​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:

Phoenix Indian School Visitor CenterDog ParkFishingLarge Ramada ReservationsInquire About Reserving the Park for an EventMemorial Hall Rental Information

 

Parks and Recreation Events: 

 

 

Grand Opening of AARP FitLothttps://www.phoenix.gov/calendar/parks/3202Grand Opening of AARP FitLotRose Mofford Sports Complex, 9833 N. 25th Ave.11/19/2019 6:00:00 PM11/19/2019 8:00:00 PMGP0|#5a6a607d-8eed-4a8d-826c-3328d59cefd0;L0|#05a6a607d-8eed-4a8d-826c-3328d59cefd0|Parks and Recreation;GTSet|#517b07ab-dd83-4937-994c-c703834583f1;GPP|#c91454cd-5b28-4d66-bc01-17d32298aa9b ​Celebrate the grand opening of a new AARP-sponsored FitLot at Rose Mofford Sports Complex. The FitLot outdoor fitness area will include exercise equipment and space for group programs. Mayor Kate Gallego and District 3 Councilwoman Debra Stark will join community members, and representatives from AARP Arizona and the city's FitPHX initiative for a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event will also feature free healthy food samples and giveaways (while supplies last), and fitness equipment demonstrations.
Fall Into Fitnesshttps://www.phoenix.gov/calendar/parks/3056Fall Into FitnessHance Park (west side), 67 W. Culver St.11/20/2019 1:00:00 AM11/20/2019 2:00:00 AMGP0|#5a6a607d-8eed-4a8d-826c-3328d59cefd0;L0|#05a6a607d-8eed-4a8d-826c-3328d59cefd0|Parks and Recreation;GTSet|#517b07ab-dd83-4937-994c-c703834583f1;GPP|#c91454cd-5b28-4d66-bc01-17d32298aa9b ​ FitPHX and AARP Phoenix present "Fall Into Fitness" – a free eight-week, family-oriented fitness program for all ages and experience levels. Each Tuesday from October 15 to December 3, professional fitness instructors will lead calorie burning classes such as Turbo Kick LIVE, Zumba, P90X LIVE, PiYo, HIGH Fitness, Core de Force Live and more. The workouts are fun, interactive and designed to get people moving, and are set to popular music. Participants are encouraged to bring their own water, towel and mat (optional). Local health and wellness vendors will be on-site each week to provide giveaways. Free public parking is available. Register today and view additional details about the "Fall Into Fitness" series and other free FitPHX activities .
WalkPHX Wednesdayshttps://www.phoenix.gov/calendar/parks/3040WalkPHX WednesdaysHance Park, 67 W. Culver St.11/21/2019 12:15:00 AM11/21/2019 2:15:00 AMGP0|#5a6a607d-8eed-4a8d-826c-3328d59cefd0;L0|#05a6a607d-8eed-4a8d-826c-3328d59cefd0|Parks and Recreation;GTSet|#517b07ab-dd83-4937-994c-c703834583f1;GPP|#c91454cd-5b28-4d66-bc01-17d32298aa9b **​Due to the​ Thanksgiving holiday week​, the November 27 WalkPHX Wednesdays event will be held on the third ​Wednesday.​ Produced in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, WalkPHX Wednesdays is a FREE social walk/run through downtown Phoenix that takes place on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, starting in Margaret T. Hance Park, 67 W. Culver St. WalkPHX Wednesdays provides participants with a 3.2-mile loop through downtown and three city of Phoenix parks. After completing the route, participants are invited to purchase dinner from a rotating selection of food trucks, while socializing with others who also are looking for a fun way to stay fit. Participants are eligible to win weekly drawings for great prizes and FitPHX items. You don't have to participant in the WalkPHX Wednesdays walk/run to enjoy the food trucks. Join in if you just want to relax and have a picnic dinner in the park with friends. Learn more and register for WalkPHX Wednesdays


​Planning an Gathering in the Park:

Steele Indian School Park is a great place to have just about any size gathering.  Whether you are planning a small family picnic or are producing the the next great community event, Steele Indian School Park has the amenities and the location to fit your needs.

For Standard Picnics (Less than 50 People):

The Large Group Ramada Area in the northwest portion of the park require a reservation to use, however all of the other ramadas located throughout the park are first-come-first-serve.

For private gatherings of more than 50 people:

A Special Activity 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 Equipment

  • 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.

For Large-scale Public or Commercial Events:

Steele Indian School Park is a prime location to produce major events.  If you are interested in holding an event in the park, please start by completing a Steele Indian School Park Event Inquiry form, once your event has been reviewed you will need to complete a comprehensive event packet that outlines all of the necessary requirements for a large-scale public and/or commercial event.

 

The 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 in it's current iteration was opened in 2001 and 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.

 

Historic Phoenix Indian School Buildings

Memorial Hall - The historic Memorial Hall offers a stunning setting for performances, arts presentations, meetings and community events. The natural acoustics of this space make it ideal for choral and musical presentations. For more information please review the Memorial Hall Rental Information Guide or call 602-534-8659.

Phoenix Indian School Visitor Center - Reopened in 2017, this building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Native American Connections operates the center, which educates about the school's history. The building originally served as an elementary school and band building. 

Dining Hall - Built in 1901. Currently no public entrance.

 

The Circle of Life

The Circle of Life lies at the heart of the 72-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 honors American Indian veterans and has established Steele Indian School Park as a location to pay tribute these great American Indian heroes.

 

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.