NAU begins study for Cornville Park

Overview (looking west) of NAU Study Area in Cornville.

Overview (looking west) of NAU Study Area in Cornville.

This month, Northern Arizona University (NAU) students will begin a project to determine what a future park might look like in the heart of Cornville on the 80-acre parcel of Coconino National Forest Land along Cornville Road between Oak Creek and KC's Corner.

In cooperation with the Cornville Community Association (CCA), the Recreation Facilities class, under the direction of Dr. Charles Hammersley, associate professor, NAU Parks & Recreation Management, will study the site, conduct public discussions, and prepare a concept design plan. The project will be completed in May 2008.

The students will introduce the project and conduct initial focus group discussions at the next Cornville community meeting at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Oak Creek School, 11490 Purple Sage Road in Cornville. Everyone interested in the possibility of a park in Cornville is urged to attend. Further public discussion will continue throughout the project.

Ideas for parks in Cornville have been discussed off and on for many years; and the current Windmill County Park has become a real source of community pride. As a result, a proposal to expand Windmill Park onto the adjacent National Forest parcel was publicly discussed and included in the Cornville Community Plan, adopted by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors in May 2005. The basic idea is to make use of the National Forest land in a way that will serve community purposes and "connect" the community, which now has two separate focal points a mile apart. The area is depicted in the Community Plan future land use map as "Cornville Center" and calls for such things as a safe pedestrian crossing of Oak Creek, protection of riparian values, a multi-use trail, the possibility of a community center, and other park amenities desired by residents.

"Since the Plan was adopted, CCA, Yavapai County and Forest Service officials have discussed the many steps involved for making a park a reality-including possibilities for planning, acquisition, marketing, fundraising and management," said Deanna King, CCA President. "Now, NAU has agreed to help us start the process with a concept design plan. The entire meeting will be devoted to park discussions and we hope to have a full house," she added.

Discussion items will include levels of use (passive open space and/or active recreation); desired activities and facilities; access, parking and traffic flow; financing, management and operations.

For more information, contact Deanna King at (928) 639-0725; or Judy Miller, who will serve as the CCA coordinator for the study project, at 649-1916 or dvnjdymlr@cableone.net.

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