By Bridget Binsbacher, Peoria Councilmember, Mesquite District
One of the many things Peoria is known for is its stunning Sonoran desert landscape, with unfettered access to hiking trails, biking trails, walking paths and some of the most scenic vistas in the Valley. The Peoria City Council and city leadership have prioritized the preservation of open space, purposefully planning for a balance of the built and natural environments in the city. With 33 parks, 20 miles of trails and several mountain preserves, Peoria continues to strategically preserve its cultural and natural assets as well as enhance them with diverse and inclusive recreational amenities.
Peoria’s residents are a vital component of that planning process, providing important feedback and support during the planning and engagement periods. Like we did with the first phase of the development of Paloma Community Park, the city is currently working on the details of phase two. Phase two will include the final development of 35 more acres in the park as well as the connections to surrounding open spaces and trail systems. The community engagement period will begin this year where residents will be asked to share their ideas for recreational amenities, such as a skate park or basketball courts, and provide their ideas on so much more. For more information, visit peoriaaz.gov/paloma.
Alongside Paloma’s expansion, the city is creating a Trails Master Plan update this year as well. The goal of this plan is to audit the city’s existing trails as well as how those connect to private and public trail systems outside of Peoria’s boundaries. With that information and the help of residents, we can identify and prioritize projects for the city. The critical piece of this plan is citizen engagement, which will be woven through the whole process through surveys, focus groups, public meetings, and proactive and ongoing communication. Be sure to check out our current trails information at peoriaaz.gov/trails.
Exciting things are coming to Peoria and we want to hear from you. Help us create innovative and sustainable outdoor spaces and recreational amenities. Stay tuned as more information about Paloma Community Park and the Trails Master Plan become available.