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Paseo Vista Recreation Area

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We all know the saying, "One man's trash is another man's treasure," but in the case of the Paseo Vista Recreation Area, one man's trash is below another man's playground. This massive, 64-acre park in Chandler was built on top of a landfill.

Chandler voters approved the use of General Obligation Bonds for the project in May, 2004. The landfill closed in October, 2005, and a long cleanup and construction process began. After workers cleaned up the site according to EPA standards, they hauled in an additional 200,000 tons of dirt. Valley Rain Construction Corporation did more than $11 million in renovations through December, 2009. The result is an elevated recreation area with a 40-foot high lookout point.

The park isn't visible from the street, but once you make the drive up the hill to the Paseo Vista Recreation Area, there's plenty to see and do. A giant snake sculpture (made from recycled tires) greets you halfway up the hill.

There are multiple playgrounds, each designated for certain age groups (like kids 2 to 5, and kids 5 to 7 years old). The main playground area has an octahedron set of monkey bars, complete with inner netting for additional climbing. And the playground for smaller children includes a slide that looks like a little bulldozer.

There are multiple swing sets, and stacks of colored tires (pink, green, and light blue) are stacked in decorative walls throughout the playground. There's also a sci-fi-looking rotating disc, which serves as a merry-go-round, and a fort complete with padded AstroTurf flooring.

In addition to the playgrounds, Paseo Vista Recreation Area also has a large, gated dog park, an archery range, and a vast disc golf course. The only notable downside to this fabulous park: the slight smell of burning plastic. We'll chalk that up to all the AstroTurf.

Paseo Vista Recreation Area is located at 3850 S. McQueen Road in Chandler. Call 480-782-2754 for more information.

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