Scottsdale Adds 400 Acres to Preserve; About 20,000 Acres Still Needed to Achieve City's Lofty Goal

Scottsdale snapped up an additional 400 acres for its McDowell Sonoran Preserve today, taking advantage of a state grant to pay half of the cost.

At least someone's buying big chunks of Valley real estate in this depressed market, right?

Scottsdale, which is full of relatively rich folks, made the committment a few years ago to preserve about one-third of the entire city. Activists managed to find city and private funds to buy about 16,000 acres so far, though they want to add another 20,000 eventually.

This new piece is bordered by Deer Valley and Pinnacle Peak roads on the north and south, and 104th and 112th streets on the east and west.

Scottsdale made the winning bid of $6.5 million for the state trust land, but will use $3.25 million of the Growing Smarter State Trust Land Acquisition Grant to help finance the deal. It's the first time the city has used the grant, according to city officials.

Below is a map of the land from a state Web site:

As you can see, housing developments abut the new purchase. Those lucky homeowners will probably see their property values rise. But they won't be the only ones enjoying the wonderful Sonoran views -- thanks to the generosity of your near-bankrupt state, it's now your land, too.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.