Despite Looking Like $34 Million Worth of Grass Over a Few Acres, Phoenix's Civic Space Park Wins National Award for Landscape and Urban Design

Phoenix's new Civic Space Park is honored by Engineering News-Record magazine as being the best designed park of 2009.

For anyone who's been to the park, you may be saying: "It just looks like a few acres of grass with some benches." On the surface, you would be right. However, the park apparently has some state-of-the-art "green-friendly" traits -- and since it's the buzz-word of the decade, who doesn't love all things "green"?

The park has solar panels on its shaded structures that can produce up to 75 kilowatts of electricity -- enough to power about eight homes.    

Underneath the park, there's a rain collection system, and the concrete used for the park's sidewalks and other hard surfaces allows water to seep through to a municipal water supply.

Award or not, there is still the issue of what might be the worst way to spend $2 million -- "Her Secret is Patience."

We are, of course, referring to that giant blob of wispy pink-and-blue netting that, despite several name changes by the "artist," is now called "Her Secret is Patience."

Of the roughly $34 million the city of Phoenix spent on the park, $2.4 million went to artist Janet Echelman for the collection of nylon netting that overtakes the park and looks like a giant jellyfish.

When the park opened earlier this year, city officials and Echelman said they hoped "Her Secret is Patience" would become a symbol of the city of Phoenix -- umm, let's hope not.

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James King
Contact: James King