TEP joined the Friends of Saguaro National Park and park officials and supporters at a groundbreaking for a new outdoor classroom on May 16.

Construction has begun on a new 2,500-square-foot outdoor learning space at the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center in Saguaro National Park East, which TEP helped fund with a $20,000 contribution.

Unlike the newer Red Hills Visitor Center in the Tucson Mountain District, the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center has outdoor space where rangers can give talks to visitors and school groups.

The year-round outdoor learning space will feature accessible benches, a shade structure, A/V equipment for assistive listening devices and an educational donor mural created by local artist Gail T. Roberts. Construction began May 21.

“This project would not have been possible without the support from TEP and our other donors,” said Fred Stula, Friends of Saguaro National Park Executive Director. “We’re very grateful to our donors for making this possible.”

A nonprofit fundraising partner of the National Park Service, Friends of Saguaro National Park promotes environmental stewardship and education. Since its founding in 1996, the group has raised more than $6 million to support the park.