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Maricopa County Parks Release Draft Parks Vision 2030 Master Plan

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Planning efforts to protect and expand the region's parks, trails, and open spaces have been underway at the Maricopa County Department of Parks and Recreation for decades.

The Department recently completed the draft Parks Vision 2030 Strategic System Master Plan. This plan defines opportunities, challenges, and recommendations for the next decade and beyond.

“The Parks Vision 2030 plan will protect connectivity and ensure future generations have access to great regional parks, trails, and nature-based experiences,” said Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Clint Hickman (District 4). We will continue and strengthen our efforts to provide access.”

Maricopa CountyMaricopa County

(Facebook Photo/Maricopa County)

“This plan builds on the 2009 System Master Plan and focuses on how the county's growth has impacted its natural resources and the need to provide communities with access to nature and open space. It incorporates the legacy of the original Regional Park Plan of 1965 by focusing on

As highlighted in the 1965 Plan, there was a sense of urgency in planning for the future. While emergency response and infrastructure services are somewhat flexible and can be provided as populations grow, corridors that connect large regional parks and open spaces must be planned decades in advance.

“Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Director RJ Cardin said: Additionally, the importance of parks, trails, and open spaces, and the role they play in physical and mental health, has become even more apparent over the past few years. ”

The Parks Vision 2030 Plan reviews the accomplishments of the existing county park system since 2009 and provides an overview of the current system. Additionally, the plan focuses on looking beyond the existing park system.

“Parks Vision 2030 works to protect important natural spaces and important wildlife habitat as housing and industrial projects continue to expand into areas once considered the outskirts of town.” added District 1 Vice President Superintendent Jack Sellers.

“This plan recognizes that growth will continue and seeks to balance open space preservation with economic development.”

Over the past three years, extensive support activities have been carried out, including meetings with a number of stakeholder organizations. In addition, a virtual public meeting was held and he received more than 1,400 comments on an online public feedback form.

“Our department is always looking to the future to determine how to better serve our community. We appreciate the natural beauty that exists in Maricopa County and here at We are proud of our world-class trails and parks that are protected and maintained. These open spaces help promote healthy lifestyles for our residents and also attract tourists seeking an authentic Arizona experience. It also helps attract them,” added District 3 Supervisor Bill Gates.

“The Board recognizes that successfully planning the future of our regional park system requires hearing from all corners of the county, including those who live in unincorporated areas. Thankfully, our staff Leveraging a variety of outreach efforts, we were able to gather a lot of valuable feedback in preparing the plan. We look forward to similar results in our review of the plan.” said District 2 Supervisor Thomas Galvin.

The draft Park Vision 2030 Plan will be submitted for a 30-day public comment period from September 11 to October 10, 2023. The draft plan can be viewed at:

Comments can be submitted in one of the following ways:

  • The electronic survey is located at:
  • Email comments to To assist and facilitate the process:
    • Please write “Parks Vision 2030 Public Comment” in the subject line.
    • You can attach PDF or Word documents up to 10 MB.
    • If your comment pertains to a specific planning section, please refer to the specific page number.
  • Email comments to: Office of the Director, 41835 N Castle Hot Springs Rd. Morristown, Arizona 85342

Information about the Maricopa County Regional Park System can be found at:

Read more Phoenix area stories at Signals

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