Glassford Dells Regional Park
On May 26, 2022, the Town of Prescott Valley signed an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Prescott and Yavapai County for ultimate purchase of approximately 3,500 acres of State Trust Land on and around Glassford Hill. Prescott Valley, Prescott, and Yavapai County have met regularly since with representatives from the Arizona State Land Department and the State of Arizona Parks & Trails Department to coordinate purchase of the property and discuss concepts of recreational use thereon.
In partnership with the City of Prescott and Yavapai County, the Town wishes to protect approximately 3,500 acres of State Trust Land from future housing development.
Amenities should be developed with extensive public participation (mountain bikers, hikers, residents, businesses, neighboring residents, HOAs, environmental) within the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the Town’s 2035 General Plan.
New trail development should be single track to blend into the hillside. Downhill mountain bike trails should be separated from hiking and horseback trails to reduce conflict.
Diversify the economy by developing eco-tourism, preserving our natural resources, and encouraging outdoor use of public space.
- Why is the Town doing this?
To preserve approximately 3,500 acres of Arizona State Trust Land from future housing development and expand outdoor recreational opportunities.
- What is this I've heard about a "gondola" system or mountain bike lift?
One idea that has been discussed is a mountain bike lift where riders could hang their bikes on the side/back of a chair lift and ride to the top. Gondolas (red, yellow, blue carrying multiple riders) is NOT under consideration. This concept must be fully studied by outside professionals to determine if it is economically feasible, can be constructed in an environmentally sustainable way, and can minimize its appearance to Prescott Valley residents.
- What other amenities are being considered?
The Parks and Recreation Department completed a master plan in 2020, consisting of multiple public meetings to garner resident input. Four of the eight “High” priorities recommended in the study discuss trail/adventure areas, including:
- Walking & Hiking Trails (Natural Surface)
- Walking & Biking Trails (Multi-Use Paved)
- Adventure Area (Ropes Course, Zip Line, etc.)
- Open Space Conservation Areas/Trails.
Other amenities could include a bicycle pump track, dog park, amphitheater, picnic sites, community garden, playground, disc golf course, sand volleyball courts, archery range, or other outdoor amenities. This is where additional public input will be critical in designing a park that will provide multi-generational recreational opportunities. A copy of the Parks Master Plan can be viewed here.
- What is the timeline for this project?
The Town is budgeting for the purchase of the land in the next fiscal year (beginning July 1, 2023). Costs to construct other amenities would be dependent upon future year budget allocations or grants. It will most likely be several years before some of these amenities could be budgeted and constructed. Funding for the purchase of the land is coming from the Town’s General Fund.
- Will future trails mimic the existing trail going to the top of Glassford Hill?
The current trail going up Glassford Hill was constructed by heavy equipment, including a road grader and bulldozer, and was designed for fire vehicles to be able to reach the top for hikers in distress. That is not our vision for other trails that would be developed, which would be small in width and blend into the hillside. There is enough property that we could include dedicated “downhill” mountain biking trails and separate trails for hikers and even possibly horseback trails.
The Glassford Dells Steering Committee meets every other Wednesday, 5:30-7PM.
Meetings are open to the public. Please check calendar for dates & location.
There are no published events in current month.
Learn more about discussion items at each meeting:
What is PV known for? How is it viewed through the lens of a new resident or a first-time visitor? Long- time resident?
- Small town feel
- Mild climate
- Confusion with Prescott/Connected with Prescott
- Affordable housing
- Vibrant growing community
- As we’re not know for jobs, we have hidden factories, Ace, Print Pack, M&I, that locals know.
First time visitors:
- Get out of the heat
- Youth sports
- Conservative community
- Safe community
- Destination factor-Mortimer Farms
Now that you are familiar with the Town’s P&R MP, strategic plan, and finances, what possibilities exist for the Town?
- A visitor’s center to learn about outdoors of local area, observatory
- Destination place, e.g., Lasso Loop, multiuse park, showcases flora and fauna, local art
- Walkability, connectivity, get to places safely e.g., Prescott Courthouse area
- Wildlife preserve/riparian sanctuary
- Portal to Glassford Hill, draw people in
- Regional Athletic complex as a draw in another area
What features/amenities could be part of this regional park?
- *Full service trailhead, with large parking, not necessarily paved, need trailhead to support large events, full service bathrooms, water bottle filler, easy access, vendors-bike rentals, food and water. Reduce traffic through neighborhoods. Charge for parking, convenient and easy. Gives us control of where people are parking.
- Sustainable paving
- One way trail for bikers that blend in and are safe-directional trails.
- Consensus to not build a road, however a compromise for a smaller trail up the hill for downhill.
- *Group wants to protect the nature/beauty of the hill.
- A pump track-skills track for kids by the parking lot
- Ropes course?
- *Areas for rest, views with shade, solar on top of shade structure
- Body of water, small lake coupled with a nature center-fit the landscape, also modern
What steps can be taken to ensure that the vision for GDRP aligns with the cultural heritage and historical significance of the area?
- The views
- Information and interpretative signage of what you are looking at. Historical signage aimed at past historical places and events, or wildlife.
- Name of the town in the background, e.g., Cabo, Mexico, -photo tourism, blend in, not gaudy.
How can a design and layout of future features/amenities optimize views of nearby landmarks or scenic vistas? Including such elements as lookout points or observation decks.
- (Already addressed this above.)
- Observation deck near cave-incorporate connectivity, safe but keeping in step with good stewardship of the land.
How can the park's design and layout minimize visual impacts from nearby residential areas and traffic corridors? Answer this question by trying to create values/goals that guide future decision making.
- Minimize visual impacts-blend into landscape. Hire professionals with experience in building trail and park systems-what is the value-guiding principle-Do it right, but with minimal impact. Incorporating expertise at the highest level to make improvements. Expert working with consultant to preserve the natural habitat. Complete vision and plan-no steps should be taken until plan is in place. Include stages.
- Value partners and work together with Prescott, Yavapai-stakeholders.
How can the park's design and layout accommodate different types of recreational experiences, outside of hiking and mountain biking? (Birdwatching, stargazing, wildlife areas, archeology, outdoor adventure, etc.)
- Disc golf-general consensus, however there was concern from one member.
- What can we do for seniors and accessibility? Discussed
- *Stewards/security to deter bad behavior
- *Denotes consensus or strong statements from the group.
What is the role of this committee regarding soliciting community feedback?
- Give suggestions and let the town handle it
- Awareness campaign needs to be developed.
- Town Hall gathering
- Town newsletter
- Neighborhood meetings
- Outreach in the community
What methods can be employed to gather feedback and suggestions from residents, businesses, and visitors regarding their experiences and preferences at Glassford Dells Regional Park?
- Tale of two cities- e.g., Mayor does a show on the radio or Mondays with the Mayor approach
- Town newsletter
- Lay out a framework of what needs to be done-specific direction, due process, cart before the horse
- *Awareness Campaign-this is the starting point-radio, TV, social media, surveys,
- Regular updates- try to feed this out on a regular basis
- Outreach and engage the public
- Page on the Town’s website about GDRP -link with survey and general information
- Control the narrative and point everyone to one area. Message has to be consistent.
- Primary core message is that we are collecting feedback. It needs to advance what the town is doing, what the role of the committee is and updates.
- It should be celebrated! This is a park, what amenities should be in the park.
- Ask about marketing research of similar types of project
How do you manage dissenting opinions on how the park should be developed?
- What is allowable in the park?
- Quell misinformation-be transparent
- Put the IGA out-put it in layman's terms that is clear
- Communication positive
- Need a spokesperson-one official channel-liaison
- Evaluation of pros and cons -this is the role the committee provides
What metrics would be used to define community desires for the park? Majority rule, loudest voice, social media interaction, statistically valid surveys, other?
- Authority of PV-Council will need to make decision-may not be popular opinion
- Totality of outreach, online surveys, looking at all data and feedback
- Universal metric? -Need all of them.
- Balance feasibility
- Establish hierarchical list by town resolution-have a vote and this is how we move forward.
- Survey in one place-Survey Monkey metric-limited to town residents-professional group that collects data.
A long-term vision and goals have been established by this committee. How can we effectively communicate this long-term vision and goals for Glassford Dells Regional Park to foster a sense of ownership and community pride among the residents?
- We need to refine this,
- Memorialize it in writing-websites, outreach, etc.
- Computer generated model of park -be visual in the plan. A visual plan of the park
- Do visual stages of the projects.-Keep it easy to consume-People don’t know what is on the back side of the mountain, very accessible.
- Link to Prescott’s project side of the purchase
How do we incorporate the voice of youth in the project?
- Bradshaw Mountain High School students involved
- Create contest to get HS involved-name a trail
- Getting each school to adopt a trail, name it and keeping it clean-volunteer on the trail
- Prescott Valley schools have a mascot, name it after all the schools mascots
- Should have a youth representative on this committee-define it-junior high and high school-have the Committee bring their children
What strategies can the Town of Prescott Valley implement to promote education and awareness about the historical and cultural significance of Glassford Dells Regional Park, fostering a deeper appreciation for the area's heritage?
- We have already talked about this, it is redundant.
- Have an education center
- Have Sharlot Hall point people to us.
- Knowledge expert about Glassford Hill
- Scavenger Hunt to get to know the area-cultural points of Glassford Hill/Prescott Valley
- Have an app/QR code that shows historic points in Prescott Valley-gives people a tour
How can we effectively communicate the upcoming amenities and activities at Glassford Dells Regional Park to the local residents?
- By not communicating the amenities until they are set in stone. This is for the future. Effectively manage the information.
- We will communicate, nothing should be done until solidly formed.
- Publish the questions and minutes on the agenda that we post.
- What could we specifically do to chip away at the tree of transparency?
- Once we have questions, post those. Not openly ask for feedback. No names listed.
What steps can be taken to ensure effective communication and collaboration between park management and the local community, including regular updates and transparent decision-making processes?
- Regular updates, consistent information-one point of contact.-Town Newsletter
- Outside sources should come through us. PV is the voice.
- There should be communication between park management and City of Prescott.
How might the development of Glassford Dells Regional Park positively impact local businesses and entrepreneurs in Prescott Valley, and what types of businesses do we envision thriving in this new recreational environment? Specifically, in what ways can the park's design and amenities be tailored to attract tourists and visitors from neighboring regions, contributing to increased tourism revenue for Prescott Valley?
- Name recognition from businesses-
- Tour services, e.g. Pink Jeep tours but have pink bikes, and or trail tours for novices
- Race promoters, runners, bikers,
- Outdoor recreation store
- Bring in more mom and pop stores/small business
- Mobile rentals
- Has to be a place where you can spend all day-need to make sure there is enough for people to do and make it worthwhile.
- Make the stay more affordable. Make it attractive to young riders.
- Incorporate Strava app to record time.
- How we build trails is important-beginning, intermediate, advance, have something for everyone. If it’s too easy, no one will come.
How can the park's development serve as a catalyst for additional infrastructure and community enhancements in Prescott Valley, potentially attracting more investment and strategic development in the area?
- Staging area at the base of the mountain for businesses
- Make it connected so it is easy to get around
- Designs areas with icons on where to get around to businesses and town.
- Food trucks
- How do we drive to it? Does the town have a plan to address it?
- We need a plan for parking and traffic-It has to have a BIG trail head. We need to
- Focus on parking- otherwise they will park in the neighborhoods.
- Use the Yavaline from Entertainment district to mountain.
- Connectivity to the park, i.e. MUP around town to this location
- We can leave space to walk in order to preserve area. There has to a centralized place to park.
- What about wildlife, pronghorn and javelina.
How might the park's existence and amenities influence real estate values and property development in the surrounding areas, and what measures can be taken to ensure equitable growth and access to affordable housing for residents? (Please be specific and cite examples of how other communities have done something similar, i.e. Sedona, AZ; Moab, UT)
- Main access to park cannot be in a developed neighborhood.
- Home depot, Kia and apartments are main access
- Very strict building code that protects natural feel of area
- Town has to continue efforts for affordable housing.
- Greatest influence is where we put access road.
- Committee is cognizant of issues, but that is an issue the Town needs to address.
As the park attracts more visitors, how can we strike a balance between tourism-driven economic growth and preserving the natural and cultural heritage, including our overall quality of life in the area, ensuring its uniqueness remains intact?
- Must fit the landscape, include strict zoning requirements.
- Not make it too big-keeping it as natural as possible-bathrooms, kiosk, ramada
- Prescott example-visitor’s center-see what they are doing first.
- Adventure park with ropes course, zip lines, etc. We need more for our kids to do.
- This is a need in the community-for our youth, school field trips.
- Visitors center doesn’t have to be in the park, it can be along the way. Highland center example to help with regrowth of the area, with local plants.
How can this regional park be leveraged to create new revenue streams in order to diversify the Town’s economic base and reduce dependance on housing development.
- Food trucks on the weekends, not everyday
- Have companies run racers, MBA, distance long distance running.
- Use the mountain for competition
- Build a vibe-have a place that is cool and beautiful.
- PV needs to have places that people want to go and have restaurants that are easily accessible.
- Amphitheater-we need to bring culture to the area-a natural place.
- Set up an area with artisan tents like downtown Prescott.
What strategies can be implemented to promote small business growth, restaurants, hospitality, and entrepreneurship around the Glassford Dells Recreation Park? (Taking into account the recreational opportunities discussed previously by the Steering Committee)
- Zoning restrictions and encourage small businesses-consensus is to retain small town vibe, natural.
- Need better connectivity.
- Special incentives and programs to attract businesses.
- Creating art, arches and sculptures along a trail system that is special and keeps people going through it.
- Hashtags for social media
- Summit magnet to help the hype
- Trails map
As we plan for the future of Glassford Dells Regional Park, what strategies can we implement to ensure the park's sustainability, both environmentally and economically, for the long term? How can the Town of Prescott Valley incorporate sustainable and eco-friendly design elements into the vision for Glassford Dells Regional Park?
- Use of drought tolerant plants-xeriscape and native plants
- Buy local-sustain businesses and use sustainable materials
- Sustainable fencing, e.g., steel fence
- Water collection-design includes capturing water
- Drainage needs to be addressed
What measures can be taken to ensure the preservation of the natural beauty and scenic views, while still allowing recreational opportunities within Glassford Dells Regional Park?
- Slope protection
- Maintenance of road- paint it brown so it blends into the mountain
- Heavy restrictions on motorized vehicles
- *ADA access brought up again, not exclude anyone access up the hill
- Single story needs to stay-possible on the side of the hill up to 3 story building, small education center, example-the library-culture meeting place. Build it into the hillside, an observation deck. Nothing obnoxious. Incorporating natural architecture.
- Hire an expert for the trails
- Powerlines should go underground.
- If there is a lift must have least amount of impact on the view
What are the key considerations in terms of landscaping and vegetation management to maintain the visual harmony and ecological balance within Glassford Dells Regional Park?
- Natural plants
- Low water plants and low maintenance
- Planters to slow water down and make it pleasant
- Keep lava rock as retaining walls-reuse resources, dirt, and rock as planters and walls
- Geological study-professional assessment of safety of mountain.
How can the Town of Prescott Valley integrate sustainable lighting solutions into the design of Glassford Dells Recreation Park to enhance safety and aesthetics during nighttime visits?
- Solar solar solar!
- It would be ok for regular lighting until 9 pm-parking lot, then low lever lighting-safety feature, should be low impact, downward facing lighting. Use NPS.gov night skies guidelines
- Campground with only a tent, overnight, view night sky-needs to be managed and permitted. What do we want to do-address this later.
What measures are in place at Glassford Dells Regional Park to conserve water and promote water sustainability?
- Low flow fixtures
- Toilets can’t be low flow and no sensors. Manual flush. Low flow for sinks
- Would be on town sewer or septic-follow up.
- Water filling stations-bottle fillers for safety
- Signage for picking up trash and animal matter.
How could Glassford Dells Regional Park collaborate with local organizations, community colleges or universities to conduct research on environmental conservation and sustainability? Provide specific examples.
- Prescott College
- Yavapai College
- Embry Riddle
- Highland Center
- Prescott National Forest-fire control and water conservation, light pollution
- Partnering with local organizations-Prescott Mountain biking association
- Over the Hill Gang, AAEC-dovetail in the youth
- Request for Town Staff: committee members would like to receive questions at minimum week prior
- Request for Town Staff: committee members would like better questions with more focus on development, since they are not experts in impact studies, etc.
- Committee members concerned they cannot address deeper questions without knowing what features & amenities will be in the park
- Request for Town Staff: committee members would like an outline of future questions & topics to be able to see the bigger picture
- Request for Town Staff: committee members would like to know how many people have viewed the Glassford Dells website
- Request for Chris Hoskings, City of Prescott - Trails, to attend future meeting- 30 minute presentation to present his ideas of what to do with developing the hill created on CAD.
- This presentation will highlight the connectivity between Prescott & Prescott Valley
- A committee member said Chris would like to wait until the purchase has been made
- Request for Town Staff: Committee members would like to get immediate community feedback (see Question 1 responses)
- Request for Town Staff: Committee members would like to know if the Town will be developing the regional park or a developer
- Request for Town Staff: Committee members would like to know where funding is coming from, how much funding & when it will be available
Neighbors and Property Values
How can the Town of Prescott Valley involve the community in shaping the visual identity and development plans for Glassford Dells Regional Park?
- Committee members feel there needs to be better communication about the GDRP and for the Town to showcase potential ideas to the community.
- Request for Town Staff: Advertise website through Monday’s with the Mayor, the Town Water Bill, Social Media, Flyers to HOAs adjacent to the property, and possibly radio – completed by next meeting
- Request for Town Staff: Add a survey to the GDRP website & promote through above mentioned advertisements – completed by next meeting
- Questions should be framed in a way that elicits open responses & open information so all parties can respond. Ensure there is an open comment section.
- Ensure there is a link to the GDRP website stating, “For more information regarding the GDRP, please visit…”
- Request for Town Staff: Create a contest or essay for the Middle School & High School level asking the youth what they would like to see in the park – completed by next meeting
- A suggestion was made to reach out to volunteer trail builders
What are the potential impacts of the Glassford Dells Regional Park on the surrounding community, including businesses and residents?
- Request for Town Staff: Create a separate business survey – developed & sent out within 30 days
- Questions to include:
- As a business, what would you like to see developed.
- What role would your business have?
- What concerns or suggestions do you have?
- Include sponsorship and voluntter information
- Ensure there is a link to the GDRP website stating, “For more information regarding the GDRP, please visit…”
- Work with Chamber of Commerce to distribute to businesses
- Questions to include:
How can the Town of Prescott Valley leverage technology and innovation to enhance the visitor experience and promote the visual aspects of Glassford Dells Regional Park, including safety components. (E.g., QR codes map systems, wi-fi, blue light phones, solar benches-charging stations).
- The committee does not think there needs to be technology at GDRP
- There should be solar safety lights and perhaps lighted benches, but no charging stations
- Why would you want wifi in a natural environment?
- Committee suggested a kiosk with map information & rules and regulations at the trailhead, including a QR code. There should also be blazes on the trail & a signage at each intersection, with a map. Trails must be user friendly.
- Parking lot - Put in electric charging stations only if there is federal grant funding
- Consider APS for solar shade for parking lot & see if they will fund the lot - make sure to include high profile parking for higher level vehicles, with low reflection panel
What kinds of recreational facilities are most needed in the park? (Playgrounds, sports fields, etc.) How can these facilities be designed to cater to different age groups and interests?
- Committee suggested getting an expert at future meetings to see what the park could look like, with photos, to eventually share with the public on the website
- Committee recommended: Passive, self-directed ROPES course, Nature center facility, with outdoor classroom similar to Highlands Center , Wildlife, bird-watching
Committee discussed an outdoor multi-use large scale sports complex at the base of GDRP to bring in more sports, tournaments, etc. There was a concern with lighting. Committee members decided that this is active recreation- not passive & thus not a part of the IGA.
Is there any other infrastructure you believe should be included in the park?
- See August 16th meeting notes regarding same question
What programs and activities can the Town of Prescott Valley implement to encourage active and healthy lifestyles among residents by utilizing Glassford Dells Regional Park as a hub for recreational activities?
- Photography classes, excursions
- Mountain biking contests - brings in tons of revenue like Pioneer
- Wildlife watching
- Reading/Audio books
- Star gazing
- Kids camp - would this violate the IGA
- Scavenger Hunt, or Geocaching
- Exercise programs - fitness trail
- ADA Trail*
- Outdoor Yoga, Tai Chi
- Make sure there is a full discussion of ADA
What strategies can be implemented to improve accessibility and inclusivity for individuals with any disabilities or impairments at Glassford Dells Regional Park? Including a wide range of adaptive recreation and mobility elements.
- Committee recommended there be an ADA loop lower on GDRP
- Request for Town staff: Determine what other parks have done at other facilities for ADA path material type - pavers, asphalt, concrete
- Request for Town staff: Schedule an ADA expert to deliver a10-minute presentation at a future meeting
- Committee stated that the Lasso loop sounds more geared for ADA compliance as opposed to the entirety of the GDRP
Glassford Dells Regional Park - Meeting Agenda 9.27.23
- Glassford Dells Regional Park Planning Presentation, by the Planning Center
- Steering Committee Discussion
- Next Steps
PARK VALUES: How can Glassford Dells Regional Park benefit Prescott Valley?
- Social/ Recreational Values
Example: Provide opportunities for a competitive adult soccer league
- Environmental Values
Example: Harvest rainwater for native plants and establish wildlife habitat
- Functional Values
Example: Provide accessible play areas for children with special needs.
- Educational Values
Example: Interpret the valley's geology.
- Economic Values
Example: Provide opportunities for local food trucks and event vendors.
- Safety/ Security Values
Example: Provide a clear, well-marked pedestrian loop for early morning walkers.
GLASSFORD DELLS REGIONAL PARK MISSION STATEMENT
- What does the park do?
...attract young families, support traveling competitions, host educational classes...
- How does the park do it?
...lift to the top of the hill, new community center/ amphitheater, variety of sport courts...
- Why does the park do it?
...serve the needs of the elderly residents, promote regional tourism, conservation education...
PARK AMENITIES: What is your vision of Glassford Dells Regional Park?
- What are the three most important amenities that you would like to see at the park?
- What amenity is least needed at the park?
September 28, 2023 News Release
Glassford Hill Land Auction Date Set for Glassford Dells Regional Park
The Arizona State Land Department has set an auction date of November 21, 2023 for 2,284 acres of property on Glassford Hill, planned for a regional park through an intergovernmental agreement with the Town of Prescott Valley, City of Prescott, and Yavapai County.
Since the late 1990s, Prescott Valley has been involved in efforts to protect Glassford Hill from private development. On November 4th, 1998, after a petition from the Town of Prescott Valley and City of Prescott, the State Land Department designated a portion of the property as suitable for conservation purposes.
On May 26, 2022, the Town of Prescott Valley entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Prescott and Yavapai County for the purchase of the approximately 3,500 acres of Arizona State Trust Land located between Prescott Valley and Prescott. The parties have been working since that time to bring the first phase forward for purchase. The Arizona State Land Department and Arizona State Parks and Trails Department have been extremely helpful in pushing this project forward, a process which can sometimes take multiple years. From the time the Town signed the IGA until the auction date will be 18 months.
This first phase includes the acquisition of approximately 1,317 acres for Prescott Valley and 967 acres for Prescott. Purchase of this property will include the benefits of preservation of open space and opportunities for outdoor recreational amenities for the entire region and state. Proceeds from the auction will also benefit Arizona schools.
The auction for the property has been set for 10 a.m. on November 21 on the Yavapai County Courthouse steps. This is another large step in a 25-year effort to ensure all residents may enjoy this space in perpetuity.
Funding for the project comes from the Prescott Valley General Fund and is budgeted in the current FY 2023-24 budget. Offsetting the Town’s costs is a commitment from Yavapai County to fund 35 percent of the purchase per the IGA. Additionally, thanks to the efforts of Representative Selina Bliss, Representative Quang Nguyen, Senator Ken Bennett, and Governor Katie Hobbs, the Town of Prescott Valley and City of Prescott each received $1.75million from the State budget to help with acquisition of these parcels. With these offsetting revenues, the Town’s ultimate purchase price for the 1,317 acres will be approximately $1.33 million.