The Modified Ellsworth and Mckellips Park Plan is now SO MUCH BETTER!!!!!
The modified park proposal for this location has begun the process of making this proposal into an extraordinary park for several reasons.
1. It provides access to a beautiful native desert
2 it avoids duplication of service that are located within 1-3 miles.
A few more changes are needed to assure that this park protects the Sonoran desert it hopes to showcase. The park must be configured to meet the guidelines of the Desert Uplands and to assure that it can accommodate all individuals.
I am suggesting that
1. Trails width should be limited to 5 feet with an occasional bump out to accommodate interpretive signs
2. The lighting of the trails and the parking area should be low profile similar to what was used the award winning Red Mountain campus.
3. The parking area should be built out in two phases - the first 30 spots in Phase one and the last 36 spaces in Phase 2. The latter would only occur if there was sufficient demand for the expanded parking.
4. The park should use existing native planting or approved native plantings to assure that it retains the desert milieu. Turf should not be permitted since it requires significant water (the park is showcasing the desert) as well as ongoing maintenance.
Projects included in the 2012 parks bond package are under way. See project updates and current timeline http://www.mesaaz.gov/imesa/meetingitems/3-26-13/ParksBond.pdf
No improvements or lights, please. We already have too much light obstructing the night sky and plenty of development. Scrap the whole park idea. Leave the site alone. Encourage people to use and support Usery Park.
Larry Akins commented
John Meisterheim's comments are right on the money. With so much of the area already being lost to the new Mountain Bridge community and other homes going in, there has been a huge impact on the wildlife of the area. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that parking lot's don't help nature.
The wording "avoiding duplication of service" puzzles me a little. Is this also not a duplication of service? There are many parks offering nature walks and such that are very close by. I would like to know if the city plans on having the Mesa Police department patrol this park on a regular basis? A dark parking lot in the evening without that would equal trouble. Many people believe that if this were to occur, it would invite unwanted havoc into our neighborhood.
If we are going to get a park regardless of what is said then I would purpose making the nature park part of the Zaharis Elementary School where maybe it could be secured after hours. Not to mention enjoyed by the students as part of their science/nature studies.
Last but not least I think I speak for a few residents in the area in saying we moved here to this area for a reason. The views, nature, and people are very different than many parts of the valley. We normally have a very low crime rate and have a sense of community that sometimes are hard to find in other parts of Mesa. Lets not ruin a good thing and leave things the way they have been....the way they work well.
I would like to see this piece of land kept AS IS. I would rather not see light pollution, more pavement and more cars. If it will not be left AS IS. Please consider the modified Park Plan…. adhere strictly to the “Desert Uplands Guidelines“. We have already seen wildlife being displaced from its location by the developments being build west of Ellsworth. We want to protect the land.
I am sure there are other locations that would welcome the facilities proposed more than this area. We love the area as is.
Karen & Gregg Aicken commented
I agree with the other posters, who suggest that since Usery Park is so close another park is not needed in this area. However, if development must be done - that the "Desert Uplands Guidelines" be followed.
John Meisterheim commented
This piece of land is a great open space for wildlife. It creates a nice corridor for animals to live amongst us, which is something that many people, including myself, value a great deal. Personally, I wish these acres would be set aside as a city owned wildlife preserve. It would take minimal resources to maintain, and be a unique asset for all of Mesa.
If any development is done, I urge that the “Desert Uplands Guidelines“ be strictly adhered to.
Maybe there is a way to combine a Park/Preserve concept? Use less, conserve more.
Whatever final decision is reached, I would hope that the quality of life of those living nearest the project be an important factor. Thank You.
I agree with one of the other commentors, we have Usery Park, another park is not needed in this area. It's more important to preserve the wildlife.
Kimble Bartlow commented
Agreed with the above, although I would still like to see the existing plot left AS IS. Certainly light pollution is a major concern. No vehicles of any type should be allowed including bicycles, razorboards, or skateboards. Absolutely no turn or grass of any type should be allowed. Vegetation should be left as is to the maximum extent allowable. It would be good to add signs that point out the other parks in the area that provide more amenities than this one.
Dominic Liuzzo commented
I would prefer to leave it natural. Apply the funds to something else such as education, police, etc. There are several other places that would make more sense than this natural piece of property. The updated plan is an improvement but still would prefer it to stay "as is"!!
Sharon Liuzzo commented
The new plan is an improvement but still would prefer to see it left AS IS!! The is not right for this area! There are several other areas that would be such a better match for this type of development.
This park MUST meet all of the "Desert Uplands Guidelines" agreed to previously by the City of Mesa. Residents moved to this part of Mesa because of the desert environment. Any lighting MUST be low level lighting as already in use in this area. Walkways need to be 5 foot in width to preserve the desert environment. The entrance to this park should absolutely not be on Ellsworth Rd. it is too close to our south gate , and should be moved to McKellips Rd. where a wider entrance at Zaharis Elementary should be created with a left turning road veering off into the park. Parking spaces should definately be in two phases to see if the additional spaces are even needed based on usage. This is much better than the first design. But the integrity of the Desert Uplands Guidelines must be respected at all costs.
The revised plan is definitely much more acceptable, but still has a lot of issues that would have to be resolved before it could become a part of the special environment we now enjoy, such as destroying native vegetation and existing trails and natural washes, not to mention the impact so much additional lighting (though low light) would have on the desert, its creatures and those of us who live in this wonderful area. We really still wonder and question why the need for a park at the Ellsworth/McKellips intersection at all!! Usery Park is right next door with all the amenities suggested for this park plus lots more for citizens to enjoy. Boulder Mountain Highlands and other residential areas located within the proximity of the proposed park all have hiking trails within their subdivisions which provide their residents the desert atmosphere where they live peacefully with the wildlife! These residential areas also have natural drainage areas and trails which have been kept intact to allow the desert areas to flourish as they have for much longer than we have been living here. The abundance of wildlife would be severely impacted if the proposed "park" were to be developed. We have lived quietly with the desert wildlife surrounding us and the desert areas within our residential areas. We have respected the desert and choose to live here in peace and quiet. The addition of the park to this area would create an atmosphere quite foreign and harmful to what now exists in quiet respect to the desert we all enjoy. The thought of massive lighting (even though low level) within the park would still create an impact detrimental to the creatures that call the desert their homeas well as those of us who choose to live here. We have lived in this area with quiet respect and love for our special environment and would respectfully request that the proposed park be located in an entirely different area in Mesa where it will be received with joy and thankfulness by other residents who really desire a park in their neighborhood.
It might be a better secondary plan than the original plan--but it is still so wrong and a terrible plan. How anyone could accept this plan at Ellsworth and McKellips is terribly misguided on the consequences that this will inflict on the area. WRONG IDEA, BAD PLANNING!
Put this park plan in an area of Mesa that needs and wants. This plan is not right for our area. We did not buy in this area to have all this congestion/lighting in our backyard. Develop the Red Mountain area or add to park area on Brown Road
Dave Slick commented
The originally proposed plan is inconsistent with the character of the area. The funds required for capital investment in park development and annual maintenance costs, especially water use for turf, could be better spent elsewhere within the existing city parks system. We hope that the city chooses a "no development" path. Alternatively, a less ambitious modified plan represents a preferred option relative to the originally proposed plan.
I agree with a modified plan with low lighting,decreased size of walkways, and natural vegatation to blend in with the area. Protect Mesa's few native resources. Thanks, Sharyn Bohach Boulder Mtn resident for 10 yrs.
Mark D commented
The Desert Uplands is one of the last areas available in Mesa to actually see stars. Now you want to bring in lights! The people who moved here did so to get away from all of the congestion and lights. If you want trails, go to Usery Mountain Park which is about a mile away. If you want grass and a lake and ballparks, go to Red Mountain park which is about 3 miles away. Use taxpayers money to improve the canal path trails. We also have plenty of nearby schools that have places to play with ballfields.
Plus, turf (and the irrigatio system required) brings snakes and rabbits.Who wants to have a family picnic with these guests? Rabbits bring coyotes, and cyotes bring mountain lions, and we do have mountain lions near.
This plan will work! I agree with Susan's comments about installing a locked gate. This is cheaper than recurring patrols.
Rich Stengel commented
We moved to the Desert Uplands to take advantage of the desert environment, minimal light infiltration, and quiet atmosphere. If a park must be established, the modified plan is more in line with the requirements we all had to agree on to live in the Desert Uplands. Those same requiremnents should be required for any improvements to the Uplands.
John, Maureen, Kevin Julian commented
We support The Modified Ellsworth and Mckellips Park Plan.