Oct. 25, 2013
Dust Devil Park located in Phoenix, AZ has been named a “Frontline Park” by the national urban park advocacy organization City Parks Alliance.
Each month, City Parks Alliance recognizes a “Frontline Park” to promote and highlight inspiring examples of urban park excellence, innovation, and stewardship across the country. The program also seeks to highlight examples of the challenges facing our cities’ parks as a result of shrinking municipal budgets, land use pressures, and urban neighborhood decay.
“We selected Dust Devil Park for recognition because it exemplifies the power of partnerships to create and maintain urban parks that build community and make our cities sustainable and vibrant,” said Catherine Nagel, Executive Director, City Parks Alliance. “We hope that, by shining the spotlight on this park, we can raise awareness about both the necessity and the promise of these kinds of partnerships to spur investment in our nation’s urban parks.”
Covering more than 520 miles of the Salt River Valley in central Arizona, Phoenix is the most populous state capital in the United States and the sixth most populous city overall, and it continues to grow. Projections show the regional population is expected to grow nearly 60% by 2030, bringing the total to more than 6 million people. While the city manages nearly 5,000 acres of developed land in more than 190 parks, the relative lack of density creates a high demand for more walkable neighborhood parks.
On the city’s westernmost edge, the neighborhood that is now home to Dust Devil Park had no playground or park within a five mile radius. To address this glaring need in the community, a partnership between the Pendergast School District, Phoenix Parks and Recreation, and other groups and agencies came together to develop a park that would become a destination for local families and provide a place for a new community center. Using funds provided through the Phoenix Parks and Preserves Initiative, the planning process began in 2009, and the park celebrated its grand opening on Nov. 3, 2012.
Instead of an empty field, the neighborhood now boasts a 15-acre grassy, sustainable oasis with large solar paneled picnic ramadas (designed to look like flying saucers), a gray water rivulet for irrigating vegetation, 300 trees and a splash pad to keep park-goers cool during summer days that regularly top 100 degrees, a basketball court, walking paths and exercise equipment, a playground, and even boulders for climbers. Thanks to a $50,000 contribution from the Rob Dyrdek Foundation, the park also features a Safe Spot Skate Spot plaza with 9,000 square feet of skateable terrain suitable for skaters of all abilities and skill levels.
"I am so pleased to hear that the new Dust Devil Park is shining so bright that it is being celebrated in D.C.," said Phoenix City Councilman Daniel T. Valenzuela. "Dust Devil serves as a model of sustainability and the spirit of community cooperation. It took a village to make this infill park happen and I want to thank City Parks Alliance for showing it to the world."
"Dust Devil Park already has made a huge positive impact on the surrounding community," Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department Director James Burke said. "This recognition from City Parks Alliance honors the parks unique sustainable design and the role the community played in making this an exceptional park."
Dust Devil Park is being featured on CPA’s website, cityparksalliance.org during the month of October.
The “Frontline Parks” program is made possible with generous support from DuMor, Inc. (dumor.com) and PlayCore (playcore.com).
About City Parks Alliance
City Parks Alliance is the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. It leads and serves a community of diverse organizations, championing high quality urban parks throughout the nation. CPA’s vision is that everyone in urban America will have access to parks and green spaces that are clean, safe and vibrant. cityparksalliance.org
About Phoenix Parks & Recreation Department.
More than a million of Phoenix's residents make more than 30 million visits to the city's parks each year; residents also report making 15 million annual visits to the city’s storied desert preserves, for which National Geographic named Phoenix one of the nation's best hiking cities. Every day, the department is responsible for nearly 200 parks, thousands of acres of turf, a vast desert preserve system with 180 miles of trails and centers and facilities that are home to hundreds of classes and sports programs. Visit the Parks and Recreation Department website for more information.
|Catherine Nagel, City Parks Alliance
David Urbinato, City of Phoenix