​Steele Indian School Park

300 E. Indian School Rd.
(602) 534-4810
(602) 534-8659 (Memorial Hall)
Park open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

​Steele Indian School Park is the premiere special event park in central Phoenix, featuring acres of green grass, mature shade trees and a historic setting.

The north side of the park features a playground, two half-court basketball courts and sand volleyball courts. Ramadas provide shade for picnics and parties, and provide shelter for parents supervising their children.  

 

Park Resources:

 

Dog ParkExercise Trail MapFishingLarge Ramada Reservations

Parks and Recreation Events: 

 

 

6th Annual World Atlatl Day Competitionhttps://www.phoenix.gov/calendar/parks/216121616th Annual World Atlatl Day Competition6/2/2018 4:00:00 PMPueblo Grande Museum - 4619 E Washington St
Fiesta del Aguahttps://www.phoenix.gov/calendar/parks/21812181Fiesta del Agua6/2/2018 9:00:00 PMMaryvale Pool - 4444 N. 51st Ave.
Fabulous Phoenix 4th #fabphx4https://www.phoenix.gov/calendar/parks/22342234Fabulous Phoenix 4th #fabphx47/5/2018 1:00:00 AMSteele Indian School Park, 300 E. Indian School Rd.


Planning a Picnic

Steele Indian School Park is a great place to hold picnics and gatherings.  The ramadas located throughout the park are first-come-first-serve.

A Special Acitivtiy Request is required for any gathering that has any of the following:

  • An expected attendance of more than 50 people; or is open to the general public.

  • Amplified Sound (Large sound set-ups are limited to Amphitheater Island.)

  • Beer/Alcohol

  • Inflatable (Bounce Houses)
    Inflatables that involve water are prohibited.

  • Catering

  • Commercial Event Equipement

  • Generator Power

  • Advertising or media promotion of any kind.

Check out our "Planning a Gathering/Party" page for complete guidelines for holding an event in a City of Phoenix parks.

 

Memorial Hall

Memorial Hall is available to rent for various functions. It offers a stunning setting for special arts presentations, performances, meetings and community space. The acoustics of this building make it an ideal facility for choral and musical presentations. Memorial Hall is available for rental by private, public, commercial and nonprofit groups. The facility is accessible to persons with disabilities. To check availability call 602-534-8659.

Memorial Hall Rental Information
 

The Circle of Life

The Circle of Life lies at the heart of the 75-acre park. This wide circular walkway encompasses the three historic buildings remaining on site from the old Phoenix Indian School. In the center of this area is a water cistern. Etched into the concrete around the cistern is a poem that explains the Native American design theme of the park. The Circle of Life is 600 feet in diameter and features 24 interpretive columns depicting the history of the Phoenix Indian School.

 

American Indian Veterans Memorial Site

The American Indian Veterans Memorial Organization is created to establish a memorial to honor the American Indian veterans of all wars and to establish a place for such veterans, their families and friends to gather, and pay tribute to living and deceased American Indian veterans.

The two historic buildings will be renovated as funds become available:

  • Band Building - Built in 1933, this building was originally the elementary school and in later years became the band building. Future use: Museum/Administrative Offices

  • Dining Hall - Built in 1901. Future use: Native American Cultural Center

 

Entry Garden

Leading from the Circle of Life is the Arbor Bridge that leads into the 15-acre Entry Garden, which also makes use of circular form. The garden features a spiraling walkway that gradually descends down into the earth - a trail meant for contemplation and meditation. Native American poems are etched into the concrete and native desert plants adorn the path as it winds its way toward a cistern at the end of the trail.

 

 

Amphitheater and Bird Lake

The performance/stage area of the outdoor amphitheater is 60 feet in diameter and is large enough for a full symphony orchestra. There is a waterfall on the north side of the amphitheater, which is directly off of the 2.5-acre bird shaped lake. The rubble wall of the waterfall is recycled from the old Phoenix Indian School. The architect saved the WPA (Works Progress Administration) stamps from the old sidewalks and incorporated these into the rubble walls throughout the park. The seating area of the amphitheater has a 1500-person capacity in grass seating and is available for rental. Fees do apply.

 

Phoenix Green

The Phoenix Green features thirty acres of rolling grass terrain, meandering walkways and clusters of trees. The raised walkways follow a canal that feeds the lake and provides water to the grass fields of the Phoenix Green. This area of the Park is designed to be a shady oasis with a mix of larger-scale deciduous and evergreen trees that provide a backdrop for the entire site. The Phoenix Green is accessed by an entrance off of 7th Street and also has five family-size picnic ramadas and restrooms.

Reservation Request FormSpecial Event Application & InformationMap of Large Ramada Area

History of Steele Indian School Park:

In 1890, the Federal Government purchased 160 acres of farmland from a local landowner for $9,000. Federal officials opened the Phoenix Indian School one year later. At its peak in 1935, 900 students attended the school. Among its most popular features were its marching band, which was a frequent participant in local and statewide festivals, and athletic program. The federal government closed the boarding school in 1990.* The city of Phoenix was able to obtain the land in 1996 through an intricate three-way land exchange involving the Baron Collier Company and the federal government.

The park is named after Horace C. Steele. He founded the Steele Foundation in 1980 to fund charitable, educational, and scientific programs; primarily in Arizona. The Steele foundation donated $2.5 million dollars to start development of the park and in 1997 the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Board approved naming the Park for this successful businessman and philanthropist.

The park is designed in the spirit of the City Beautiful movement, a design theory that evolved at the end of the 19th century. Its basic premise is simple: city dwellers need passive, open green space in city centers to serve as a refuge from the physical confinement of urban living. The movement also held that open, public spaces are an essential element in nurturing civic pride and a sense of community. The park's design also pays homage to the site's Native American history. Many of the design elements, as outlined in the features section, reflect Native American concepts of life, earth and the universe.

The Park opened in November 2001.

* Sources of historical information:
"The Phoenix Indian School," 1988 by Robert Trennert, Jr.
"Phoenix Indian High School," 1990 by Dorothy R. Parker