The Phoenix Area’s Parks and Preserves


Metropolitan Phoenix is one of the country’s fastest growing areas, contains the nation’s fifth largest city, adds more than 100,000 residents each year, and rapidly consumes the surrounding desert. However, it is not losing all of its open space. One can stand anywhere in the Valley of the Sun and look toward the horizon—in just about any direction the glories of nearly 100 years of preservation efforts are visible. All told, over 300 square miles of the most beautiful desert and mountain scenery are preserved or targeted for preservation in the Phoenix area. This book celebrates the beauty of these special places, and the foresight, determination, and efforts required to preserve this critical link to the great outdoors. Using more than a century’s worth of historical photographs, it tells the stories of the acquisition and development of seven of the Phoenix area’s most important parks and preserves.


About the Author:

Authors Donna and George Hartz are longtime activists in historical and natural preservation organizations. Donna has degrees in history and geography, and is pursuing her Ph.D. in urban climatology at Arizona State University’s School of Geographical Sciences. George is an amateur historian and serves on the boards of numerous local historical organizations.

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