'Lizard hunt' on to celebrate 40th anniversary of Sun City West

Posted: Updated:
(Source: Recreation Centers of Sun City West) (Source: Recreation Centers of Sun City West)
Lizard Acres - Spurlock & Wetzler Feed Lot (Source: Del Webb Sun Cities Museum via Sun City West Historical Society) Lizard Acres - Spurlock & Wetzler Feed Lot (Source: Del Webb Sun Cities Museum via Sun City West Historical Society)
The “Lizard” Scavenger Hunt incorporates 40 large wooden lizards, creatively painted by community members. (Source: Recreation Centers of Sun  City West) The “Lizard” Scavenger Hunt incorporates 40 large wooden lizards, creatively painted by community members. (Source: Recreation Centers of Sun City West)
The “Lizard” Scavenger Hunt incorporates 40 large wooden lizards, creatively painted by community members. (Source: Recreation Centers of Sun  City West) The “Lizard” Scavenger Hunt incorporates 40 large wooden lizards, creatively painted by community members. (Source: Recreation Centers of Sun City West)
SUN CITY WEST, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Lizards have invaded Sun City West! In order to help kick off the community’s 40th anniversary, the events staff at Recreation Centers of Sun City West has planned a fun-filled activity to celebrate the fact that the town was built on an area historically known as "Lizard Acres."

The event runs through Feb. 15 and is called the Lizard Scavenger Hunt. The scavenger hunt incorporates 40 large wooden lizards that have been creatively painted by area residents and placed in a variety of well-known places throughout the community.

Each of the colorful lizards is numbered and a corresponding photo is featured on the contest’s entry form. Sun City West residents who wish to participate in the scavenger hunt must find all 40 reptiles scattered throughout the community and indicate the location in which they spotted each lizard.

You can find the entry forms, also available here on azfamily.com, at the R.H. Johnson Box Office and each of the monitor stations at the activity centers, as well as online at scwaz.com.

[MORE TO DO IN SUN CITY WEST: Retired Valley professor leads drum circles to help children, seniors]

Once completed, all entry forms must be turned in to the R.H. Johnson Box Office no later than Friday, Feb. 16.  Participants who successfully mark all 40 of the correct locations on their entry forms will be placed into a drawing for prizes at a free event on Sunday, Feb. 18 at the R.H. Johnson Plaza.

So, why was the active adult community we now call Sun City West once known as Lizard Acres?

"[A]s recently as 1976 this was the home of the Circle One Livestock Company with its thousands of cattle - land that, according to one rancher, was 'fit only for raising lizards,'" according to the Sun Cities Area Historical Society.

APP USERS: Click for image

(Source: Del Webb Sun Cities Museum via Sun Cities Area Historical Society)

[MAP: Recreation Centers of Sun City West]

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.