Footbridge, garden envisioned for Lizard Run Park in Surprise, AZ

The cost of the bridge has been estimated at $300,000 to $400,000.  The city has $283,000 budgeted.  City staff asked the council on Aug. 14 to transfer $81,000 to the Lizard Run project from a defunct alley-paving project in the Original Town Site.  However, council members voted 5-1 against the move, instead placing the money in the council contingency fund.  Members reasoned that there was not enough information about the project to make a smart decision.  They agreed that the money should be placed in their contingency fund, which the council can allocate as it sees fit.  [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

Committee meets to save Mesa’s park train

[Source: Jim Ruiz, Mesa Republic] — The Save Our Train committee will meet Tuesday, July  at 6 p.m. in a continuing effort to raise funds to salvage a rusting, historic train at Pioneer Park.  The 1912 locomotive has been in the park since 1958, and played a big role in the childhood of thousands of Mesa’s residents.  But as it deteriorated over the years, it was fenced off for safety reasons.  The committee hopes to raise money to move the train to a different part of the park to give it more visibility, and to begin restoration work. The committee meets at the City’s Purchasing Department conference room, 20 E. Main Street.  The committee has applied for a $2,500 [Heritage Fund] grant from the Arizona Lottery and $50,000 from the Union Pacific Railroad Heritage Fund.

El Mirage to break ground on 1st phase of $3 mil park

[Source: Lily Leung, Arizona Republic] — Construction of a $3 million park in El Mirage began this month and will be marked with a groundbreaking ceremony this week. Heritage Park, a two-phase city project, will sit on 13 acres south of Peoria Avenue, between El Mirage and Dysart roads.  The John F. Long Estate donated the acreage for the park, which is expected to be finished by January 2010.

The groundbreaking is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Thursday, and the public is invited. “The city is committed to improving the quality of life for our residents,” El Mirage City Manager BJ Cornwall said.  “It will offer amenities for everyone in our community to enjoy.”

Half of the cost of the $1.5 million first phase will be paid for with help from the Arizona State Parks Heritage Fund, for which $20 million of Arizona Lottery revenue is set aside annually to build and maintain parks, trails, natural, and historic areas and wildlife-conservation activities across the state.  The first phase of the park includes construction of a central pavilion for concerts and community events, amphitheater lawn seating, multiuse fields, a playground, and picnic areas.  The first phase is scheduled to be completed in January.  [Note: to read the full article, click here.]

June 7 is National Trails Day

American Hiking Society’s signature trail awareness program, National Trails Day, inspires the public and trail enthusiasts nationwide to seek out their favorite trails to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in educational exhibits, trail dedications, gear demonstrations, instructional workshops, and trail work projects.  Click here to learn about events in Arizona and other parts of the U.S.