The City of Phoenix on Nov. 9 will unveil a major new trail access point and dedicate the Skip Rimsza Paseo in the Sonoran Desert Preserve, features that will make it easier for residents to enjoy the newest jewel in the city’s far-reaching desert preserve system. The Apache Wash Trailhead parking area at 1600 E. Sonoran Desert Dr., features a restroom, space for 200 cars, shade ramadas and equestrian parking areas. It’s also a gateway to 18 miles of desert trails in the Sonoran Preserve’s northern section as well as the new Skip Rimsza Paseo, a five mile paved trail that meanders through the southern edge of the preserve. Three of the Paseo’s many wash-spanning bridges also feature tile mosaic artwork by two professional artists.

On Nov. 9 at 8 a.m., City Councilmembers Jim Waring and Michael Nowakowski will join community members and Parks and Recreation Department park rangers and other staff to formally dedicate the new trailhead, the Paseo and the mosaic artwork. Park rangers also will lead guided hikes on the surrounding trails.

"The continued expansion of our desert preserve system is one of the best examples of a long-range, strategic investment in our city, that will continue to pay dividends for generations to come," Councilman Jim Waring said. "I am particularly pleased to support the naming of the trail for former Mayor Skip Rimsza, whose vision helped shape the Sonoran Desert Preserve as an outdoor adventure area that is accessible to all."

Visitors riding or walking the full Paseo will enjoy tile mosaics that adorn three of the pathway’s many wash-spanning bridges. The mosaics speak to the beauty of the surrounding Sonoran Desert. Artists Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar created the mosaics, as well as the scoring of the bridges’ concrete floors in a carpet like pattern to highlight the areas immediately in front of the balconies viewing / resting areas.

The two sections of the Phoenix Sonoran Preserve cover more than 9,400 acres and offer 31 miles of trails. At its current size, the Sonoran Preserve is now the second largest Phoenix desert preserve area, behind South Mountain’s more than 16,000 acres. The city’s desert preserve system now totals more than 33,300 acres.

The new Apache Wash trailhead cost $2.4 million, funded with impact fees. The tile mosaic artwork on the bridges of the Skip Rimsza Paseo was funded by Percent for Arts funds.

More information on the city’s desert preserves is available online at   back...
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