Landscape Architect & Specifier News

OCT 2018

LASN is a photographically oriented, professional journal featuring topics of concern and state-of-the-art projects designed or influenced by registered Landscape Architects.

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Continued on page 22 20 Landscape Architect and Specifier News Pioneer Park, the city of Mesa's oldest public park, originally opened in 1956. Located at the east end of Mesa's downtown, and just east of the Mesa Drive Light Rail stop, the park is a critical open space for the community and is a key element of Mesa's downtown designated Innovation District. In recent years, the park was under- utilized by the community and some of its historic monuments and attractions were showing wear. The iconic train engine that so many residents remembered from their childhood was fenced off and decaying. The original 'standard-issue' playground was not engaging neighborhood children. To address these issues, Mesa voters approved a Parks Bond package in 2012, and Pioneer Park was among the funding recipients for renovations. The city began a master-planning process that engaged the community and stakeholders on how to reposition the park while revitalizing cherished assets. The community leaders realized that in order to meet the many goals for the park, while simultaneously adding innovative new amenities, they would need to increase the originally planned fund amount. So, the project was infused with a much-needed $7.9 million-dollar budget to ensure the ambitious design was fulfilled to its fullest. The team at Dig Studio created a design concept that captured the spirit of the park, while also taking a bold approach to new play features and public spaces. The team started with the most iconic feature that that the park was known for: the trees. Remarkable for their size and maturity, the legacy trees The Remaking of Pioneer Park p l a y g ro u n d Chad Atterbury, PLA, ASLA Above: The custom play elements were designed to resemble the park's historic pistache, palm, and pine trees. The top lookout area provides a tree canopy-type of experience.

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