Why a Rodeo Park?
What makes this part of God's green earth so special?
For me it's the warm, friendly, caring people, the beauty of the land, the reverence for the past, the delight of the Western culture, the concern for the environment, the incredible weather, and the drama and double rainbows of the monsoon season to say nothing of the fabulous sunsets.
It certainly isn't the county supervisors' plan to construct three huge administration buildings and a 1500 car parking lot on the former Yavapai fairgrounds at the corner of Gail Gardner Way and Fair Street in Prescott.
My first objection to the plan is that it will irreversibly destroy the small town charm of Prescott. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. And it's unnecessary. The City of Prescott has hundreds of acres of land in Pioneer Park, just off Pioneer Parkway, that could be traded to the county in exchange for the fairground land. Ten years ago, the county was prepared to do just that and the city turned the offer down. It's not too late. The city council and the mayor should act now and give the county land in Pioner Park for construction of county administration buildings in exchange for the old Yavapai fairgrounds land.
My second objection is that millions of tax dollars will be spent in widening Gail Gardrer Way and Fair Street.
The Rodeo Park Committee is fully aware that county administration buildings need to be constructed. Our position is that the buildings should be located where thay would be most accessible to county workers and those who have county business to attend to without tampering with the architectural integrity of Prescott.
Another reason, if more are needed, is that for 500 years from approximately 800 to 1300 A.D. the fairground land was a cultural dwelling for the Prehistoric Prescott Indians. Before the present rodeo stadium was constructed in 1964, at the insistence of Ms. Sharlot Hall, an archeological dig was conducted and two priceless ceremonial ram's heads were unearthed. Because of the rarity and amazing condition of the heads, the Smithsonian Institute has repeatedly expressed an interest in acquiring them fron the Smoki Museum here in Prescott. If an archeological dig is properly conducted, in all probability more clues would be unearthed to explain the disappearance of this culture. Such information would be vital to us all, helping to illuminate the migration of man in the Americas.
What do we mean by a PARK FOR EVERYONE IN EVERYONE'S HOMETOWN? What our committee envisions is a multi-purpose use recreational area beautifully landscaped with trees and flowers indigenous to the high desert country, walking paths, and outdoor swimming pool, a skateboard area and an amphitheater that could be used year round for concerts, theater productions and athletic events, making the Park partially self-supporting. And, of course, like the new inner-city park in Phoenix, a park in the heart of Prescott would be eligible for state and federal grants.
A rodeo park would be a place where children could play safely, where people of ALL AGES would gather to enjoy games of strength and skill, listen to music, walk among trees and flowers, or simply sit and gaze toward the distant hills, watch the sun coming up and going down, enjoy the changing seasons, and study the heavens as rain and snow falls upon the earth.
A rodeo park dedicated to all who sacrificed their lives for peace, liberty, and justice will stand forever as a testament by the people of Prescott of their support of the inalienable right of all to religious and racial tolerance. The park would be a place where ALL PEOPLE would come together in peace and harmony now and for ALL TIME. As recent events have proven, "We must," as Martin Luther King said, "learn to live as brothers or we shall perish together as fools."
Please join us in making this dream a reality. Future generations will thank you for preserving the small town ambience of a very special community, for keeping unnecessary traffic out of the heart of the city, and for enriching the cultural and recreational opportunities for all its citizens.
To get involved, contact:
Eileen M. Holleran, Chair|
Prescott Rodeo Park Committee
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