Sunday, July 6, 2008

Phoenix’ Parks Cover Nearly 15,500 Acres

“AZR”, November 19, 1933

Phoenix has nearly 15,500 acres in parks.

Largest of these is Phoenix Mountain park, a vast tract of more than 14,000 acres of typical Arizona desert mountains, whose recesses hold many attractions of unfailing interest, particularly to persons to whom Arizona’s desert is new.

The park is located a few miles south of Phoenix. About the first of next month, a federal Civilian Conservation Corps camp will be established in Mountain park. The camp will employ about 400 men who will carry out an extensive improvement program in the park.

Work To Be Done

This will include construction of many miles of new scenic roads, hiking trails and bridle paths, reforestation, establishment of herbariums or museums of native desert plants, beautification of picnic grounds and installation of picnic facilities such as camp ovens, tables, benches and sun shelters. Mountain park is the largest municipally owned recreation area in the United States.

Phoenix also has three major public recreational area within its limits. These include University park, which serves the northwestern portion of the city. University park has an area of 10 acres and is equipped with a large swimming pool, a public bath house, tennis courts, a baseball field, children’s playground equipment and various recreational facilities for adults.

Eastlake park, also 10 acres in area, serves the southeast part of the city. It also has an excellent swimming pool, ball field and other recreational facilities.

Develops New Park

Recently, the city acquired a 5-acre tract of land at Second and Grant street which is now being developed for park purposes. Improvements there include construction of a swimming pool which will be opened next summer, and other recreational facilities.

The park of the Four Waters, so called because within the 9 ½-acre area it embraces are still visible the traces of the ancient canal system built by the Salt River valley’s prehistoric inhabitants, lies a few miles east of the city adjoining Washington boulevard.

A feature of this area is the Pueblo Grande ruins, the dwelling of the prehistoric race that presumably built the valley’s first irrigation system. These are believed to be among the oldest and largest prehistoric ruins anywhere in the Southwest and are of exceptional archeological value. The ruins are now being excavated under the supervision of Odd S. Halseth, widely known archeologist.

Other parks in Phoenix’ system are:

Woodlawn park, three and one-half acres; South Central park, three acres; Federal park, one-half acre; Library park, three and one-half acres; Portland park, one and one-half acres; Moreland park, one and one-half acres; American Legion park, one and one-half acres; Harmon playfield, two acres; Townsend park, two acres.

Supervised Playgrounds

For the first time last spring the city was given a supervised playground system through the efforts of Women’s clubs, Parent Teacher Associations and other local organizations interested in child and public welfare.

This season, the supervised playground program, directed by Miss Laura Herron, city playground supervisor, is being expanded. Numerous activities are conducted in practically all the parks and at many school playgrounds for children, under competent supervision.

The playground department also supervises many activities for adults at the city parks, including horse shoe tournaments, checker tournaments, shuffleboard and other games.

The city is installing additional equipment and facilities in the parks as fast as money can be obtained, which will further expand supervised playground activities.

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