Scottsdale Independent

Meet Your Neighbor: Lurie reignites passion for nature through Preserve work

Scottsdale resident Roger Lurie (submitted photo)

Name: Roger Lurie

Where I live: Scottsdale, near Via Linda and Mountain View

When & why I moved here: I grew up in Michigan and had a strong desire to go west to where there was sunshine, warmth and mountains. I first arrived in the Phoenix area in 1976.

What I like most about living here: I love the desert environment and the proximity to both desert mountain preserves and high country only a short drive away.

Activities I enjoy: I am an active hiker, cyclist, runner and swimmer. Staying active and enjoying the outdoors, along with spending quality time with my family and friends are important to me. We also frequently go to theater productions and enjoy the Phoenix cultural scene.

Clubs/organizations I’m involved in: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, ASU SunDevil Global Connections, Swim Devil Masters, Temple Kol Ami, College Connect, Vista Del Camino Career Center and Maricopa County CASA.

My favorite charity or volunteer activity and why it deserves support from others? This is a difficult question since I am involved in so many activities, but the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is one that deserves support and is instrumental in ensuring the preservation of the more than 30,000 acre preserve that we are so fortunate to have in Scottsdale.

My No. 1 suggestion to new residents looking for ways to get involved in their community: The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is a wonderful organization to get involved in to meet like-minded active hikers, cyclists and outdoor enthusiasts. There is an endless supply of opportunities to become active, engaged and participate in a variety of events that are focused on recreation, education and social activities.

In the short 9 months since my orientation, I have participated in a wide variety of activities ranging from patrol to pathfinding, education and trail maintenance. During the hot summer months, I have enjoyed the opportunity to help in the office with technology related needs. Overall, I have found it to be a welcoming organization in which every contribution of time is welcomed and in which it is easy to make new friends.

What one thing would you like to see changed in Scottsdale? I’d like to see more infill of urban areas in the southern and central portions of Scottsdale and less urban sprawl in the northern part of the city. Continue to grow the urban and preserve trail network and provide safe bicycle paths, preferably off road.

My family: My wife, Barbara; sons Richard and Chris, daughter-in-law Kelsy and grandson Emmett.

What I do: In January 2017, I retired from my position as Executive Director of Enrollment Services Information Systems at Arizona State University. I now serve as a part time consultant at ASU while pursuing a variety of volunteer activities focused on giving back to the community and mentoring youth and under privileged citizens.

In February 2017, I had the privilege to spend 2 ½ weeks in Luang Prabang Laos teaching English to the Buddhist. I plan to return to Laos in early 2018 to help them develop a computer literacy program at a Buddhist Temple.

People who are an inspiration to me: I am inspired by people that work hard with dedication, focus and passion for what they do. My wife Barbara is someone who always inspired me with her dedication to work and family, while also being supportive of my sense of adventure and recreational pursuits.

My advice to today’s youth: Do what you feel most passionate about. When I was in high school, I dreamed about being a National Park ranger. While I don’t have regrets and have enjoyed my life, I have re-discovered through the conservancy how much I love the preserve and opportunities to share this with others.

To volunteer for the city of Scottsdale, visit www.ScottsdaleAZ.gov/volunteers.