Peoria Opening Pioneer Community Park, One of Valley's Largest Municipal Play Grounds

Peoria officials are opening Pioneer Community Park, an 83-acre recreation campus, to the public at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

The park, at the corner of 83rd and Olive avenues, features six ball fields with concessions stands and restrooms with a central plaza; four lighted multipurpose fields; a dog park, picnic ramadas with grills, a playground with swing sets and splash grounds.

And it's opening even as neighboring cities are scaling back on recreation options for residents because of budget shortfalls.

There is also an urban fishing catch-and-keep lake that will be stocked by January 12, and an area called Heritage Garden that can be reserved for small events after October 1.

The latest Peoria park adds to an already extensive recreation program in the West Valley city.

Pioneer is larger than Rio Vista Community Park, a 52-acre park near 88th and Thunderbird avenues (west of the Loop 101 on Thunderbird).

Rio Vista also has an urban lake, picnic ramadas, multipurpose field and playground -- but further boasts volleyball courts, a skate park, an indoor recreation center with a gym and rock climbing wall and batting cages.