"So much more family-friendly and safe-feeling. The old park was kinda rundown," said Aaron Meeds.
It's hard to believe that this Pioneer Park just a year ago once rundown, out of date and in need of some major TLC.
"In 2012, a parks bond was passed by the voters of Mesa," said Aimee Manis of the City of Mesa.
That small sales tax gave Mesa the money they needed to start renovating downtown. At the top of the list was Pioneer Park.
"A lot of cities have trouble with urban decay. So to reinvest in the city through a structure that all of the citizens and visitors can enjoy," said Manis.
With a budget of $7.9 million, 18 acres and 9,000 square feet of playground materials, the design team got to work. The unique look is based on the trees in the park.
"(The design is) To mimic the palm trees and pine trees and local pistachio trees," said Manis.
[RELATED: Top rated parks in Phoenix area]
It took about a year to construct the playground, which has multiple level structures, bridges, swings, climbing ropes, rock walls and lots of slides.
The biggest slide stands at 30 feet high.
"That tall one over there, going up the first time is really scary,” said Jordan Cryder.
“Yeah because it starts shaking and so there are many people are up there," said Emma Cryder.
"This park is by far one of the best parks I’ve ever seen in any state," said David Cryder.
Another major highlight of the redesign is the kids' splash pad.
"It's the first of its kind in Arizona with a programmable water wall. It also has nighttime lighting features which have multiple colors that change designs, which are really kinda cool," said Manis.
"This couldn't have been a better investment. I don't think anybody that lives here will ever not appreciate this park. It's just an amazing park," said David.
The park also features picnic tables, a basketball court, a train and food truck court that is packed with your favorite local food trucks every Saturday night.
Pioneer Park is open daily from sunrise to 10 p.m.
Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.