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Iconic 'Strong-Arm' saguaro collapses in Arizona desert

Town officials said age and bacteria contributed to the saguaro’s death.

MARANA, Ariz. — An iconic Arizona saguaro known as a symbol of the Sonoran Desert has fallen. 

The 40-foot cactus known as “Strong-Arm” fell over August 4 in the Tortolita Preserve in the Dove Mountain area, according to the Marana Parks and Recreation Department.

Town officials said age and bacteria contributed to the saguaro’s death.

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After the saguaro fell, Parks and Recreation teams worked to make sure the trail surrounding Strong-Arm was cleared for hikers and bikers while also being careful to preserve what is left of the cactus, officials said.

“It was a real treasured part of the skyline here in the preserve and, of course, home to many animals as well as a Great Horned Owl that used it for nesting and many other birds. It was really one of those saguaro motels here in the desert,” said Jason Grodman, Natural Resources Supervisor with the Marana Parks and Recreation Department.

Grodman said maintaining the area surrounding Strong-Arm is essential so the cactus will decompose and breathe new life into the surrounding desert.

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To read more on Strong-Arm, visit the Town of Marana’s website.

🌵REMEMBERING STRONG-ARM: It is with great sadness that we report our iconic saguaro known as “Strong-Arm” in the Tortolita Preserve has fallen over and is moving on to its next phase of life. “It was really one of those saguaro motels here in the desert,” said Natural Resources Supervisor Jason Grodman, with the Marana Parks & Recreation Department. Strong-Arm, you will be missed! Share your memories of the beloved saguaro in the comments and read more about what Parks & Rec staff are doing to preserve what is left and keep the trails accessible so you can still enjoy and pay your respects: https://www.maranaaz.gov/news/2022/8/16/saying-goodbye-to-the-strong-arm-saguaro

Posted by Marana Parks & Recreation on Thursday, August 18, 2022

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