Desert Trails Bike ParkHonor Award - General Design
Surrounded by residential and commercial development in Mesa, Arizona, the Desert Trails Park is a one-of-a-kind park in the community. The 40 acre city-owned property is home to a 5 acre municipal water facility, native desert vegetation, and 91 feet of natural change in elevation. For years a majority of the property sat unused and the site became an unofficial dumping ground for garbage. With bond funding from the City of Mesa and voluntary community clean-up crews, the derelict property was transformed into a unique park that is utilized by all ages and skill levels. The intent of this community park is to provide active recreation to support the growing demand for mountain biking and hiking, all while maintaining the daily operations of the municipal water facility. Desert Trails Park serves the community as the only urban mountain bike park in the metro area. Respecting the native vegetation and drainage ways, the trails were designed to weave through the existing vegetation, and utilize the natural topography minimizing the need for excessive grading. Many custom details were thoughtfully developed resulting in minimal impact to the site. The outcome not only enhances the user’s experience with nature, but also creates a vibrant and challenging course. The signage, restroom and shade structures are designed to create an organic aesthetic and blend with the surrounding desert landscape.