Glendale took another step forward in development of the Heroes Regional Park recently, when city officials broke ground on a new lake.
Situated at the northeast corner of 83rd Avenue and Bethany Home Road, the 4-acre Heroes Regional Park Lake will be the city’s second, after the Bonsall Pond.
Slated for completion later this year, Mayor Jerry Weiers expressed excitement May 24 to eventually cut the ribbon at the lake — and promised a surprise once that happens.
“At that time (the idea for the park was conceived), the council felt that area of Glendale would be impacted by the next wave of residential development where an amenity like a regional park completely makes sense — and it certainly does,” Weiers explained. “Well, they weren’t wrong. It just took a few years longer than originally anticipated, for many different reasons, but we’re here.
“We all know too well the financial adversity and sacrifices that Glendale has endured over the last 20 years, and I’m forever proud to stand before you and know in my heart how much time and effort this council has committed to overcoming and stabilizing the city’s financials, which allowed us to get to the point that we’re at today.”
Once complete, the 4-acre lake will feature fishing docks, as well as a customizable waterscape fountain with color-changing lights and a night-glow lighting system. Ramadas and walking trails will accent the area.
At 13 feet deep, the lake will be part of the Arizona Game and Fish Urban Fishing Program, housing fish like rainbow trout during the winter months and bluegill, sunfish and catfish when the weather is warmer. Aeration equipment will be installed to maintain water quality and aquatic habitat.
“This urban lake was always a part of the original scope, and as an avid sportsman and a firm believer in people enjoying outdoors, I’m so very excited that we’re taking one more step toward this (81-acre) park being fully completed,” Weiers said.
Councilmember Joyce Clark, who represents the Yucca District the park is located within, admitted the lake is “long overdue.” Weiers said the idea was conceived in the late 1990s.
“The coming of the fishing lake is yet another testament to the city’s commitment that we will see this park completed,” Clark said, pausing multiple times for emphasis.
The lake is the latest addition to the park’s many amenities, which include a splash pad, a skate park, volleyball and basketball courts, playground areas, an archery range and picnic ramadas. The Heroes Regional Park Library opened in 2019.
“We have been developing it in dribs and drabs and pieces,” Clark said.
With the city’s continued growth, she feels the park will prove important.
“Yucca District is now the largest-populated district in the city, with, according to the latest census, 72,000 people,” Clark explained. “And more are coming, because we continue to plant apartments in the Westgate area and beyond. …
“And that’s what makes this amenity so vital to the community. It’s that with all of these people, there’s a great deal of pent-up demand for good recreational opportunities — and that is what this park is to provide.”
Tom Traw, a local supporter who has been seeing the park coming to fruition, recalled a developer once attempting to turn the area into a community of more than 400 homes. But locals came together to protest those plans, instead opting for the park, he recalled.
“Back in those days, I was part of that, forming that, and we couldn’t fathom this becoming another residential property when it was supposed to be for our kids, for our children, for our grandkids. … We went down to the city and we protested — peaceful protest — and they listened to us. And I’ll tell you what, here’s what we have today,” Traw said, standing in front of the corner where residents will see dirt moving.
“And believe it or not, (the lake is) twice as large as what I thought it was going to be.”