Eleven months ago, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department began working on an update for McDowell Mountain Regional Park’s Master Plan. During that time, staff conducted two public meetings, engaged with stakeholder groups in three meetings, collected on-line feedback, and gathered input from special interest groups and partners. The 21,099 acre regional park is located four miles north of the Town of Fountain Hills within the lower Verde Basin, and is the third largest park in Maricopa County’s regional park system.
“I think people are going to like the proposed changes. When the original master plan was approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors in 1967, there was a strong ranching influence. That drove planning and development for 50 years,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisor Chairman Steve Chucri. “The people who use this beautiful space now want additional services and activities. Our Parks Department is looking to add some amenities that enhance the experience and put us on the right path for the next 50 years.”
“While the core foundation of the park’s master plan to protect the parks open spaces and natural resources has remained steadfast, we’ve incorporated modernized changes into the plan to meet our visitor’s needs. Several noticeable changes to the plan include: the footprint for a proposed new nature and wildlife conservation center; additional campsites; expansion and upgrades of the event staging areas; a flow trail and skills bike park; and cabins for glamping to accommodate those who would prefer a more luxurious camping experience,” added R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation director.
On Monday, November 5 from 5 pm to 7 pm, the department will share the input received from park visitors, community members, and stakeholders which helped to craft the proposed changes to the Park’s Master Plan. The open house style meeting will take place at the Fountain Hills Community Center located south of the park at 13001 N. La Montana Dr. in Fountain Hills.
Once the public meeting has concluded, presentation materials will be posted on the park’s website at maricopacountyparks.net/park-locator/mcdowell-mountain-regional-park/park-information/park-projects/, and the public comment period will begin. Feedback will be collected via a survey link on the page, and public comments will be accepted through the close of business on Wednesday, December 5, 2018.
Questions on the Park’s Master Plan update should be directed to the department’s parks and open space planner, Lauren Bromley, at (928) 501-9207 or LaurenBromley@mail.maricopa.gov. The department anticipates the process to update McDowell Mountain Regional Park’s Master Plan to be completed by spring of 2019. To learn more about Maricopa County’s regional park system, visit www.maricopacountyparks.net.
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