Papago Park Master Plan
Papago Park is nestled directly in the heart of the greater Phoenix metropolitan area at the intersection of the municipal boundaries of Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale. Within the park’s 2,000 acres are recreational open space and a wide variety of both privately owned and leased facilities, which serve a myriad of users. The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, along with the cities of Tempe, Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale, selected Olsson Associates to develop a long-range vision for the future development and management of the park. The resulting framework regional master plan was designed to address the major issues facing the park that affected not only the delicate desert environment and cultural and biological resources, but public enjoyment of the park, as well.
The regional master plan created a shared set of objectives, policies, and goals by examining past master plans and conducting extensive public involvement exercises and stakeholders interviews. The plan also utilized input from focus groups and input from four separate committees. The strategically planned program provides a flexible, yet foundational plan, or “road map,” for future decision making to streamline the process and assist in implementation. The master plan and its many parts have the ability to provide all the tools required to make Papago Park become recognized as a "Great American Park."
The key goals or outcomes developed as a part of the regional master plan:
- Improve collaborative management
- Link existing signature amenities
- Instill cooperative branding and messaging
- Strengthen the sense of place
- Upgrade infrastructure
- Provide progressive management techniques
- Construct a visitor’s center
The interconnection of each of these goals is what will enhance and reinforce the others, creating a truly comprehensive plan for Papago Park that will protect, preserve, and enhance the physical, social, recreational, and cultural resources the park provides to the region. The right ingredients for Papago Park to achieve "Great American Park" status were already in place. However, the small but essential details were not being addressed.
The Papago Park Regional Master Plan won the Honor Award (called the Crescordia, meaning “to live in harmony”) in the "Livable Communities, Public Policy/Plans" category at the Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Awards program in August of 2010.