PHX Renews Invites Residents to Activation Day

Sept. 13, 2013

Greg Stanton, With Caption 137 x 225 pixelsMayor Stanton will roll up his sleeves alongside community groups to help activate a once vacant lot as a part of his PHX Renews initiative. Stanton, together with Keep Phoenix Beautiful, is excited to announce PHX Renews Activation Day, which will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 21, on the north east corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road near the historical Steele Indian School Park.

PHX Renews is the largest transformation of vacant land happening in the country today. On Activation Day, supporting organizations, volunteers and businesses will break ground and activating the 15-acre space for public use. Activation Day signifies the grand opening of PHX Renews which will be open to the public seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., accessible by the pedestrian gate near the Central Avenue and Indian School Road light rail stop.

“PHX Renews is a community driven effort that shows how we can find creative and sustainable opportunities if we all work together to shape the future of our city,” said  Stanton. “I want this project to serve as a model for how we can transform other vacant properties into usable public spaces.”

PHX Renews is about improving the urban landscape in Phoenix through creative vacant land transformation. Its implementation across the valley is intended to uplift communities in the form of social and artistic spaces, reduced crime, improved health and increased property values. At the same time it will provide local therapeutic and sustainable food sources for those in need, free education pertaining to food, energy, water and waste, job skills and vocational training, and a catalyst for more permanent, smart and sophisticated development solutions for local businesses. The initiative is a partnership with Keep Phoenix Beautiful, a nonprofit, the City of Phoenix, and Barron Collier Companies, owners of the property.

“We are proud to share with the community the work of Keep Phoenix Beautiful and all of our partner organizations the culmination of more than one year’s worth of work at our PHX Renews site,” said Tom Waldeck, Keep Phoenix Beautiful executive director. “We have overcome many hurdles and we are starting to see the successes of our efforts.”

Over the next 18 months and beyond, PHX Renews will evolve as a community driven effort showing how residents, nonprofits, businesses and organizations can work with the city to shape the future of their community. Stanton also looks to make it easier to get city approval for more projects like this in downtown Phoenix and along light rail lines.

Stanton and Keep Phoenix Beautiful encourage the public to attend Activation Day at PHX Renews via light rail and public transportation as there is no public parking on site. Attendees are encouraged to share their experience at PHX Renews via social media sites using the #PHXRenews hashtag.

Here is what’s happening at PHX Renews Activation Day:

  • Brophy College Preparatory / Central High School / Xavier College Preparatory: The three high schools will work together for the first time to plant a new xeriscape garden with the city of Phoenix Water Services Department. They also will begin work on a large sun dial and a peace pole. In addition, they will work with local artist, Hugo Medina, to paint a shipping container that will be used as storage on site.
  • International Rescue Committee: Volunteers will be gardening, making tables and benches and prepping their area for the fall planting season.
  • Madison Street Veteran’s Association: Community volunteers and employees from Matson Navigation Company will be helping MSVA create sunken planter beds and rows for planting.  Food harvested from this garden will go towards the MANA House kitchen to feed homeless veterans.
  • One N Ten: They will work on their site to incorporate art murals, a remembrance wall and some raised planter beds.
  • PetSmart: Will present a unique pop-up dog park concept.
  • Phoenix Public Works Department: Boy Scouts and Wells Fargo employees will be completing a number of tasks, including mulching paths and creating raised beds for the community gardens.
  • University of Arizona Cooperative Extension: Master Gardeners will provide a public U-Pick of the current harvest in exchange for a donation to replenish their seed inventory. Watermelons, cantaloupe, Egyptian spinach, and Armenian cucumbers will be available. University of Phoenix volunteers will plant new crops in the garden.
  • UPS: Employees will be planting trees on site that were donated via the UPS Tree Grant.
  • Residents and local restaurants also are invited to take advantage of the community garden plots at no charge by emailing

Also in attendance: Arizona Science Center, ASU-NM SHADE Team, Coca-Cola, Radio Personality Shmonty from 93.3FM KDKB, Short Leash Hot Dogs, Slow Food Phoenix and Whole Foods Camelback.

Media Contacts:

Tiffany Hilburn, Keep Phoenix Beautiful  
Tammy Vo, City of Phoenix