Phoenix adds 1,546 acres of land to Sonoran Preserve

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PHOENIX -- The City of Phoenix added 1,546 acres to the Sonoran Preserve in northern Phoenix for $24.1 million, increasing the preserve to more than 9,000 acres.

According to the City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department, the city made the purchase at a State Trust Land auction Jan. 30 and used a $4.4 million state Growing Smarter State Trust Land Acquisition Program grant. The remaining cost was covered by the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative (PPPI).

“Our city’s desert preserve system is an important amenity for residents and a powerful attraction for visitors around the world, who bring with them vital tourist dollars to help drive our local economy,” said Councilman Jim Waring. “This purchase represents a smart investment and a move closer toward the completion of our preserve system.”

The new land purchased is unique in climate, getting up to 12.5 inches of rainfall a year in comparison to the 7.5 inches of rainfall in the lower Colorado River Valley, also a subdivision of the Sonoran Desert.

The climate in this newly acquired land will reflect in the lushness and diversity of plant life.

According to the Parks and Recreation Department, the PPPI was re-authorized by 83 percent of Phoenix voters in May 2008 to continue a modest sales tax for a 30 year period to buy thousands of acres of state trust land and to fund construction and improvements to regional, neighborhood and community parks.

The City of Phoenix desert preserve system is now more than 32,500 acres.