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Old 05-28-2009, 11:20 PM
 
919 posts, read 3,394,874 times
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I'm 100% pro military and love the AZNG. But one has to admit it's an unusual arrangement.

The park is a gem and former national monument. It's bordered by 3 cities and home to many regional attractions. The bulk of it is within the city of Phoenix, so it's technically a Phoenix city park, though Tempe has a hand in some parts. In any case, the AZNG takes up a huge chunk of the Phoenix-facing sides. In fact there's almost no access from Phoenix at all.

The park is bisected by McDowell.

If you live in Phoenix and are north of McDowell, it's entirely fenced off. You can't walk there, bike, jog, hike or visit directly... without going to the Scottsdale side and working your way back. To a degree. The AZNG seems to control about 60% of the park on the north side of McDowell, no matter which way you enter.

South of McDowell is not really much different. There's no parking off the main gateway Rd. There's another big AZNG complex along the S.E. border. That complex runs directly into Papago Golf Course, effectively creating a big barrier to those wanting to enter the park from the Phoenix side. Most head to the Tempe corner and head in from another direction.

Basically the park is on the East side of Phoenix, but is almost impossible to enter from the East. You have to do an "end around." The AZNG also controls the real estate on the the NE corner of Oak and 64th, which is a Scottsdale gateway.

So we go back to the original concept... is it time for the AZNG to scoot over to another piece of land, such as big, empty areas near SkyHarbor? Again, I have no probs with the Guard. But it seems odd that they control a huge part of a city park, including most of the land between the city's residents and that park. If we were in LA, NY and most other cities, the real estate along a great park is often the most prized. On the Phoenix side of Papago, it's kinda slummy.

Thoughts?
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:43 AM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
44,622 posts, read 61,590,826 times
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It goes back to the old saying "if it ain't broke, don't try and fix it".

There's a lot of military history associated with that area and the guard.

The cost to taxpayers to move them at this time would be prohibitive.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
17,914 posts, read 43,398,231 times
Reputation: 10726
I don't think that droves of additional people would use the park just because they moved the Guard. Not only is there no money to move the Guard (and the historical connection is valid, too) but there's no money to do more with the park if they had the land to do it with.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:07 AM
 
963 posts, read 2,301,603 times
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http://abqstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/papago-arizona-saguaro.jpg (broken link)

As a jaded New Yorker coming into Phoenix for the first time, I can say without exaggeration that Papago Park was the most visually arresting thing I saw (and have yet to see) in this city. It was like seeing another planet up close. If I had that response, I know countless others will as well. People would come from all over the country to see what is for now a largely invisible and poorly maintained attraction. Papago Park is a tragically wasted resource. It could and should be to Phoenix what Central Park is to New York, or Millenium Park is to Chicago. If it was properly marketed, it would be our number one attraction. Nothing else in this city has the "Wow" factor to match it. The area used by the National Guard would really make the park complete if it was utilized as a part of the park again. It has such a rich history and visual impact. I would be eager to support any effort to give the park the glory it deserves. The money spent would be returned tenfold in tourist dollars and priceless public relations!

As a landscape photographer, I spend more time in Papago Park than in any other place in Phoenix. It has so much potential!
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:56 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
2,897 posts, read 10,414,283 times
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Nice photoshop skills, ease off a little on those effects though.
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:59 AM
 
Location: Metro Phoenix, AZ USA
17,914 posts, read 43,398,231 times
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What Central Park is to New York? (Haven't been to Millenium, so I won't comment)
I don't think so.

It's a lovely place, but it's not very inviting in the summer (and I don't WANT a bunch of artificial shade built there). I'd prefer the way it is to putting a lot of structures in it -- for what? More picnic areas? No thanks. And the Guard can stay right where they are.
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:18 AM
 
2,324 posts, read 7,621,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by observer53 View Post
What Central Park is to New York? (Haven't been to Millenium, so I won't comment)
I don't think so.

It's a lovely place, but it's not very inviting in the summer (and I don't WANT a bunch of artificial shade built there). I'd prefer the way it is to putting a lot of structures in it -- for what? More picnic areas? No thanks. And the Guard can stay right where they are.
Move the Guard to Encanto Park, so it will be a safe place to have a picnic again like it was in the 60's.
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Old 05-30-2009, 05:56 AM
 
Location: Phoenix
2,897 posts, read 10,414,283 times
Reputation: 937
Moving a base of that size would cost more money and cause many problems, there is no real problem with the base right there, I used to live off of 52nd st, my house backed up to the road and across the street was the fence, we used to sneak into the base as kids but obviously that was a stupid idea looking back.
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Old 05-30-2009, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Inside the 101
2,784 posts, read 7,446,240 times
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The original post in this thread seems to minimize the larger section of the park south of McDowell -- the part that is home to the Desert Botanical Garden, the Phoenix Zoo, the golf course, and several hiking trails. Those amenities draw thousands of visitors every day. There are in fact parking areas off Galvin Parkway for people who want to enjoy the park without paying for admission to either the zoo or DBG. I'm not saying that Papago Park can't be improved, but it's hardly in bad shape now. If the Guard has a better location available, maybe a move would be a good idea, but I don't think it's an urgent priority.

Last edited by exit2lef; 05-30-2009 at 07:53 AM..
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:09 PM
 
963 posts, read 2,301,603 times
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Default Think Like A Tourist!

Most likely, for locals who may tend to take it for granted after a while, Papago Park is no big deal. However, for someone visiting the southwest for the first time, those red rock buttes are like an ice-cream sundae to a child, irresistible! Nothing else in Phoenix has that appeal. It is the best place in Phoenix to watch a beautiful sunset! Right now, it feels like it is being treated like the ugly stepsister to The Phoenix Zoo and the Desert Botanical garden. Papago can be our Cinderella . . . Give her some decent clothes and her prince, in the form of dollars-wielding tourists in rented cars and air-conditioned mini buses will come!

Last edited by Design7; 05-30-2009 at 01:24 PM..
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