Blog Posts Tagged ‘park’

Arizona’s Playful City USA Communities

11406721_10152890631191016_1366047240839771119_oKaBOOM! recently announced its Playful City USA honorees: communities that are leaders in “playability,” the commitment to providing balanced and active play to children.

The KaBOOM! Playful City USA program honors cities, towns and communities across America that are taking bold steps to ensure that all children, especially the 16 million American kids living in poverty, have easy access to balanced and active play in their communities. 241 cities nationwide have been recognized this year, 14 of which are in Arizona.

Playful City USA honorees include major cities such as Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Chicago. In Arizona, these honorees include cities and towns across the state. They range from nine-time honorees like Chandler, Gilbert, and Tucson, to first-time recipients like Avondale, Florence, and Queen Creek.

Tempe is once again recognized by KaBOOM! as a Playful City USA for its commitment to keeping kids active through accessible playspaces and youth sports programs.

Tempe is once again recognized by KaBOOM! as a Playful City USA for its commitment to keeping kids active through accessible playspaces and youth sports programs.

These Playful City USA communities are making a commitment to transform their communities to become more playable by developing unique local action plans to increase the quantity and quality of play in their community. Listed below are the Arizona cities that were given the “playful” title and the number of years they have won:

Avondale: 1

Buckeye: 4

Casa Grande: 7

Chandler: 9

Coolidge: 8

Florence: 1

Fountain Hills: 5

Gilbert: 9

Mesa: 7

Oro Valley: 5

Prescott Valley: 2

Queen Creek: 1

Tempe: 7

Tucson: 9

Playful City USA Honorees in Arizona: 

To see the full list of the 241 communities named 2015 Playful City USA honorees, or for more information on the Playful City USA program, visit

Standin’ on the Corner

Courtesy Photo Flickr

Courtesy Photo Flickr

“I was standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona; such a fine sight to see.”

The Eagles may have been singing about a pretty girl in a “flat bed Ford,” but we know that Winslow IS a fine sight to see, one that has more than just a famous street corner.

If you happen to be strolling in from Route 66 or stopping on your way out of Flagstaff, you’ll most likely see that famous statue headlining the Standin’ On the Corner in Winslow, Arizona Park. The park was constructed in 1997 when a group of volunteers decided to create a park in Downtown Winslow, instilling a new sense of tourism-based business. Prior to the 1960s, Winslow was the largest town in all of northern Arizona, due to its prime location on Route 66. When I-40, a transcontinental highway was built, the community saw a downturn in tourism dollars.

Today, the park draws many to its famous corner. It features the statue of the man aimed at being the feature of the song. The statue is surrounded by inscribed donor bricks from community members and visitors, who have told their individual stories about Winslow and its famous corner.

Estrella Mountain Regional Park

Photo Courtesy of Estrella Mountain Regional Park

Photo Courtesy of Estrella Mountain Regional Park

Estrella Mountain Regional Park, located in the city of Goodyear, offers more than 33 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Park Trails range in length from 2.3 miles to 8.8 miles and range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. If you are looking for an easy, relatively short hike, the 2.4 mile Baseline Trail is recommended. If you are looking for a long, all day hike, the Pederson Trail encompasses 8.7 miles.

Hiking and riding trails are easily accessible via trailheads located at the arena and amphitheater. A mountain bike trail brochure that categorizes trail difficulty is available at the park office. Visit Estrella’s Trails page for a complete list of trails and distances, and park hours.

Always remember to carry plenty of water and let someone know where you are going.

Fountain Hills Fountain

Photo Courtesy of Town of Fountain Hills

Photo Courtesy of Town of Fountain Hills

The Fountain Hills Fountain helps bring people together. Given that it is shoots as high as 330 feet (560 feet at its highest), the white plume of the fountain is visible far beyond Fountain Hills.

The Fountain operates each hour on the hour for 15 minutes from 9 am – 9 pm.

When the Fountain operates at night, lights illuminate the plume from top to bottom. There are lights installed on the concrete fountain head that not only light the structure itself but also shine up on the rapidly ascending stream of water.

The Fountain helps remind people the connection between them, even when far away. When you look at the Fountain, you can be comforted by the knowledge that someone else has their gaze fixed on it, too.

Veterans Oasis Park

Photo Courtesy of the Arizona Republic

Photo Courtesy of the Arizona Republic

The city of Chandler is a growing community, home to a large population, a bustling downtown and the state’s biggest technology businesses.

Peeking through the busy-ness of the city is an 113-acre oasis that boasts lush wetland and desert wildlife. The Veterans Oasis Park is known as the city’s “non-traditional” facility, which features habitat suitable for diverse plants and wildlife and offers plentiful recreation opportunities at the site. The park includes park land, lake, wetlands and recharge basins, which infiltrate high-quality reclaimed water to the subsurface as part of the city’s comprehensive reclaimed water management plan.

Visitors to the park can experience recreational opportunities galore. There are more than four miles of trails and wildlife viewing areas. Families can also enjoy a daytime picnic in the ramadas and picnic areas and introduce children to wildlife in the butterfly and hummingbird habitat. Children can also roam around and enjoy the outdoor ampitheatre and a unique learning-oriented playground. There is also a 5-acre community fishing lake, equestrian trails and a Solar System Walk.

Take a day trek away from the hustle and bustle of the burgeoning east valley communities and enjoy all the amenities this park has to offer.