ASU Havasu, State Park come together for students
There is a growing synergy between Arizona Parks and Trails, Arizona State University’s Lake Havasu City campus and the Lake Havasu Marine Association.
The relationships are paying off. A Tuff Shed was placed on state land Friday at Windsor Beach that will house watercraft for ASU students to use, as well as offering student access to Lake Havasu State Park for $10 per semester.
Recently, Rich Miers, a Marine Association volunteer and member of ASU’s Citizens Advisory Group, networked with state parks personnel. Miers said the agency expressed a desire to do even more.
“State parks are very interested in what our needs are and how we can get our college students into internships and possibly working for them someday,” Miers added.
The park is an ideal place for on-the-job training with three boat ramps, 47 campsites, a special events space, and picnic and beach areas. Its 1.75 mile Mohave Sunset Trail winds its way through the lowland desert along the shoreline, and the Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden showcases the diverse life that exists within the park.
“The reasons they are interested in our area is that Lake Havasu State Park is one of the highest-generating revenue producers in the system, as well as being on the top with the number of visitors,” Miers said. “With ASU being here, it lends to a perfect opportunity for options to open up.”
Sharon Harvey, an ASU instructor, said their relationship with state parks began three years ago when the agency offered to mentor students.
“We’ve used multiple partners around the city and State Parks have been a faithful mentor,” Harvey said. “They’ve been involved every year.”
University students, under State Parks supervision have made improvements at Windsor Beach, conducted interviews at Cattail Cove State Park to determine what kind amenities winter visitors would like to see, and this year are working to produce data that could be used to develop an operating plan for boat-in campsites.
Along with State Parks and the Marine Association, other student mentor agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, Lake Havasu City Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce, the Hospitality Association and Metropolitan Planning Organization.
“These relationships allow our students to work on actual projects in the city and to make it a more sustainable community,” Harvey said. “They learn about the community and contribute in-service hours to these agencies, and the agencies have a chance to impact the students. We feel it’s been a win-win not only for our students, but for the community.”