Keep Phoenix Beautiful – Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton rolled up his sleeves alongside 300 volunteers to help activate a once vacant lot as a part of his restoration initiative. Mayor Stanton, together with Keep Phoenix Beautiful, launched PHX Renews Activation Day, which took place from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 21, on the northeast corner of Central Avenue and Indian School Road in Phoenix. On this day, supporting organizations, volunteers and businesses began breaking ground and activating the 15-acre space for public use. Activation Day signifies the grand opening of PHX Renews, which will be open to the public seven days per week from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., accessible by the pedestrian gate near the Central Avenue and Indian School Road light rail stop. Volunteers from Wells Fargo, UPS, University of Phoenix, ASU, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Matson Navigation, PetSmart and other community groups helped out.

“PHX Renews is a community-driven effort showing how we can find creative and sustainable opportunities if we all work together to shape the future of our city,” said Mayor Stanton. “I want this project to serve as a prototype of what will be the beginning of a trend to transform other vacant properties into usable public spaces.”

PHX Renews is about improving the urban landscape of the city of Phoenix through creative vacant land transformation. Its implementation across the valley is intended to uplift communities in the form of social and artistic spaces, reduced crime, improved health and increased property values, while simultaneously providing local therapeutic and sustainable food sources for those in need, free education pertaining to food, energy, water and waste, job skills and vocational training. The initiative also serves as a catalyst for more permanent, smart and sophisticated development solutions for local businesses. PHX Renews is a partnership among nonprofit Keep Phoenix Beautiful, the City of Phoenix, and Barron Collier Companies, owners of the property. PHX Renews is the largest transformation of vacant land happening in the country today.

“We are proud to share with the community the work of Keep Phoenix Beautiful and all of our partner organizations the culmination of more than one year’s worth of work at our PHX Renews site,” said Tom Waldeck, Keep Phoenix Beautiful executive director, who also serves on the Keep America Beautiful board of directors. “We have overcome many hurdles and we are starting to see the successes of our efforts.”

Over the next 18 months and beyond, PHX Renews will evolve as a community-driven effort showing how residents, nonprofits, businesses and organizations can work with the city to shape the future of their community. Mayor Stanton also looks to make it easier to get city approval for more projects like this in downtown Phoenix and various light rail areas.

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