Situated in a prominent area in central Peoria between the Agua Fria Freeway and the New River Channel, the Rio Vista Community Park is the City of Peoria’s first community park. This 52-acre site is home to a wide array of parks and recreation facilities, including a 5-plex softball area, a soccer/multi-use field complex, and a recreational center with a gymnasium. The park also contains special-event plazas, an urban lake, a skate park, an interactive water play area, multi-use trails, large- and small-group ramadas, picnic areas, and parking.
This diversity and the quality of the facilities were validated with the "Nickelodeon’s Parents’ Picks Award," which honored the Rio Vista Park and Recreation Center for Best Phoenix-Area Playground or Park in 2009.
Key design challenges included balancing active and passive uses; meeting intense sports field demands; and providing appropriate buffering between the park, adjacent neighborhoods, and between the park and Loop 101. Other design challenges included developing a new park entry and main access road next to New River, addressing traffic issues, coordinating improvements with the Flood Control District, and lighting up the sports fields without affecting park neighbors and freeway drivers.
The facility is a popular gathering spot for athletes, spectators, and other park visitors. It is expected to serve as an example for future Peoria parks that incorporates highly diverse facilities. Beyond the obvious attributes of the new sporting facilities and recreational offerings, the park has some other design attributes. These elements include integrated drainage and retention, an integrated vehicle roadway system, a maintenance complex, major event parking, and sports field and landscape irrigation.