Salado and the surrounding area has a rich cultural history and was first
settled by the Hohokam over 2000 years ago. The Hohokam created a canal system
that the river fed, and this system allowed them to settle throughout the Salt
River Valley. After World War II, many of the cities adjacent to this river and
others that feed into it such as the Agua Fria and the Gila River transitioned
from farming communities into commercial centers. During this time more than
200 sand and gravel operations located in the floodplain and between the banks
of the three rivers. The area along the riverbeds became a dumping ground as
more people moved in and business and residential development generated waste
and disposal in abandoned mining pits was cheap and easy. Industrial facilities also dot the banks of
Reimagined Project is a vision to revitalize the Rio Salado (Salt River), Aqua
Fria and Gila Rivers, and the region by transforming over 45 miles of the river
stretching from the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community at the eastern
most boundary to the City of Buckeye to the west and encompassing more than
78,000 acres. The project aspires to reconnect the community with the river, to
establish a unified vision, to be a catalyst for economic growth and inclusion,
and to build a unique regional destination. Leaders of eight river communities
demonstrated their commitment to moving Rio Reimagined forward by signing a
Statement of Intent in 2018. With Arizona State University (ASU) as community
convener contributing financial, intellectual and organizational resources, and
the eight communities directing the vision, the journey has begun.
Phoenix Wins a Rio Reimagined Brownfields Assessment Coalition Grant!
EPA announced that the City of Phoenix will receive a $600,000 brownfields grant with
the cities of Avondale, Tempe, and ASU. The City of Phoenix, as the lead applicant is
excited to partner with the other cities and with ASU to pave the way for
development of the river corridor. This
brownfields grant will be a key to realizing the Rio Reimagined vision of a
community connected to the river with economic growth, environmental
stewardship, and access for all. A greater understanding and knowledge of the environmental conditions for the Rio Reimagined Project area is needed as a first step towards understanding the barriers and opportunities for revitalization of the river itself and the area beyond the banks.
area for the grant is within 1.0 mile of the Salt River (Rio Salado), Agua Fria
and Gila Rivers within the cities of Tempe, Phoenix and Avondale, Arizona.
Although there is enormous potential for future development, according to the
Arizona Dept of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) and EPA at least 1,189 properties
in this area have environmental records and are potential brownfields. These
properties create slum and blight, discourage investment and represent
potential exposure to toxic contaminants that damage the health of residents.