Mesa honored for environmental excellence
- Lead Desert Arroyo Park, Valley Metro's public art program along the Central Mesa Light Rail Extension and the Fiesta District revitalization have led to the City of Mesa receiving environmental excellence awards from Arizona Forward. For more, visit www.mesanow.org
Creative use of the natural landscape at a new City park, integrating art with transportation and revitalizing a key part of the City have led to top honors for the City of Mesa at an event known as the “Academy Awards” of the environmental community.
Mesa’s Desert Arroyo Park earned the coveted Crescordia Award for Site Development for Parks and Trails at the Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Awards gala Sept. 10. Meanwhile, Valley Metro’s public art program along the Central Mesa Light Rail Extension earned the Crescordia Award for Art in Public Places and Mesa’s Fiesta District Revitalization received a Merit Award in the Governor’s Award category.
The Crescordia Award (Crescordia is a Greek term that means “To Grow in Harmony”) is the top honor in its category and sets standards for the exceptional physical, technical and social development of our state.
“Recognition by Arizona Forward is high praise for the vision and hard work by City staff and our partners to create projects that benefit our residents, protect the environment and improve the quality of life in Mesa,” City Manager Chris Brady said.
Desert Arroyo Park, 9320 E. McKellips Road, is home to a variety of Sonoran Desert flora and fauna. The 58-acre park was developed with input from students at adjacent Zaharis Elementary School and contains desert-
centered nodes, walking and biking trails, Wi-Fi access and an outdoor classroom that encourages learning and exploration of insects, birds, mammals and reptiles.
Each new light rail station created by Valley Metro in central Mesa provided an opportunity to follow the City of Mesa’s vision to celebrate the neighborhoods with public art. For example, at the Main Street/Alma School station, the artist designed a series of metal screens whose patterns are both organic and scientific. At the Main Street/Center Street station, a 50-foot steel sculpture showcases the combination of urban icon, outdoor room and collective silhouette portrait of community.
The City of Mesa also received an Award of Merit for the Fiesta District revitalization along the Southern Avenue corridor. The overall objective was to develop a more balanced multi-modal/pedestrian-friendly environment, encourage private development for long-term economic sustainability, utilize green infrastructure development technologies and aesthetically enhance the District.
Arizona Forward, in partnership with SRP, presented the Environmental Excellence Awards, Arizona’s oldest and most prominent competition of its kind. It spotlights distinguished projects throughout the state of Arizona that demonstrate a high level of environmental commitment and contribute to the state’s overall sustainability. For more information, visit www.arizonaforward.org/events/47.
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Contact: Steve Wright