This month, Northern Arizona University students finished a project to determine what a future park might look like in the heart of Cornville on an 80-acre parcel of Coconino National Forest Land. In cooperation with the Cornville Community Association (CCA), the NAU Recreation Facilities class studied the site, conducted a public forum, presented a draft concept design for discussion and comment; and then prepared a final concept design. The students completed the project during the January to May term, with presentations at CCA-sponsored community meetings in February, March and April. Sixty to eighty people attended each meeting.
The concept design was developed, proposed, revised and finalized on the basis of local public ideas and concerns. The final NAU report was received June 5. "We are pleased with the results of the study", said Deanna King, Cornville Community Association President. "The process involved a large number of interested residents; and the resulting design includes the elements that are most desired by the community." King added that the report will now be a helpful tool for continued discussions with Yavapai County and the Forest Service relating to land acquisition and park planning.
On Feb. 13, NAU students received many ideas from six focus groups. Next, they compiled and presented the data, along with a proposed concept design, on March 12. The proposal included a trail system, picnic shelters, playground, sports fields, and a community center near the northwest corner of the National Forest parcel, north of Cornville Road and west of Aspaas Road. The design aroused considerable discussion; and the students distributed maps and comment forms, which they continued to accept during March. Based on the comments received, the class learned that Cornville residents were less concerned about having sports fields than they were about protecting open space and riparian values, providing trails, and having a community center. There was also disagreement about the specific location of park features, particularly the community center.
On April 9, the students presented the final concept design, which includes a trail system, picnic shelters, and a community center positioned in a visible location closer to the junction of North Aspaas and Cornville Roads. Another community center location, east of North Aspaas Road, was offered as a potential alternative. The CCA received the final design report on June 5. To learn more about the park design project, go to the NAU Facility Design Website at www.prm.nau.edu/prm423/class.htm. By scrolling to "2008 Cornville Park", viewers can see all the project documents. For more information, contact CCA President Deanna King at (928) 639-0725; or Project Coordinator Judy Miller at 649-1916 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Park proposed in Cornville Community Plan
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. The development of a Park Concept Design by students from Northern Arizona University is the first step in a very long process.
The Cornville Community Plan may be purchased for $10 per copy at the Yavapai County Department of Development Services, 10 S. Sixth St., in Cottonwood.