Parks & Recreation Board Chair's letter

The Parks and Recreation Board is a way for Phoenix residents to formally engage in the policies, procedures and decisions that govern and shape our parks, preserves and recreation facilities. Despite continued economic challenges, the Phoenix parks, preserves and recreation system took great strides forward in 2013 and the Parks and Recreation Board was proud to be a part of this.

Budgets remain tight, so staff continued to work closely with the Board and communities throughout the city to plan and execute upgrades of our current facilities without added staffing expense. The list of improved parks and recreation facilities is long and includes renovation of Hermoso, Ladmo, El Oso, Starlight parks and the Encanto Sports Complex. We also enjoyed the opening of the city's sixth off-leash activity area for dogs at Hance Park and approved the start of construction of the city's seventh dog park, located at Paradise Valley Park to be completed by mid-2014.

At the close of the year, we also were finishing up a long overdue expansion and improvement of the Echo Canyon Recreation Area and Summit Trail. The Parks Board played a vital role in the public process that led to the final design of the new lot; there was public discussion of the project at five separate board meetings over an 18-month period.

Thank you for you interest in Phoenix's vast park system and wonderful recreation facilities. I encourage you to follow the Board's work throughout the coming year and look for opportunities to engage and discuss the issues that effect our parks.

Roger Peck, Chair, Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board