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Phoenix Looks To Future Of South Mountain Park

south mountain park
Christina Estes/KJZZ
/
file | staff
Hikers visit South Mountain Park in Phoenix.

Phoenix’s South Mountain Park will mark its 100th birthday in 2024. The city of Phoenix is already looking ahead by creating a trails master plan.

Parks and Recreation spokesman Gregg Bach says to create the plan, the city needs to hear from from all types of people, including hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. 

“We’re working with these groups to identify the different things they’re doing on these trails, things they like and dislike and things they would maybe like to see improved,” Bach said.

The master plan will help determine new trails and better understand the public’s use of the park.

For example, Bach said the city wants to look at “spider” or “social” trails, which are paths worn in by people, but not an official path maintained by the city. 

"Maybe it really is serving a purpose for our users. Or if not, maybe identify these areas and maybe we can re-vegetate those,” Bach said.

People can share their ideas at open houses from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Pecos Community Center, 17010 S. 48th St., and from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the South Mountain Environmental Education Center, 10409 S. Central Ave.

These are the last of a series of public meetings held since the summer. People can also comment online.

Bach said the Parks and Recreation Department hopes to have a draft plan by early 2017.

Mariana Dale rustles up stories as a senior field correspondent based out of KJZZ’s East Valley Bureau in Tempe. She’s followed a microphone onto cattle ranches, to the Dominican Republic and many places in between. Dale believes in a story’s strength to introduce us to diverse perspectives, inspire curiosity and hold public leaders accountable for their actions. She started at KJZZ on the digital team in 2016 and still spends a lot of time thinking about how to engage with our community online. Dale has learned from stints at Arizona Public Media, The Arizona Daily Star, The Arizona Republic and as an intern at NPR’s Morning Edition in Culver City. She graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Dale is grateful for the mentoring of the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, the Chips Quinn Scholars program and AIR’s New Voices Scholars. A desert native, she loves spending time outside hiking, tending to her cactus and reading.