Blog Archives

Friends of Encanto Park seek bids for perimeter fencing

[Source: Susan Dale] — The Friends of Encanto Park are waiting for the last of three bids to come in this week for construction of the new wrought iron fence along the Encanto Golf Course on the north side of Encanto Boulevard and the “Encanto Entrada Portal” (new entry marker) at Eighth Avenue and Encanto Boulevard.

After discussions with City Parks staff members, during the middle of May, it was decided that members of the Friends of Encanto Park put the project out to bid and set a fund-raising target based on the actual cost of implementing the design.  Most of our “Friends” are out of town on vacations right now, so hopefully we will get back with city staff members with our bids towards the end of July.

We understand the City could start designing a Master Plan for the entire Encanto Park renovation this fall. The Friends of Encanto Park are planning to kick off its first of several private fundraisers this fall as well.

The $5 million allocated Phoenix Parks & Preserves Initiative (PPPI) funds will be distributed as follows: FY11/12 – $200,000; FY12/13 – $800,000, and FY13/14 – $4,000,000.

Phoenix parks director returns home to Austin

[Source: Phoenix Parks and Conservation Foundation] — City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Director Sara Hensley has accepted the same position with the City of Austin, Texas.  Sara came the City when the Parks and Recreation Department was in the midst of one of the most difficult budget times in recent history.  According to Tony Motola of the Phoenix Parks and Conservation Foundation, “Sara will be remembered as a Director who always stood up to protect facilities and programs by developing a variety of strong community partnerships.  Whether is was empowering her employees, working with the Parks and Recreation Board, supporting the Phoenix Parks and Preserves Initiative, or partnering with the Arizona State University School of Public Affairs as a public administration practitioner and instructor, Sara always made the interests of parks and recreation users in Phoenix her top priority.”

The move to Austin is a homecoming for Sara as she returns to the city where she began her Parks and Recreation career over twenty years ago.  Her last day at the City of Phoenix will be November 14, 2008.

Phoenix Parks & Recreation Board to discuss citizen feedback, Sept. 11

Dining Hall, Steele Indian School Park, Phoenix

[Source: Phoenix Parks & Recreation Foundation] — On Thursday, September 11, 2008 the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department will present to the Parks and Recreation Board information collected from a series of public meetings and a summer-long online survey designed to allow residents to set priorities for park and preserve development and improvements over the coming years.  

These results, being presented to the public for the first time on September 11, are intended to assist Parks and Recreation Department staff in the development of a proposal and recommendations for consideration by the Parks and Recreation Board.  Ultimately, a final plan must be approved by the Phoenix City Council.

The City created this public involvement process in response to the overwhelming May 20 voter approval of the reauthorization of the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative.  For the past nine years the Initiative, using a one-tenth of one cent sales tax, has raised more than $200 million to fund the construction and improvement of parks throughout the city and the addition of thousands of acres of desert land to the city’s preserve system.  In the May 20 vote, 83% of voters approved a 30-year extension of the program, which was set to expire next year.

The meeting is open to the public and will begin at 5 p.m. in the Phoenix City Council Chambers, 200 West Jefferson Street.  For more information, click here.

Phoenix HP Commission recommends project for Parks, Preserve Initiative

Winship House, Phoenix, Arizona

[Source: Barbara Stocklin, City of Phoenix] — The City of Phoenix Historic Preservation Commission formally recommended that the City Council allocate Parks & Preserve Initiative (PPI) funds to rehabilitate historic properties on city parks where there has been substantial prior public investment and additional funds are still needed to activate a historic building and site for a public use, most notably:

  • $12 million for remaining capital, staffing, and operational needs at Tovrea Castle (including funds needed immediately to help open the park and to provide public restrooms).
  • $5 million for Steele Indian School.
  • $800,000 for the Winship House at 216 W. Portland Parkway.

For a complete list of historic resources managed by the city’s Parks & Recreation Department and in need of significant, click here.

Phoenix seeks public input on parks & preserves, Aug. 27

Eastlake Park, Phoenix, AZ[Source: City of Phoenix] — The Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department seeks residents’ input on the future direction of the city’s parks and desert preserves.  Those interested in weighing in can attend one of ten public meetings held throughout the city from late June through August.  Those unable to attend a meeting can participate online; the department has posted background information and an online survey on the department Web site.

The City created this public involvement process in response to the overwhelming May 20 voter approval of the reauthorization of the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative.  For the past nine years the Initiative, using a one-tenth of one cent sales tax, has raised more than $200 million to fund the construction and improvement of parks throughout the city and the addition of thousands of acres of desert land to the city’s preserve system.  In the May 20 vote, voters approved a 30-year extension of the program, which was set to expire next year.

The public involvement process will allow residents to set priorities for park and preserve development and improvement over the coming years.  When the process is complete, Parks and Recreation Department staff will use the results to develop a proposal and recommendations for consideration by the Parks and Recreation Board and ultimately, the City Council, which will approve a final plan. 

The public meeting closest to residents living in and around downtown Phoenix is Wednesday, August 27, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave.

Those wanting general information on the public process can call 602-262-6862.  General information also is available on the department Web site.

Phoenix parks, preserves get voter approval

Phoenix Sonoran Preserve[Source: Casey Newton, Arizona Republic] — Voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a 30-year extension of Phoenix’s Parks and Preserve Initiative, ensuring hundreds of millions of dollars for the construction and operation of recreational areas in the city.  Unofficial results showed that more than four in five voters supported extending the decade-old tax, which amounts to one cent for every $10 purchase.  Supporters hailed the passage of the tax as a landmark step in the effort to provide high-quality parks and preserves within Phoenix.  “I thank and congratulate the voters of Phoenix who, once again, have expressed their remarkable vision,” Mayor Phil Gordon said in a statement.  “Not even a troublesome national economy can discourage our citizens from embracing a good opportunity to invest in the city our children will inherit.”

The tax, which generated $198 million in its first 10 years, pays for park improvements and land acquisition.  The initiative approved Tuesday expands the possible uses of those funds to include operational expenses including salaries for park rangers and maintenance workers.  Under the terms of the initiative, 40 percent of the proceeds will be used to acquire land for Phoenix’s Sonoran Preserve.  About 3,700 acres have been acquired to date using initiative funds.  The remaining 60 percent will fund improvements to parks throughout the city. 

The election was the first in which Phoenix used its permanent early-voter list, automatically mailing a ballot to anyone who asked.  As a result, voter turnout exceeded 20 percent.  Turnout in the previous citywide election, in which the list was not used, was 18.7 percent.

Today is election day for Parks & Preserve funding

Steele Indian School ParkOn May 20, 2008, a special election in the City of Phoenix will be held.  The campaign for the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative is in full swing. 

For the past 10 years, Phoenix voters have invested in outdoor places through the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative.  Initiated and passed by 80 percent of Phoenix voters in 1999, the Initiative has raised over $220 million to build new parks, improve community parks, and purchase pristine Sonoran desert preserve land.  Investments made possible include:

  • Community and Neighborhood Parks: Established or renovated 52 playgrounds, 23 shade structures, 35 armadas, 14 restrooms, new sports lighting at 30 parks and 19 fields, and accessibility modifications at more than 25 parks.
  • Regional Parks: Developed regional parks, including Paseo Highlands, Steele Indian School, Desert West, Pecos Park, Cesar Chavez Park, as well as the Cave Creek Recreational Area and Camelback Ranch.
  • Sonoran Preserve: Purchased 3,759 acres of Arizona State Trust Land, with another 650-acre acquisition planned for this year.

Current funding expires next year, and due to significant population growth and urban sprawl the need for parks and the need to preserve precious parts of our natural desert environment are only growing. Supporters of the Initiative encourage Phoenix voters to vote “yes” on Proposition A.

Learn more about the Initiative by visiting www.phxparks.com.

Visit the mayor over coffee, May 10

Mayor Phil Gordon invites downtown residents and those interested in downtown Phoenix to join him at his quarterly Community Coffee on Saturday, May 10, 2008 from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. at Palette, 606 North Fourth Avenue, at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Fillmore.  The Mayor’s guest, Phil Richards, Chair of the Phoenix Parks and Preserves Board and Initiative campaign, will provide information about the Initiative, also known as Proposition A, which is on the May 20, 2008 ballot.  Following will be Q&A and a “meet and greet” with Mayor Gordon.  Click here for more information.