Caption lakeblue:The 2012 Electric Light Parade set attendance records as unusually warm weather and pent-up demand left over from last year's rain-hampered event pushed crowds to unprecedented levels.
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 our 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. So staff understands how important we are to the city's identity and quality of life.
Caption lakeblue: National Geographic recently named Phoenix one of the best hiking cities, highlighting South Mountain Park in its review.
Though already popular, 2012 showed that demand for parks and recreation in Phoenix continues to grow. Residents are seeking information on Phoenix parks, preserves and recreation programs at record levels. Visitation to the department's website in 2012 was up an astounding 54 percent from the previous year for a total of more than 164,000 visits. The department website is one of the top three most heavily visited department sites in the city, second only to Police and Human Resources.