I would love to see the play equipment at the east valley parks have permanent shade structures, especially at Augusta Ranch Park located next to the elementary school. My five-year-old grandson, who just started kindergarten, tries to play at the park with some of his new little friends for a few minutes after school. His face turns red immediately and after only a few minutes he has to sit in the shade and rest. I'm afraid he'll have heat stroke or worse and we only stay for a short time. With the extreme temperatures we have in this valley six months out of the year, it's unimaginable that any play equipment would be installed in parks without shade structures. Shade makes a difference of 10 to 20 degrees and can mean enjoying outdoor play during hot months. Why should our children and grandchildren grow up in this area not being able to play outside at a neighborhood park half the year? The idea is unthinkable to me. Please please please consider covering the play equipment in your east valley parks and at Augusta Ranch Park in particular. On the front page of the Apache Junction Independent newspaper today is a story about a $30,226.46 donation from Ed Braunger to be used for a 45-foot-wide shade structure to cover the playground equipment in front of the multi-generational center in Apache Junction. How fantastic!!! Thank you Mr. Braunger!
Mesa is so large, that it would be nice to have a large, upgraded park with a splash pad spread throughout the map of Mesa. For example, SE Mesa, NE Mesa, central Mesa, NW Mesa, etc. would all have access to a park with a splash pad within a reasonable distance from where they live. I have to be honest, all of these big plans for Mesa sound great, but we live in NE Mesa, and to be honest, we probably will not drive in 30 minutes to central Mesa to visit these sites very often.
Its amazing to me that out of the $70 million park bond from 2012 (bond effort finalized in 2017), a splash pad did not get built and existing playgrounds did not get shade coverings in East Mesa. I talked with the City of Mesa Parks department, they said they used iMesa to get a feel for what the community wanted in 2012, they are now using this portal, Imagine Mesa, to identify what the people want. The more people that post on here in favor of splash pads and shade coverings, the more chance funding will be used for that. West Mesa has 2 splash pads, East Mesa has 0.
Next time a bond like that is approved, I would think it would be much more cost efficient to put shade on the parks we have. I'm not interested in Million dollar renovations for parks I can't reach in West Mesa, I don't think we need a lot of new parks either unless some areas don't have any. But putting shade on parks we have already that we can't use 8 months out of the year because of heat exhaustion and 1st degree burns makes sense to me. If we can get one splash pad out this way, all the better (Using Red Mountain Park sounded like a great suggestion due to location in comparison to existing splash pads and existing space).
For those interested in the 2012 Parks Bond Program utilization and status:
They are also opening a survey in the next week or so at www.mesaparks.com, everyone should participate:
"The Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities Department is currently in the process of creating a new strategic plan that will lead us into the next 3-5 years. We are interested in hearing from the public and have recently sent out surveys to over 200 randomly selected households throughout Mesa’s 133 square mile territory. We will soon be adding an electronic version of the survey to the www.mesaparks.com web site as well. We should be adding the survey link to our pages within the next week."
We've had so many great ideas related to this one that we've combined them to help them gain even more steam! All of the comments and "Me Too" votes have been transferred over from the following ideas:
I want more covered play areas in Mesa.
Our kids need more protection from the heat and sun. In the summer especially. They still want to be outside but cannot because we have no protection from the sun.
Jon David Jeffery:
I want shade covering for popular neighborhood kids playgrounds like alta mesa and falcon field in Mesa
I want shade at ALL playgrounds in Mesa.
I want more shade coverings at all the Mesa parks More splash pads and family friendly activities in Mesa.
Mesa is a wonderful city! I want Mesa to be a leader for parks, shade coverings, splash pads and family activities. Right now Queen Creek, Gilbert and Chandler have more to offer. There are new neighborhoods being built in Mesa and I want Mesa to be inviting to families!
I want more fun splash pads in Mesa.
Mesa is in need of splash pads. Especially in the established areas, not just the outskirts. I would love to see a really great splash area like Thunder Junction Park in St George Utah, and not just a glorified concrete fountain. We would also really benefit from small park splash pads that are designed for the neighborhood, and not as a destination - similar to some of the parks in Tempe.
Lauren DeLaix Cluff:
I want More splash pads! They are perfect for hot weather and little kids in Mesa.
This is not a new idea so I am sure I don't need to describe it. I think that splash pads at the local parks are the perfect thing to entertain families, especially in the heat when the parks are used less.
I want a splash pad at Countryside Park in Mesa.