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1957 was a monumental year in the history of the collaboration between the City of Prescott and PUSD. That year, the City formed its first Recreation Services Department (Parks and Recreation at that time).
AC Williams was named the first Director and with Navy surplus equipment, a servant’s heart, and very little money to work with, AC took on the task of building partnerships that could allow him to “do more with less.” One of those partnerships was with the Prescott Unified School District (PUSD).
In 1957, the school district Superintendent was the legendary Abia Judd. AC and Abia formed a partnership that continues to this day. What started with a handshake agreement between these two legendary Prescott figures has evolved into an Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) between the two parties.
The IGA includes the shared use of many recreational assets owned by the School and the City to the benefit of Prescott citizens.
Some examples include:
- City-owned Antelope Hills is the home course for the Prescott Badger golf team.
- Mile High Middle Schools football field and track area are used by the City of Prescott to host community events.
- Kuebler baseball field is used by the Prescott Badger baseball program.
- The city uses Taylor Hicks baseball field for the city-sponsored Prescott Little League.
These are just a few examples of this equally beneficial agreement. One of the properties identified in this agreement that has come to the forefront in recent years is the Community Nature Center (CNC); located next to Granite Mountain Middle School.
The CNC is a beautiful 18-acre property that the City purchased from PUSD in 2008 with the intention of adding it to its open space portfolio to be used as a self-guided Nature center with signage identifying the various flora and fauna found on the property.
In 2020, during the Coronavirus outbreak, the center took on a valuable role in education as it became a safe place for teachers to continue with classes in this outdoor setting. Led by Ellen Bashor, the City and PUSD promoted the space to taechers and it did not take long for them to see the value and quickly the CNC became a very busy place with over 11,000 student visits in 2021.
In 2022 PUSD and the City committed additional resources to this partnership to support this program and enhance the opportunities for the children of the community. PUSD Superintendent Joe Howard, Trails and Natural Parklands Coordinator, Chris Hosking, and City of Prescott Parks and Recreation Director, Joe Baynes all share the value of the partnership created in 1957 and are honored to carry the torch into the future.
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