Improved public safety and security, better lighting, attractive recreational enhancements, environmental protection, better signage and more and better access points to enter and exit – these are among recommended improvements to the downtown Granite Creek Corridor.
City representatives and members of the Granite Creek Corridor Revitalization Committee shared a draft of the master plan prepared by Natural Channel Design, a Flagstaff-based company that specializes in such projects, at a community meeting last month.
Allen Haden, an aquatic ecologist, emphasized that the improvements will be made in segments, not all at one time. “Changes will be prioritized over time, depending on cost and complexity,” he said.
The plan is the result of more than 18 months of collecting data and public input about rejuvenating the downtown Prescott Granite Creek Corridor.
“I am excited we have moved along this rapidly in planning,” said Prescott Recreation Services Director Joe Baynes. “The contacts and connections we have established with businesses, residents who use the Prescott trail system, and others who enjoy our unique environment have been rewarding. We really appreciate all the effort Allen and his team put into the draft.”
Though no final figure has been set, the City of Prescott has earmarked $1 million in the coming year’s budget to be dedicated to park improvements. That fiscal year’s budget begins July 1, 2020. The Prescott City Council has begun reviewing cost estimates and will be making decisions soon.
Already, a $79,401 grant from the Arizona Water Protection Fund has made it possible to support the creation of a project master plan, said Tyler Goodman, assistant to the Prescott city manager. Additional federal, state and private grants have been filed requesting more funding to support improvements.
Goodman reported that to date, more than 650 comments and responses from the greater public had been submitted regarding recommendations for creek and trail rejuvenation. About half of the city allocation of $1 million is tentatively scheduled to create a splash pad playground and restrooms. Underground water lines have already been installed.
It is estimated that more than 160,000 people use the Greenway Trail between Gurley Street and Granite Creek Park, making it one of the most visited stretches of trail within the city. That number is expected to increase significantly when the Hilton Garden Inn at the intersection of Sheldon and Montezuma Streets is completed this fall.
During the meeting, Goodman, Baynes, Kristy Everson, chair for the Granite Creek Corridor Revitalization Committee, and others responded to questions and provided explanations. They also showed map details and illustrations from the multi-page draft master plan.
The current master plan is focused mainly on the downtown area, but future planning phases are expected to include portions of the creek corridor that run through the Prescott College area near the Miller Valley Road.
Initially, an approximate 1.2 miles of the creek corridor, beginning at the Aubrey Street Bridge south of Goodwin Street and ending in Granite Creek Park along Montezuma Street near the LaGuardia Bridge, will be rejuvenated. The corridor width is approximately 70 feet. The project emphasis is focused on preserving and protecting the urban ecological greenspace. QCBN
By Ray Newton, QCBN
For more information about the master plan, visit prescott-az.gov/city-management/leadership/programs-2/granite-creek-cooridor-master-plan