Papago Park

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Papago Park
Papagopark1025.JPG
Location Tempe, Arizona
Nearest city Phoenix, Arizona
Coordinates 33°27′07″N 111°56′53″W / 33.452°N 111.948°W / 33.452; -111.948
Area 630-acre (2,500,000 m2)
Operated by Cities of Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona

Papago Park /ˈpæpəɡ/ is a municipal park of the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, USA. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.[1] It includes Hunt's Tomb, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Description[edit]

View from the Phoenix Zoo entrance

Papago Park is a hilly desert park covering some 490 hectares (1200 acres) in its Phoenix extent, and some 140 hectares (296 acres) in its Tempe extent (the latter is also referred to specifically as Tempe Papago Park). The park is surrounded by the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Scottsdale.

Papago Park is notable for its many distinctive geological formations and its wide variety of typical desert plants, including the giant saguaro cactus. The park also features the Desert Botanical Garden, a large zoo (the Phoenix Zoo), picnic areas, several small lakes, hiking trails, bicycle paths, a fire museum, and Hunt's Tomb, the pyramidal tomb of Arizona's first governor, George W. P. Hunt. Tempe Papago Park includes baseball and softball fields, picnic ramadas, a small lake, and other features. Rolling Hills Golf Course is within the park between its Phoenix and Tempe extremities.[2]

History[edit]

Hole in the Rock
Inside Hole in the Rock
Sandra Day O'Connor's House. O'Connor's house was moved from the town of Paradise Valley, Ariz., to Papago Park.

The distinctive red sandstone geological formations of Papago Park were formed some 6-15 million years ago. One such formation, Hole-in-the-Rock, is a major landmark, thanks to the openings (tafoni) eroded in the formation over time. There is some evidence that the Hohokam—a now-extinct aboriginal tribe that once lived in the Phoenix area—used the openings and sunlight to track the solstices.

There are also some signs of Precambrian granite in the park. The bedrock is concealed by only a thin layer of topsoil.

Papago Park was designated a reservation for the local Maricopa and Pima tribes of aboriginal Americans in 1879. It became the Papago-Saguaro National Monument in 1914, but this status was recalled by Congress, April 7, 1930, because the area was not considered suitable for a national monument.[3] It was divided amongst the state of Arizona, the city of Tempe and the Water Users Association, later known as the Salt River Project.[3] Federal Government reserved all oil, coal or other mineral rights.[3] During World War II, the park housed a POW camp and contained as many as 3,100 prisoners from 1942 to 1944. It was also the site of the largest mass escape from any United States prison camp in World War II. The Great Papago Escape occurred on December 23, 1944 when 25 prisoners, including German U-boat commander Jürgen Wattenberg, escaped the camp using a 178-foot tunnel and made their way to the Arizona desert. Many prisoners quickly realized that they knew nothing about the landscape or climate and turned themselves back in. Wattenberg was the last to be captured, on January 28, 1945.[4] After the war it served as a VA hospital from 1947 to 1951, then an Army Reserve facility. The state owned portion of the park was sold to the city of Phoenix on February 25, 1959. A portion of the Tempe park was conveyed to that city in 1935, and a parcel within that portion was conveyed to the Salt River Project in 1955. An 18-hole championship golf course was built by the city of Phoenix and completed in 1963

The park was also the finish line in the fourth season of The Amazing Race.

Hunt's Tomb[edit]

Hunt's Tomb
View of Hunt's Tomb in Papago Park, Phoenix, Arizona
Papago Park is located in Arizona
Papago Park
Location 625 N. Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix, Arizona
Coordinates 33°27′6.8″N 111°56′39.7″W / 33.451889°N 111.944361°W / 33.451889; -111.944361
Area less than one acre
Built 1932
Built by Webb, Del E.
Governing body Local
MPS Pyramidal Monuments in Arizona MPS
NRHP Reference # 08000526[5]
Added to NRHP June 12, 2008

Hunt's Tomb is a small white pyramid behind a fence at the top of a hill within Papago Park. Governor George W.P. Hunt (Arizona's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 7th, 8th, and 10th governor) had the tomb built in 1931 to entomb his wife. He was placed there after his death in 1934. Their daughter and his wife's family are also buried there.

The tomb was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.[5]

The tomb can be seen from anywhere in Papago Park, and offers a panoramic view of the eastern part of the Valley of the Sun.

Papago Ponds[edit]

The Ponds have a surface area of 6 acres (2.4 ha) with an average depth of 8 ft (2.4 m), the elevation of the area is 1,100 ft (340 m).

Fish Species[edit]

Other Species Living at Papago Ponds[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Phoenix Points of Pride". Retrieved October 18, 2006. 
  2. ^ Papago Park: A History of Hole-in-the-Rock from 1848 to 1995, Pueblo Grande Museum Occasional Papers No. 1, by Jason H. Gart, 1997
  3. ^ a b c Arizona Place Names, Will C Barnes, U of A Press, page 317
  4. ^ uboat.net webpage on Jürgen Wattenberg
  5. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  • Arizona Fishin' Holes. Phoenix, AZ: Arizona Game and Fish Department. 2007. 
  • Papago Park - The Golf Course and its History, copyright 2007, William Godfrey, author, resident of Phoenix, AZ.
  • Sexual selection in Woodhouse's toad (Bufo woodhousei). Journal of Animal Behavior: Brian Sullivan. 1987. 

External links[edit]