Mesa parks to receive major updates in the next year - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Mesa parks to receive major updates in the next year

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Posted: Wednesday, July 23, 2014 8:15 am

It’s shaping up to be a very busy year for Mesa Parks and Recreation, as 11 new projects are bringing a host of opportunities for Mesa residents.

The Parks and Recreation Bond Program, passed in 2012, has allowed for the addition of new parks, something the city hasn’t been able to do in some time, as well as significant renovations to other locations.

“We haven’t opened a new park in Mesa in a long time, and so that park funding package … is having a tremendous impact on the parks system,” said Andrea Moore, a project coordinator for Mesa Parks and Recreation.

Park Conversion and Improvement Projects are a string of improvements to vacant city lands that will transform them into usable park space. Four locations are in the planning process and will begin construction in 2015, at a total estimated cost of $7.2 million.

Just more than $54 million will be dedicated to new park and new recreational developments suggested by residents in the iMesa program. Eleven locations are slated for development, ranging from fishing lakes and bike paths, to Mesa City Center, which is anticipated to be completed this summer.

Another compelling project started not with city council, but with public sentiment. Officer Brandon Mendoza, who was killed in May by a wrong-way driver, will be remembered by the renaming of the ballfield at Guerrero Rotary Park in his honor.

The Foundation for Mesa Parks and Recreation is collecting funds for the project and has raised some $2,300 to date. Renovations will include new dugouts, shading, spectator seating, as well as hydration and drainage upgrades.

“The foundation is basically the funding arm for Mesa Parks and Recreation,” said foundation member Jim Ruiz, speaking about how the foundation is helping with the project. “We simply help to fund the city of Mesa Parks and Recreation division.”

Residents can donate to the project through the foundation’s website and are encouraged to volunteer with fundraising efforts, such as the booth at the recent Fourth of July celebration in Mesa, where a considerable amount of funds were raised.

Ruiz could not comment as to what the fundraising goals for the project were, but said that he is happy with the progress of the campaign thus far.

To donate to the Mendoza ballfield project, visit mesaparksfoundation.org

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