The Greening of Downtown Fountain Hills Project Gets Down & Dirty

Fountain Hills Parks and Avenues Receive Beautiful Trees and Low-Water Plantings

Sonoran Lifestyle Staff in Greening Dance Video

Sonoran Lifestyle staff practicing for their Greening Video debut!

In Fountain Hills beloved Lakeside Village and Town Center, a locally sponsored “Greening of Downtown” project has been designated an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project by the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission (AHAC).  Designed by the “Greening” volunteers as a means to enhance the Fountain Hills downtown area, the project has added more shade trees to Fountain Park, landscaped the Park’s performance Pad, and included a low-water landscaping garden and a wildflower garden to help homeowners and visitors select low water plants for their landscaping.

Sonoran Lifestyle was one of dozens of Town businesses and volunteers who participated in the kick-off video for You Tube.  Though it hardly went “viral” as hoped, it was a great kick off for the fundraising efforts which eventually raised $180,000 from private donations and grants.

Fountain Hills, AZ Downtown Greening Project Volunteers

Fountain Hills volunteers help plan the Fountain Park

The second phase of the project included landscaping vacant lots in the downtown corridor to create a more pedestrian-friendly Town core. This part of the Greening of Downtown is also funded by private donations and grants. Projects are coordinated with the Town’s Parks and Recreation department, and is a great example of the power of public/private partnerships.  The Fountain Hills Brownie Troop joined other town volunteers to plant the colorful pots that form the new façade of three downtown lots.

Fountain Hills Girl Scouts Help with the Planting of The Avenue of the Fountains

Fountain Hills Girl Scouts Help with the Planting of The Avenue of the Fountains

The newest partnership involves AvGrow, a natural soil amendment research firm and the Town of Fountain Hills.  As many parks are irrigated with reclaimed water, the mineral content in the soil evolves into a medium which won’t grow healthy grass and ground cover.  In the latest Greening project, AvGrow will naturally modify the soil in the park in spots where growth is currently stunted, and will be applied to the islands in the lake in the hopes of creating a healthier nesting environment for birds and water fowl.

Pic #4 Bird Island

This pilot project could have far-reaching impact, as most golf courses and many parks across Arizona are irrigated with reclaimed similar to Fountain Park.  As the mineral and salt content increases, the vegetation requires more water, more nutrients and more fertilizer, which increases park maintenance costs when budgets are tight.

For more information on the soil modification project, which is part of ASU’s Sky Song Business Incubator group, contact Monica Brandt, COO,  AvGrow at 312-810-8222.

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