Residents in two areas of south Tempe
have asked the city to fund master plans
for their neighborhood parks in hopes of
qualifying the parks for million-dollar
makeovers sometime in the next four or
The Alta Mira Neighborhood Association
has applied for a $12,000 Maryanne
Corder Neighborhood Grant from the city
of Tempe to create a master plan for the
5-acre Goodwin Park at Taylor Drive and
Meanwhile, the Scudder Park West and
Juniper-Watson neighborhood associations
have jointly applied for $12,000 in
Tempe grant money to create a master
plan for the 33-year-old Scudder Park at
Lakeshore and Watson drives.
Having master plans on file likely would
make the two city parks prime candidates
for approximately $1 million each in
city bond funds for repairs and
modernization, according to Mark
Richwine, Tempe’s Parks and Recreation
“Approximately $1 million per park is
basically what we’d be looking at,”
“Having a completed master plan helps us
identify where there is need in Tempe.
We still would have to look at where
there is critical need,” he added.
Tempe voters in May approved $14 million
in parks and recreation bonds. Tempe
plans to budget approximately $8.6
million in bond-funded parks
improvements over the next four fiscal
Richwine said the city plans to work on
two parks per year, spending
approximately $1 million on each park
chosen for improvements.
At least three parks already have master
plans on file and likely would be ahead
of Goodwin and Scudder parks in the
queue for bond funding, Richwine said.
That suggests it would be 2008 or 2009
before either of the south Tempe park
improvement projects is started.
“Goodwin Park is among the top four most
heavily used neighborhood parks for
soccer, football, and softball practice
in the city,” according to the Alta Mira
Association’s application for grant
Yet, playground equipment “is outdated,
the picnic areas need improvement, and
there is inadequate shade,” the
application states. Also, the water
fountain is broken, it notes.
The situation at the 4-acre Scudder Park
is bleaker, judging by the grant
application prepared by concerned
“The park, once the jewel on the crown,
now is sparse and unappealing. Dotted
only with a few vandalized,
graffiti-covered play structures that
are unsafe and in serious disrepair, the
park offers little to entice families,”
the grant application states.
“A dilapidated park invites trouble,”
the application warns. “Renovation of
Scudder Park would encourage families to
spend time there and allow neighbors to
get to know one another, thus
discouraging crime and vandalism.”
Richwine estimated it could take about
six months to prepare master plans for
the parks “if residents agree on
what they want.”
What improvements are made depends on
costs, he added.
For example, Scudder Park is
flood-irrigated, but could be converted
to turf irrigation if residents want, he
said. However, a major project like
converting to turf irrigation would eat
up much of the budget for overall park
improvements, he noted.
Scudder Park probably is past due for a
Tempe has 47 neighborhood/community
parks, including such major facilities
as Kiwanis Park. The city also maintains
three sports complexes, two golf courses
and a cemetery, Richwine noted.
Richwine said a neighborhood park has a
lifecycle of about 25 years.
Neighborhoods around the parks mature
and standards for park safety improve
over the years, he noted.
Tempe’s bond program is designed to
overhaul the city’s parks within that
25-year lifecycle, he said.