Park Awarded Natural Resources Award And The Outstanding Facility Award

By Constance Halonen-Wilson, Public Information Officer, Queen Creek 

During the annual Arizona Parks and Recreation Association (APRA) awards ceremony, the Town of Queen Creek received two awards, the Natural Resources Award for the lake at Mansel Carter Oasis Park and the Outstanding Facility Award (population 10,001 to 100,000) for Mansel Carter Oasis Park.

The Outstanding Facility award honors a facility that positively impacts leisure opportunities, includes innovative features, energy conservation and is environmentally sensitive while being functional and aesthetically appealing. Watch the video online:
youtube.com/watch?v=dh9shBzP0g8

Mansel Carter Oasis Park offers 48-acres of fun, creating an experience that encourages play for all ages and abilities. Beyond sports courts and ball fields, the park offers a shipwrecked-themed splash pad, an elevated playground with a climbing rock wall, marked loop around the ballfields and lake that incorporates fitness pods for cardio and bodyweight exercises, connectivity to the Town’s trail system along the Queen Creek Wash, and a wheel-friendly area that accommodates skateboards, scooters, bikes, rollerblades and skates. Opportunities for play on the inclusive-designed equipment are possible thanks to a partnership with Banner Ironwood Medical Center that extends the accessible surface, allowing people of all abilities to play alongside one another. 

The functionality of the park is vast, with creative aesthetic components. Color-changing LEDs in high visibility areas add ambiance as the sun goes down. Contours in the lake make it appear much larger and the raised play area provides beautiful views of the San Tan Mountain, Superstition Mountain and the exciting activities happening throughout the park. 

Important efficiencies are also incorporated throughout the park. The 5-acre fishing lake is stocked through a partnership with AZ Game & Fish, providing the only community fishing lake in Queen Creek. Wastewater credits are used to pump recovered water into the lake, which is then used to irrigate the park; the splash pad water also drains into the lake. All lighting at the park uses LED technology, requiring less electricity and eliminating spill into the surrounding area. 

The Natural Resource award honors a resource that was efficiently developed and utilized, includes problem solving and focuses on conservation (video). Watch the video online:
youtube.com/watch?v=G-VuSENQHg4

The lake at Mansel Carter Oasis Park uses recovered groundwater, allowing this important amenity to solve problems related to high water use and the expense of water replenishment. The use of recharged/recovered water and in lieu programs maximizes the efficiency of the lake by serving as the irrigation source for all of the fields and plants while also serving as the only community fishing lake in Queen Creek. The construction of the lake created opportunities for the community to get involved through building fish habitats. The lake also adds to the overall ambiance of the park and serves as an example for the development community of how building a lake can reduce the use of potable water, increasing sustainability and decreasing costs.

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