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Mesa dedicates new botanical walkway

PHOENIX — A new desert botanical walkway in Mesa is on the way.

The idea is to increase knowledge and appreciation of local desert environment.

“This is going to be something that isn’t like anything else we’ve seen in Mesa before,” said Mesa Parks and Recreation Director Marc Heirshberg. “It’s going to be completely desert landscaping with accessible trails for everyone to enjoy.”

Heirshberg added that the focus of the walkway was to enhance the views and formations that already exist, not take away from them.

“We are really trying to take advantage of the natural beauty of the desert that already exists here and really trying to put an educational focus on that, [like] why it’s important to protect those resources,” he said.

The walkway was made a reality by Scotts Miracle-Gro and the company’s partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ nationwide GRO1000 Gardens and Green Spaces Program.

The park is near Zaharis Elementary, and the kids of the school have been allowed to be a part of its creation.

“It’ll be a learning-based park,” said Principal Mike Oliver. “Our students have had opportunities to blend their ideas into the development of it, and their voices have been respected and honored. It’s been a real privilege to work with the City of Mesa to creating a dream park.”

The new walkway at McKellips and Ellsworth Park should be completed around November of this year.