote for "The Plant Press," a publication of the The Arizona Native Plant Society. Read it here!
Wildlife Neighbors, Tucson Mountains
Our wildlife neighbors are an interesting and diverse bunch of creatures. They adapted to life in these arid lands long before we arrived. See the links below for what you can expect to see in our Sonoran Desert.
Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling
Because our Gates Pass area sits outside the Tucson City Limits, residents need to employ a solid waste hauler. Waste Management and RAD are two of the major solid waste haulers servicing our area. At this time, Waste Management does allow clean glass, without a lid, in the recycling bin. This may not be the case with other haulers. You can also opt to self-haul your glass to the El Rio Center, 1390 Speedway, or the Westside Police Substation, 1310 Miracle Mile. These would be the closest glass recycling stations to our west side.
Info on Waste and Recycling in Pima County: Click Here
Info on Hazardous Waste and how to dispose of it: Click Here